As a member of a multi-cultural studio, working on international projects, I daily experience and insist on the importance of intercultural collaboration. Better yet, I even teach the intricate context of intercultural business to students at RMIT Vietnam.
So in regards to the specific topic of superstitions, I felt the need to take a step back and analyze how they will hurt Vietnamese brands in the near future, all the while acknowledging the authenticity of culture and making sure to not position this article as one which picks apart certain cultural practices and traits.
Today, another prospect walked in with a design request. This major retail brand identified a need to improve its in-store signage and merchandising assets. But the brand set up years ago, did not have current brand guidelines. Also, a rebranding attempt by another agency failed three years prior to this brief. This time, the brief was focused on applications only, but the owner was refusing to include the ancient logo in the brand revamp effort. The reason shared with us was that the owners had personal Feng Shui beliefs, following which changing their logo would be bad for their fortune.
Of course, this scenario is not uncommon in 2017 Vietnam.
The first lesson to branding experts and other consultants is that access to Vietnamese leaders can prove difficult. The mission carriers are usually delegates: marketing managers or procurement managers. Most of the time, they are not used to questioning the owner’s directions.
Consequence: developing a network at the highest level is mandatory, in order to develop a direct relationship with owners and founders of brands.