Staff Reporters
Jun 29, 2020

Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Phan Minh Tien, Vinamilk

Vinamilk's CMO is using his expertise with global companies to steer the expansion of Vietnam's biggest dairy brand into new segments and markets.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Phan Minh Tien, Vinamilk
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Phan Minh Tien


Returning member

Phan Minh Tien took the experience of working over a dozen years with Unilever in Vietnam—and brands such as Knorr, Lipton and Walls—and used it to transform the fortunes of an ambitious homegrown brand, Vinamilk, over the past six years. Today he oversees marketing for a billion-dollar business that is among the 50 largest dairy companies globally and drives the strategy for brands that stretch across powdered milk, liquid milk, yogurt, condensed milk, baby cereal and ice cream.

Over the past few months, Tien has worked to both strengthen Vinamilk’s brand at home with new product launches and extend it overseas. He also supervised some innovative campaigns such as the one created for Probi, the company’s probiotic drink, which spoofed popular fairy tales such as Snow White, Cinderella and Aladdin. Rather than create long-winded videos, these are just 15-second shorts targeted at mothers in Vietnam.

Over the past couple of years, Tien and Vinamlik have focused strongly on video creation across three formats—hero, hub and help categories—to try to stand out in the market. This aggressive focus on video meant that Vinamilk became the first Southeast Asian CPG brand to cross a million subscribers, and it has kept its foot on the throttle with a range of innovative campaigns. 

In mid-2019, it announced it was extending its media buying pact with OMD and increased its budget fivefold. Tien, widely regarded as the most influential marketer in Vietnam, has put his marketing budget to use by snapping up sponsorship of the country’s football teams

Vinamilk launched as many as 19 new products last year, including Organic Gold, a brand for organic infant formula and drinking milk, premium Yoko Gold infant formula, with materials imported from Japan, Zori rice milk, Power energy drink, Happy Milk Tea and Yoko baby formula. Tien has also led the re-invention of its chain of stores to introduce Vietnamese Dream Milk products to create a new shopping experience for consumers. In Vietnam, this has ensured that the company topped Kantar’s Brand Footprint report for 2020, for the eighth consecutive year. 

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


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