December 25, 2018
A quick browse through the internet and also shopping centers and you will find a healthy number of homegrown brands, be it beauty or fashion, emerging. What was once a scarce industry is now blossoming into a feasible business that promises growth and success.
As the name suggests, homegrown brands are slowly giving international names a run for their money, gaining traction among consumers within their market region. Regions like Southeast Asia is prime example for the increasing popularity of homegrown brands, with the ongoing rise of e-commerce contributing significantly to its ubiquity. In just 2017 alone, e-commerce experienced quite some milestones. Lazada, Asia’s counterpart of Amazon, hit a groundbreaking profit of $250 million during their month-long Online Revolution campaign in 2017. Besides that, Amazon also launched Prime Now in Singapore in 2017, their first delivery service in Southeast Asian market. It is safe to say that online shopping is more relevant than ever in this region.
Homegrown brands are quick to notice such market opportunities and are eager to get their piece of the pie. Such brands are giving consumers the option of shopping locally, rather than from fast fashion retail giants that mass produce clothes based on fleeting trends. Homegrown brands are able to provide consumers with a greater sense of individuality and also fits that accommodate to Asian sizes. Unlike international brands that traditionally produce clothes based off a global demand or trend, homegrown brands are able to pick up local demands quicker due to its proximity. Moreover, expanding a brand to neighbouring countries allows for a wider reach of international audience. However, certain brands may find difficulty in expanding their assortments for a wider profit margin and also market reach.
FashionValet’s successful attempt at marketing various homegrown brands and designers to an extensive market is a prime example of a collaboration that caters towards multiple demographics. As one of Southeast Asia’s biggest e-commerce platform that caters to modest wear, FashionValet’s heavy emphasis on local brands and designers helps push its appeal to the public while also celebrating local success. The #IAMHOMEGROWN campaign by Fashionvalet aimed to promote a deeper sense of nationalism by engaging with 60 key local public figures.
Source: Fashiovalet’s #IAMHOMEGROWN campaign for KLFW, proudly showcases local brands and designers.
Although homegrown brands may prosper locally, would their success traverse well internationally? Pomelo Fashion is a good testament to that.
Source: The Thai fashion brand has branched out from its homeland to gain international recognition.
The fast fashion brand is based in Thailand but views themselves as an international brand, shipping to over 40 countries worldwide. In the midst of a retail apocalypse causing more brick-and-mortar stores to close down, Pomelo Fashion is unfazed by it, with plans to open more offline stores in the near future. Pomelo Fashion even attained a $19 million investment deal from JD.com, one of China’s biggest online retailer. Countries in Southeast Asia have plentiful blogshops and Pomelo Fashion stays away from that identity by putting fast fashion ahead of anything, updating their assortment with the latest trends twice a week.
Source: Pomelo Fashion’s flagship store.
The founder of Pomelo Fashion has attributed their success to simply catering towards the needs of consumers. Rather than just adopting gimmicky and shiny marketing solutions like augmented reality, Pomelo Fashion utilises technology to enhance the experience of consumers. Kiosks can be found in their retail stores for shoppers to leave feedbacks and reviews, leaving Pomelo Fashion with consumer database to work upon.
With the proper tools and strategy, homegrown brands may have the mileage to grow and avoid the path of being a one-hit wonder. Frequent comparison against competitors would provide a retailer or brand with proper insights on where they stand in the market. There are many things to take into consideration when mapping out a retail strategy, such as pricing preference, sellout and replenishment rates for their SKUs. With that information, retailers or brand owners would be able to understand their consumers and demands better which would aid in the path of growth and profit.
For a clearer comprehension of how the top 10 Southeast Asian brands perform among each other, click here for an exclusive report in which the brands are benchmarked against Zara, the leading international fast fashion retailer.