Asian Brands: Transnational Imagined Community

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Asian consumers obsessive compulsion with brands had its origin in a desire for quality, consistency, and value. Asians equate brands, and the premium prices that they command, with high quality. However, owning a brand is also about status and prestige. In fact, the latter two intangibles are frequently the primary reason for purchasing a certain brand Research has revealed time and again that Asians prefer foreign, global brands over local brands, and are ready to pay the best price for it. Foreign typically means Western. The desirable country of origin of the Western brand depends on the product category. For example, Asian consumers prefer fashion products from Franc or Italy and cars from Germany Western brands seem to have something that most Asian brands do not have: they have a long history; they have quality and style, and known globally. Many Asian companies are good at copying the look, feel, and quality of a brand

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In the current global situation, brands constantly change to create new social positions and identities. A good example is the production of global brands which diffuses the idea of global consumers interlinked through the consumption similar brands ( Taylor, 2001). Brands make people feel connected to a larger sphere than their immediate environment.

Asian companies that applied back-end workhorses, manufacturing customer goods cheaply for Western companies, are slowly realizing the paybacks of branding. Samsung is a noticeable example of an Asian company that decided to move up the value chain and build their brands.

In a market where rivalry implies reducing prices on unbranded goods, Asian companies are slowly becoming more concentrating on the power of branding in capturing consumers and returning larger profits on their investments. Firms realize that instead of ongoing to wear themselves down on razor-thin limits to race with international suppliers, they could raise returns by investing in their brands.

This shift in thinking is pushing boardrooms in Asia towards creating strong brands to differentiate themselves and consequently realize better profits. Branding is an asset that must is perceived as such and is required to deliver a return on investment and shareholder value like any other feasible business activities.

According to Anderson, B. (2002) the global village brands arbitrate new social relations enabling people and the community to share a sense of moral responsibility towards the brand and community that they belong. (Schutte, 1998) The increasing number of political, economic and cultural interconnections helps in the expansion of available catalog identification, drawing on new identities such as new global consumer or Mediterranean consumer (Blakett, 2005).

Brands forge new ways for consumers to think beyond the imagined community, the nation they live. Andersons seminal work on the imagined community is a stepping stone and counterpoint. According to Anderson novels, books and newspapers allow people to imagine themselves as a community. Print capitalism forges national consciousness by conveying the sense that the readers experience the same kind of social change. Print capitalism employed in mobilizing national consciousness giving the sense that same kinds of connection and also created in between people in different countries. The increase in regional trade and the rise of regional institutions was seen as a push towards academic interest in regionalization.

It in view that observed that some of them are now trying to create transnational Asian brands, with a perception of Asia as urban, modern, and multicultural. Brands such as Singapores Tiger Beer, Hong Kongs Giordano, and Zuji, an online travel portal, have used such imagery in advertising.

Asia is facing an increase in the political cultural and economic integration. Consumers are in a position to ignore or accept brand stories across the Asian platform. Brands are a symbolic and frame horizons of feeling, thought and conceivable action that help create new thoughts by consumers

Brands role in the global marketplace

Marketers weave stories that create a connection between people who know each other or those who do not. The key driver to the value of global brands is its ability to create a sense of living in the global village (Devereux and Peirson, 2009). Brand stories frame the way people view the global world and accompanying contradictions. Also, brands mediate the new types of sociality and collective identity. Brand communities not bound geographically but link people who know each other though they have not met. Print capitalism insights displays brands as a more prominent form of media capitalism in the mobilization of regional consciousness.

Regional dynamics and the remapping of Asia

The building of Asian transnational community seems farfetched given the incredibility lingering and heterogeneity and ethnic tension between the ethnic communities. The tension worsens by diffusion in economic liberalism, and capitalism Wood (1998) highlights the hostility of the older Chinese consumers towards the Japan and Japanese products. This context makes it difficult for brand managers to promote the Asian identity considering their products.

The regional cultural exchanges in Asia is not diverse; the consumption of Asian television movies, songs and programs is not widespread. The globalization of media leads to a strengthening of intraregional exchanges in Asia. The Korean films, Japanese, drama series, and Cantonese pop music are now popular in the in neighboring Asian countries, this is is due to the Asian lifestyle it reflects that viewers emulate, compared to the exotic western media forms

The exchanges amplify and build upon the positive cross-border dimension of integration, leaving historical rivalries and other sources of tension. It also strengthens the-the regionalization process happening in Asia. Asia is becoming interdependent; trade agreements, migration patterns, and cross-border corporate alliance is strengthening the interconnectedness. The role of politics is key as regional forums such as Association of Southeast Asian Nations are prominent in aiding the intra-government cooperation and decision making (Wood, 2004).

