Content key to good branding, say top business leaders

Producing good content is the key to creating strong branding, as companies compete for the attention of consumers who are becoming more knowledgeable and savvy.

Top business leaders from across the region made the conclusions as they gave their insights on their companies' most innovative strategies during a panel discussion on Monday.

The panel was part of a gala event organised by brand consultancy Influential Brands.

Mr Alistair Taylor, president of Thailand's Central Retail Group, which runs Central and Zen department stores and supermarkets such as Tops, said that knowledge is key for a good business strategy.

"As people get more knowledgeable through the Internet, their expectations get higher," he said.

"Even when disposable income at certain times is tough, they are still going to want the best for their families. For example, we are seeing huge growth around products like organic food, and those with less salt and sugar.

"People are starting to change purely because they are more informed and can make better decisions based on what they are reading about," he said.

Mr Taylor, who has been working in Asia for 27 years, said to tap into that decision-making process, companies need to react quickly by passing on knowledge to consumers.

Mr Andy Budiman, director of Jakarta-based Kompas Cyber Media, noted that companies now face the same challenges as traditional publishers of content, such as media companies and newspapers.

"Companies are now adopting content marketing strategies, where you provide valuable and relevant content to engage your readers," he said.

"However, you can start producing and posting content online, but the problem is how to consistently produce engaging content, and how to differentiate your content with others from a thousand posts on Facebook. That's the challenge which the media is facing, but interestingly, also a challenge faced by brands when they go online."

For Kompas, "high-quality journalism" is still key, he said, but added that there was a need to distribute news in a more creative way.

Ms Amy Lim, founding chief executive of Brand Alliance Group and Influential Brands, said that Asia is still in its infancy in terms of brand development, which prompted her to set up a platform for the best minds in branding to come together to exchange their views.

"This is just the beginning, we want to do more, bring in people from all parts of Asia to exchange views. We are proud to be the catalyst of such a movement towards building awareness of branding in Asia."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2016, with the headline Content key to good branding, say top business leaders. Subscribe