The Eye on Asia survey, conducted by Grey Worldwide and research firm Millward Brown, gives some interesting insights on Asians – their hopes and aspirations, the factors they feel makes a great brand; and what they think of advertising and marketing.
The Eye on Asia surveyed 4,400 Asian adults above 18 years of age, across 12 countries. The survey covered China/Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Australia.
The survey found that Asians were optimistic about their futures, which they saw as being brighter and as holding more personal advancement opportunities. There was receptivity to that which was new, and a spirit of adventure in creating the future. The greatest aspiration people in the region had for their personal futures was a greater sense of well being (97 per cent). It is the top ranked aspiration in all age groups except 55+. For 18-24 year olds, it is as important as hobbies and interests.
According to Naresh Gupta, National Head-Account Planning, Grey Worldwide, “Indians have very high aspirations. They want to do better in life and accomplish their goals before they retire.”
Asians consider trust, ease and innovation as the building blocks of a great brand. Trust means being credible (93 per cent); trustworthy (92 per cent) and ‘from a company with ethics and values’ (87 per cent), underscoring the growing trend to evaluate companies on their overall corporate behavior as well price or service.
Gupta added, “If people don’t trust the brand, then chances are they will go away from the brand. A great brand needs to be innovative. Consumers want the brand to be innovate and evolving. They accept the changes in the brand. In India, the trust is higher compared to other Asian countries.”
Ease, or being easy to remember a brand and its messages, ranks second at 91 per cent.
In order to achieve this, respondents said ‘people who sell products need to be in touch / understand people like me’. Only 54 per cent of those surveyed felt this was currently the case. The disconnection is strongest in Japan, where people feel they are being “talked at” rather than engaged.
As to what Asians thought about advertising and marketing, Asians rated marketers highly, with 62 per cent saying they were ‘doing a good job’. They are highly receptive to marketing communications, seeing them as ways to learn about new products and lifestyles. 63 per cent said they were interested in advertising, finding it fun (69 per cent); innovative (64 per cent); and exciting (53 per cent). However, 69 per cent Asians said that they felt bombarded with too much advertising and marketing, with the situation most acute in Korea (93 per cent) and China (82 per cent). 72 per cent Asians thought there was too much of both.
Commenting on the Indians, Gupta said, “India comes out to be the most optimistic market in Asia. In advertising, word-of-mouth is viewed positively. Indian brands are at par with foreign brands. People in India are seeing what they like. Indian ads look nice. Our people are creative. The marketers say that consumers accept the product and are willing to experiment with the brand.”