How to build Vietnamese seafood trademark? (01-12-2022)

Vietnamese seafood is available in more than 160 countries, but the brand recognition in the world is still quite blurred. Therefore, it is time for us to build a common brand for the Vietnamese seafood industry. Although we export a big volume of seafood products to foreign countries, currently, Vietnam ranks third worldwide largest seafood exporter, world consumers still do not know about Vietnam's seafood. Vietnamese seafood products are exported mainly through importers, thus, we have no opportunity to advertise Vietnamese seafood products to consumers and we have not focused on this issue. According to Mr. Le Quoc Vinh - General Director of Le Group, when businesses enter new markets, they need to present how many countries they have exported to as well as their products, and which position in the world market they are at. If the business is succesful to convince the importers, they can access the new market.
How to build Vietnamese seafood trademark?

However, this success also goes along with many stages of working with enterprises such as inspection, checking data provided by businesses, etc.

But, on the contrary, when the businesses already have a strong trademark, when approaching the importer, they just need to show their trademark and name, telling that their company is from Vietnam, bringing Vietnamese seafood products, it will be very easy to convince their partner because they (the importers) have heard and known about Vietnamese seafood, they already know the position of Vietnamese seafood in the world market and what their strong products are. Besides, the strong trademark will also stimulate importers and distributors of enterprises' products and help easily sell produts to consumers.

To build a brand for the seafood industry, according to Mr. Le Quoc Vinh, there are 3 factors: firstly, the difference of Vietnam's seafood to other countries', it must be found out; secondly, the difference is not in what we say but in the mind of the customer; thirdly, creating a complete customer’s experience.

Citing the reality from building a brand for the Tra fish export industry, Ms. Nguyen Ngo Vi Tam - General Director of Vinh Hoan Joint Stock Company shared that the strength of Vietnam's tra fish industry is having a big production and processing process has achieved a competitive level with many other types of white meat fish, ensuring a stable supply. In terms of environment, tra fish farming households and enterprises have also taken the initiative to achieve sustainable farming certification. The most well known certification currently for tra fish and seafood in the world is the certification of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and Vietnam currently has 44 ASC certified farming areas.

In addition, Vietnamese seafood has advantages in terms of communication thank to its third largest exporting country in the world, after Norway and China. Especially after the US-China trade tension, and after the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam is also known as an alternative manufacturing and processing country to China as well as minimizing the risk of economic instability and geopolitics, customers come to move their processing to Vietnam. Particularly for the tra fish industry, Vietnam is the country that holds the absolute advantage in exporting. Vietnam's tra fish production is about 1.5 million tons, accounting for 25% of the total global tra fish production, but Vietnam's tra fish exports account for more than 95%, so there is no competitor for Vietnam in this goods. Some countries in the world also culture tra fish, but Vietnam has gained great success in culturing, processing and exporting tra fish.

Currently, consumers, importers and distributors are very interested in the process of farming and processing products. Therefore, enterprises have made great efforts for many years from raising fish fingerlings to raw fish, processing and exporting, covering the whole system of sustainable farming, product quality management system, food safety to social issues.

“Recently, customers are paying much attention to the improvement and innovation in farming. One of our most recent activities is to build a breeding ground with improved genetics of fish. We also pay attention to consumers’ concern on antibiotic and chemical residues in farmed fish through vaccination. It helps consumers believe that fish products are raised in a safe environment without residues that affect their health," said Ms. Nguyen Ngo Vi Tam.

Although the enterprise’s trademark has been recognized in some markets, Ms. Nguyen Ngo Vi Tam said that a common marketing strategy is needed for the tra fish in particular and seafood industry in general in Vietnam. The ultimate goal of trademarking is to make customers accept to pay a higher price for the product and become loyal customers, but not to sell a lot of products at a cheap price.

Mr. Nguyen Hoai Nam, Deputy General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said that the story of the brand and how to build a brand for Vietnamese seafood has been mentioned by association’s members for about 15 years with many proposed projects. However, all of this is only at the level of discussion and has not come to a consensus on how to implement it. Therefore, there are almost no practical actions to realize it, except for some businesses that actively build their own brands.

Huong Tra

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