Branding Light – Realising Import Lighting in Asia
Asia Pacific is considered the fastest growing market for LED lighting and is expected to hold a significant market share in the coming years. Developing infrastructure of roads, upcoming development projects, the booming construction industry in developing countries such as China, India, and Vietnam to name a few are expected to create massive demand for LED lighting for residential as well as outdoor application.
According to a report by Zion market research, the global LED lighting market accounted for USD 26.09 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 54.28 Billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of around 13% between 2017 and 2022. The transition to LED lighting has been inevitable with the growing trend of energy saving to reduce world consumption.
Considering the large lighting manufacturing base of China, Asia is supplied with inexpensive LED lights, both decorative and architectural for businesses and consumers alike. While it has been said China’s manufacturing quality is below acceptable standards, this perception is slowing decreasing with more Chinese manufacturers beginning to produce lights with better materials for greater quality. International brands therefore will be facing growing challenges when expanding in Asia.
How then can import brands exporting to Asia thrive? The answer in Branding. In today’s marketing world, brand story telling is considered a fundamental strategy to increase one’s competitive advantage and to differentiate one’s identity from competitors. Customers still place great emphasis on aspects of origin, material and story when making their purchases. To cite an example, Artemide’s approach in China is to associate its products as an art form. Emphasising its Italian expertise and tradition in a market that is exploding with mass production allowed for strong brand presence and a loyal customer following till today. Flos is another example of a brand using the Italian tradition to reinvent its products. The use of sensors in iconic table lamps, creating a synthesis between the past and the future has also contributed to its story telling abilities that have ultimately led to a strong brand presence in Asia.
To conclude, import lighting brands that internationalise in Asia should not only consider ‘branding’ as a mere tool but a necessity to create a unique identity in an everchanging market and consumer profile. Although consumers are wise and accepting of global supply chain production and logistics, a brand that fails to create a story that is either unique or has an authentic set of attributes will get lost as trends and design evolve.