Adopting a challenger mentality, using AR and VR to create new consumer experiences and reframing brands using cultural insights are among the successful marketing trends being used in Asia, according to a new WARC study.

The 2019 Asian Strategy Report, published today, is based on an analysis of the results of this year’s WARC Prize for Asian Strategy, which awards the smartest strategic ideas that are growing brands in Asia.

“Understanding regional diversity and regulation, alongside a commitment to rediscovering your customers, are the tenets of a successful strategy in Asia,” according to jury chair Frederique Covington, Head of Marketing and Cross Border, Asia Pacific, Visa.

More specifically, the Report highlights the follow key strategic themes:

Big brands are adopting a challenger mentality

Larger brands are adopting challenger behaviour in Asia so they can stand out and compete against successful local brands in their sectors.

Among this year’s winners were KFC and Amazon in China, alongside Castrol in India, which behaved in unexpected ways for their sector in devising and pursuing a strategic path that won favour with consumers.

“These game-changing challenger brands are rewriting category rules and bucking obvious routes to market,” says jury member Ian Dolan, Head of Strategy and Planning, PHD China.

“They are also demonstrating a purpose-led approach which is rooted in providing value to the consumer or cause, often in original executions with unrivalled clarity of thought.”

AR/VR offers strategists new experience opportunities

AR/VR played a much larger role this year, with three winning submissions – Nike and Coca-Cola in China, and IKEA in India – putting the technology at the core of their initiatives, versus just one winning entry last year.

Judge Andreas Moellmann, Chief Experience Officer APAC, Geometry Global Japan, points out that the global AR/VR market is forecast to grow more than seven-fold in the next four years, from US$27bn in 2018 to US$209bn.

He comments: “Marketers dream of engaging people with their brands and products – and of making them come back for more. AR/VR makes this dream come true: creating experiences without limits.”

New growth opportunities emerge when brands reframe using cultural insights

Brands in categories from male skincare in Indonesia to financial services in Singapore identified successful ways to reposition themselves and reaped the rewards.

“Changing the frame of reference for brands and their products enables us to unlock new opportunities for growth because we can uncover people that would never have considered them before,” says jury member Natalie Gruis, Head of Strategy International, TBWA\NEBOKO.

“More importantly, it moves us from focusing on how to gain share of an existing category to resizing an entirely new market. Disruption at its best.”

A sample of WARC’s 2019 Asian Strategy Report can be downloaded here. The full report is available to WARC subscribers and includes chapter analysis of campaign trends with views and opinions from the judges, as well as lessons and summaries – objectives, insights, strategies, results and takeaways – of the winning case studies and what these mean for brands, media owners and agencies.

Sourced from WARC