In Asia many brand building approaches are used, many brands utilize local or global appeals. Asia geographically restricted; it is an imaginary space created by marketers. According to (Temporal,2004). A border is not a geographical fact that entails sociological consequences but a sociological fact that takes the political and geographical form

Brandings role in reimagining Asia

Brands operate along three key dimensions of space, time and culture, therefore, building transnational connections and identities. Synchronicity and proximity cultural construction illustrate the building of Asian identity and cultural proximity. Brand managers build upon the contemporary experience in globalization and perception of bright economic future. Brand de-terrorization and un-mooring describes managers pursuit to remove territorial linkage in brands. Mosaic Asian culture and multicultural collage shows that Asian brands invoke an assortment of cultural reference descriptions instead of emphasizing on homogeneity and cultural coherence.

There are three reasons as to why Asian businesses and their management teams have not been able to figure out more global brands.

The variation of businesses covering many productions with limited overlap and synergies has been a major obstruction to building brands Asian. The prevalent mentality in Asia is based on exchange, rather than branding, and the generation of revenues, rather than profits. However, it is hard to create a significant, clear and segregated brand policy, and build a commercial brand that involves all areas, when businesses have its hands dipped in every pie.

Another significant reason for the lack of strong brands is the dominant business arrangement within Asia; that consists of many small family-owned businesses with diversified business interests as illustrated before. Management teams favor short-term business wins against brand strategies that require more resources and long-term perspectives, contrary to popular belief about Asian long-sightedness.

Tiger beer an advert in Asian and western markets illustrates definitely images that define the meaning of Asian in the minds of Asian and western consumers. The representation of oriental and mystical Asia is a mirror of other Asian brands that depict silk outfits and opium dens in images appealing to the western imagination (Schutte, 1998). The ad agency draws and reinforces the sense of Asia as a Centre of influence affixed in the present, not the past.

Globalization is driving the creation of a renewed Asian identity by involving Asian countries in transnational institutions like world trade organization and transnational events organizations like FIFA world cup.

Asian is the notion of progression; the need drives the emphasis on youth and the future which helps in the construction of brands that are resolutely modern. Tiger beer tries to improve the regional appeal of the brand. The brand is dis-linked to any specific area or locale in Asia. Advertising experts intentionally avoid anything that associated with a given nation.

Tiger beer brand managers do not associate the brand with anything seen as too local or Asian. A majority of the advertisements use Caucasians rather than Asians so as to appear upscale and international (Schutte, 1998).

The Quest is designed to evoke evolution of Asia to as a newly acquired confidence, symbolized by the Asian heroes who operate comfortably in New York City that is emblematic of capitalist success and globalization. Regional brands emphasize an Asian future, whereas, national brands rely on reinforcing a sense of pride in their national values, progress, and ideas. The sponsorship of Olympics reflects the growing influence and pride of their home countries.

Deterritorialization and the Unmooring of Brands from Specific Places

Deterritorialization is the detachment of cultural and social practices from physical practices (Temporal, 2000). In this context, it is the dislodging of brands from fixed or particular in space. Helps in shaping the idea that Asians live in the same transnational space. To appear Asian and global, brands, downplay their national origins. The commercials do not refer any Singaporean places or landmarks a good example is The Quest.

Compared to western brands that openly associate their brands with the country of origin the Asian regional brands downplay the origin aspect. Their origin remains anonymous and nondescript. Take an example Creative Technologies, a company biased in Singapore specializing in portable music technology, neither does the company does not promote itself as Singaporean nor emphasize its origin in the promotional vehicles.

The imagined space of Asians configures the relationship between Asian brands and places. Regional brands do not claim Asian origin rather they evoke contours of shared and imagined Asian space.

Lastly, the urban appeal of regional Asian brands reflects lifestyles of the cosmopolitan managers and the origin of the brands. Hong Kong and Singapore are trans-localities that are cultural islands deeply involved foreign trade, international finance and media that they are now more transnational and local.

Multicultural Collage and the Creation of a Mosaic Asian Culture

Multicultural collage is a process that managers draw from multiple cultural references in building brands. The outcome is a mosaic of cultures that are designed to appeal to the increasingly young cosmopolitan Asian audience. Through blending of cultural reference the brands endeavor to forge effective...

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