The Nation, 20 February 2004
Singapore-based Temporal Brand Consulting yesterday opened an office in Bangkok, its sixth international office, and aims to be the premier consultant for Thai brands in their fight to remain competitive in the region at a time when trade barriers are coming down.
Managing director Paul Temporal said yesterday that the company had waited for three years for the chance to enter the Thai market. He said that this was a good time to enter because fewer trade barriers would see many foreign brands enter the Thai market, and this would make things more difficult for Thai brands to compete and survive.
He said that in the past Thai brands had fewer competitors in Thailand and neighbouring countries, as there were many trade barriers to foreign firms.
But many of these barriers have been cancelled under free-trade agreements and many Thai brands found themselves with big problems, especially when they were confronted with the economic crisis of the late 1990s.
The crisis affected Thai brands more than foreign ones and they were unable to recover as quickly, he said.
Another reason for Temporal Brand Consulting to enter the Thai market now was that the current government had shown that it wants to support the business sector, he said. This matches Temporalís belief that business needs strong support from government to survive.
Temporal Brand Consulting, which was founded 18 years ago, focuses on brand consulting for Asian brands. It provides 12 services, including brand audits, corporate and product brand strategy development, brand re-positioning, CRM (customer relationship management) strategy, brand management and training..
It currently has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, St Louis, London and now Bangkok, as well as its Singapore headquarters.
Its customers include the World Bank, the governments of Canada and New Zealand, Cerebos Asia Pacific, Motorola, SingTel, Suzuki and Intel.
Temporal said he expects to service companies in the food and beverage, manufacturing, healthcare and fashion industries. He said the problem with Thai brands when compared to Western brands is that Thai companies do not spend enough money to create brand image, despite the fact that building brand image benefits them in the long term.