BPhone, VinFast: the varying success of Vietnamese brands

The Vietnamese attitude towards BPhone, a mobile phone brand from BKAV, and VinFast, an automobile brand from Vingroup, are quite different, though both are Vietnamese products.

bphone, vinfast: the varying success of vietnamese brands hinh 0

BKAV, the manufacturer of BPhone, prepared for the launching of its BPhone 2, the next generation of BPhone, in early August. 

One month before the launch, predictions about the design and quality of BPhone 2 flooded technology forums, while articles about it appeared in local newspapers. And more comments were made after the launch.

BKAV’s CEO Nguyen Tu Quang said he had read hundreds of pages of comments on forums and felt stress because of the criticism.

BKAV once marketed first-generation BPhones in 2015, but the public reacted with scorn. 

The same scenario has happened with BPhone 2; Vietnamese consumers continue to doubt the quality. 

Smartphone users commented that BPhone 2 is too expensive as it is priced at VND10 million, nearly equal to Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and iPhone 6 32 GB.

Asanzo, another Vietnamese brand, has also marketed a smartphone model – Asanzo Z5. But unlike BPhone, it targets a different consumer segment. With a basic configuration similar to BPhone 2, Asanzo Z5 is priced at less than VND5 million.

By contrast, Vietnamese seem to look at VinFast, an automobile brand, with much more sympathy, despite the fact that experts have admitted the failure of the strategy on developing an automobile industry. 

In the case of VinFast, Vingroup, the owner of the brand, stated that it is striving to be a national automobile brand. It promised that with VinFast, Vietnamese will have opportunities to own cars at reasonable prices and the project will help generate 25,000 workers, thus indirectly feeding 25,000 families. 

An analyst said that Pham Nhat Vuong, president of Vingroup, has been succeeding in all the business fields he has invested in, from real estate and retail to agricultural production and education. Vietnamese have confidence in Vuong’s projects.

SSI’s president Nguyen Duy Hung said 20 years ago, the investors of urban area projects capitalized at US$10 million and more were foreigners because Vietnamese were not sufficiently capable.

When Vingroup began developing Vinpearl and Vinhome projects, it also faced criticism and doubts. But Vuong and Vingroup proved the strength of the Vietnamese brand. 

The analyst mentioned that PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended the factory opening ceremony and called VinFast a ‘national automobile brand’ and said most countries with a population of over 50 million have their own automobile brands.


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