Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Brand Marketing Staff Training in Vietnam: The Pitch

Most of you are aware that I do Brand Marketing Training for Universities, Advertising Companies and Clients intensely involved in marketing but I thought I'd take a few minutes and explain exactly what that means and how it may benefit your company - especially in Vietnam.

I wish I could say that marketing education in Vietnam has been keeping up with the demand but alas all University programs fall far short of what multinational companies believe to be even acceptable entry level training, and the two private institutions that I'm aware of - ARTI: Run by the Vietnam Advertising Association and VietnamMarcom: A private institute, are primarily concerned with making a buck and don't employ any full-time foreign professors (yes, there are cost/profit issues involved) - but for any business that works on a multinational platform, the staff needs to be able to work with various people from various countries and I can provide an introductory coaching experience that's been successful across Asia and the United States as well - something no local institution can.

Many multinational companies in Korea, Japan and China are fond of offering corporate training for their staff's in Asia and in Vietnam it's no different. It's cost effective, builds moral and comaraderie within working groups and after a semester with me - trust me - they'll be ready to play in the big leagues with all the confidence, planning and big-idea-ness that it takes to win clients, bosses, friends and markets. Anyone who really wants to scroll through my CV can see my LinkedIn page but for the short version, suffice to say that I began in Asia with Leo Burnett Korea and ended up with my own agency, CarlsonCreative, Inc., in Seoul for six years that serviced British American Tobacco, Samsung, LG, Hyundai and the like. Do look at the LinkedIn page or contact me for more background detail. Following are a few examples of how this might work for your company, followed of course, by some basic financials.


a) BRANDING WORKSHOPS - Ask what a brand is in Vietnam and you'll get a thousand answers - many are right - most are not. My 15 week course at Vietnam National University previously, was extensive, but I have now boiled a 700 page textbook (The New Strategic Brand Management - Kapferer) down to an easily digestible short course with examples from the real world (Ogilvy's 360 Concept, SWOT Analysis, etc.) These days the concept of a brand has extended itself into social networking sites like FaceBook and LinkedIn and even to Twitter, YouTube, Mixx, Digg and the like. Thanks mostly to this blog I am now extremely well-versed in the Web 2.0 world and have a firm stake in it. I like to use the term Brand Provocateur to describe the ever-thinking marketer who is never afraid of exploiting whatever media will extend their brand's communication strategies. Our group at VNU was called BrandMasters and you can see some of our group in the photo to the right below on Teacher's Day.

b) TEAM BUILDING - Sometimes the concept of working across strategies (Sales/Marketing/Media/Research/Account Service/Creative) is foreign to Vietnamese employees. It's certainly not taught in the schools. With a group project over a number of weeks, team members get to work in a real-life format but with a fictional client, taking away the barriers of, "We've never done it that way", or "They'll never buy it". I use my own team's work on Nintendo as a case study in selling video games to an adult market - born out of a research study. Our efforts yielded 2 1/2 times the projected sales and were the forerunner of Nintendo's Adult Wii efforts today. The case study is now taught at Northwestern Illinois University's Kellogg School of Management , home of Philip Kotler, by Jana O'Brien of Right Brain Consumer Consulting, our Research/Media leader at Leo Burnett, Chicago.

c) PRESENTATION SKILLS - Some people should be speaking and some should be doing PowerPoint slides - others, something else. Everyone needs to know how they can best add to a successful presentation, and it's not always by being the best speaker - it's by focusing on strengths - and making them work for the team. This was part of my VNU course but also involves how we, at CarlsonCreative in Korea, beat Diamond/Bates 141 on British American Tobacco by commandeering and re-branding the library bar at the Ritz Carlton Seoul with our campaign theme line (Club Finnesse) for BAT's largest Korean Brand - as the venue for the actual presentation, complete with a grand piano player and bar staff service for non-alcoholic drinks and snacks - an out-of-the-box, but right on target presentation idea that drove the brand message home and won the account for a very small company. Jon Taylor, the President of BAT Korea and now CEO of BAT Russia can be available to provide a reference if necessary.


The course rate is $45 an hour and a suggested short course is 6 weeks with three 90 minute sessions per week. This fee includes my writing and customization of courses to individual client needs. That works out to around $1200 total and can invlove any number of staff - 5 minimum, and up to 10 max. I use a retainer fee of 1/3, a midterm payment of 1/3 and completion payment of 1/3 billing system. Other details and course options can be discussed per individual clients.

Do consider a training course for your company, if you're a manager - and if you are staff and think it would be helpful, forward this web page to your boss. It's amazing what can be accomplished in a short period of time, with a motivated and cared-for staff. If you just need cheaper employees, you might check here<.

For more on Creativity, Education and the like, check below:

"Do Our Schools Kill Creativity?" - Sir Ken Robinson
Brand Marketing and Staff Training in Vietnam
2009 Marketing Predictions
The Language Barrier - An Asian Business Conundrum

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