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The Flat World and brand differentiation

Today, with just one click, the whole world can open up for anyone. And among the vastness of information, how can one brand stick out?

Stories of how brands are shaped are quite interesting. With the worldwide youth, mentioning Starbucks means coffee, yet in fact, at first, it was a character in the adventures of Moby Dick, published in 1851. But in the process of building and development, Starbucks has steadily asserted a fashionable brand position that makes Vietnamese wait in long queues to buy a cup of coffee and post numerous location check-in images at Starbucks on Facebook. That is the undeniable success of this brand.

Definitely, the appearance of a new global brand in the market causes local ones look at themselves introspectively.

The cleverness is, although a brand can carry global characteristics, in each of its territories it uses local cultural integration to succeed. That is why KFC, after 14 years since entering Vietnam has become familiar in a country with a long history of rice agriculture. The flexibility of KFC meant that besides its traditional menu, has made dishes to suit the tastes of Vietnamese, such as chicken rice. What started with one outlet in 1997, has grown to more than 140 currently.

This is just one example among many global brands integratingto their market.

The story of brand that is 140 years old

The story of the A. O. Smith brand is 140 years old. Not many will have heard of them, but in the USA, the company is well known. It started in 1874 as mechanic shop for pram parts.

Today, A. O. Smith has 11,400 employees in factories across the US, Canada, Mexico, China, India and the Netherlands and is present in 60 markets worldwide. The company maintains its leadership role in its industry thanks to keeping its number one priority customer satisfaction.

The company places great importance on research and technology. A. O. Smith’s invention is game-changing in the water industry and it has the first patent in the world for RO Side-Stream technology. To date, in the water purification sector alone, A. O. Smith has obtained more than 140 patents for RO water purification technology applications, water softening technologies, industrial RO water filtration systems and other water treatment products. Using RO Side Stream technology means an increase of 66% in pure water output, a 56% reduction in wastewater and that core filters last 1.5 times longer.

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And opportunity to reach consumers in Vietnam

In terms of product lines that A. O. Smith is pursuing, Korean brands and domestic enterprises make up most of the market, but none comes close to having 140 years of innovation and research to stand behind as the A. O. Smith brand does.

The objective of A. O. Smith in Vietnam is to focus on serving consumers – both in selling the industry’s best products and in having quality after-sales services using American standards as the benchmark.

The presence of A. O. Smith gives Vietnamese consumers the opportunity to use a water filter product line unlike any other. The safety of the safe products have been guaranteedby NSF International certification tests and standard NFS / ANSI 58 & 42.

The design, as well, is top-notch, adding a hint of luxury and modernity to any home or office.

When setting foot in any market, A. O. Smith maintains is high standards and reputation. They also seek to develop products that will be a ‘best–fit’ within the new consumer landscape. Vietnam is no exception. After 3 years of market research, A. O. Smith has finally launched nationally.

The trend of globalization has brought consumers the convenience of accessing multiple product lines and many different brand names. In any field, there are many products for consumers to choose from. But when a brand has a rich history of creative effort and innovation as well as excellent after-sales service, well, then that brand stands just a bit taller than everyone else. In the water filtration industry, no one does it better than A. O. Smith.

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