Photo: Viet Tuan
Rebranding from Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam to MM Mega Market Vietnam will require the Thai owner invest in changing perceptions among Vietnamese customers.
The TCC Group has officially announced that Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam is to be renamed MM Mega Market Vietnam. The news was no surprise to local industry insiders, as the Thai group had spoken of it during the ownership transition. Insiders are confused, however, about its marketing and communications strategy, as the rebranded name is not that different to the former name.
The rebranding comes after the Thai group took over the Metro Group’s entire wholesale operations in Vietnam in January last year. TCC acquired Metro’s 19 stores and related real properties nationwide for $704 million. Big C’s parent company Berli Jucker Group (BJG), a subsidiary of TCC and in charge of MM Mega Market, will finish the rebranding at all 19 stores this year.
The new logo is a symbol of MM Mega Market’s mission to provide the newest experiences to customers and bears the 5M ideology - Meet, More, Magnificent, Meaningful, Manner - represented by five dots above MM.
“MM Mega Market offers a new concept as a modern warehouse outlet,” said Managing Director of MM Mega Market Vietnam, Mr. Phidsanu Pongwatana. “The model has been developed around the world but not in Vietnam, so our goal is to develop the model as an ideal shopping place with dedicated staff and excellent services for our customers.”
The company will go through changes in all spheres, from improved image and store set-up to the development of new products and the reinforcement of food safety control through the development of a safe food supply chain.
In talking about why the TCC Group decided to change the name from Metro to MM Mega Market, CEO of the Masso Group Nguyen Trung Thang said the new owner perhaps want to reposition its business model. “Rebranding can be active or passive,” he said. “If passive, the reason may be due to a brand crisis or an inability to continue with the old brand name. If active, the reason may be due to repositioning the business model or building a new image among local consumers.”
A change of brand name requires due consideration about benefits and efficiency, according to Founder and Manager of Pizza Home, Mr. Hoang Tung. “An enterprise only changes its brand when trying to create a turning point in its business strategy or when its ownership changes,” he said. “Rebranding will only be a success if the former brand was not strong and the new owner is substantially changing its strategy. In the case of MM Mega Market, I don’t think the rebranding was necessary.”
Metro’s strategy was to focus on buying directly from local manufacturers and it developed successfully in Vietnam’s wholesale market for 14 years. Turnover in 2013 was $650 million compared to $30 million in 2003. It targeted hospitality-restaurant-café (HORECA) customers. Per an MM Mega Market statement, the brand is furthering its cooperation with and growing together with local suppliers to develop more products to serve its HORECA customers.
“Not only will we continue to further the values that Metro Vietnam worked hard to establish over the last 14 years in Vietnam, we will also commit ourselves to making strong investments here to develop the new brand name MM Mega Market, to make it better in every way, from services to products, to serve our customers in Vietnam to the best of our ability,” said TCC Chairman Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi.
Mr. Tung said that the new owner will spend a great deal on rebuilding what the former brand had already done well. Mr. Thang, meanwhile, said that whether repositioning the business model is a positive move or not will depend on how local consumers respond to the new brand and the new model. And this will also depend on how the new brand is implemented.
“The new owner is immediately spending a large amount of money on introducing the new brand and the new business model to local consumers,” Mr. Thang said. “The rebranding may be positive, with local customers gaining benefits from the new model in the context of tougher competition in the domestic retail market.”