Staff Reporters
Jun 17, 2021

Asia-Pacific Power List 2021: Hùng Võ, Biti’s

A former agency leader, Võ has revitalised a staid homegrown footwear brand in the middle of a pandemic amidst growing competition from global labels.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2021: Hùng Võ, Biti’s
SEE THE FULL 2021 POWER LIST
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers
#LeadersForGood
 

Hùng Võ

Chief marketing officer
Biti’s
Vietnam
New member 

Hùng Võ is among the better-known faces in Vietnam’s marketing industry, having run Redder, an agency that was acquired by Dentsu in 2019. Since then, Võ has been busy in a new role, as the marketing chief for Biti’s, one of Vietnam’s best-known homegrown brands. At four decades, Biti’s isn’t a new label in town, but Võ has helped reinvigorate what was a somewhat musty brand into a fresh entity. His efforts have helped triple the footwear maker’s domestic revenue, significantly improve brand equity and slot Biti’s into the top position at awards such as the MMA Smarties Marketing Awards. 

In the four years he has been in charge—and become a board member for Biti’s—Võ has greenlighted award-winning work for the brand, garnering citations at The One Show, MMA Smarties and Tangrams. Enroute, stronger brand equity and a range of premium products has helped improve the price points of the brand’s products from an average of $10 per unit in 2015 to $40 per unit in 2021. From its origins as a cooperative business, Võ has recast the brand to become an omni-channel connected brand and among the top fashion brands across categories in all key online marketplaces in Vietnam, such as Tiki and Shopee.

Võ joins the Power List this year not only because he is among the most influential marketers in a fast-emerging market like Vietnam, but also because he has been able to steer a domestic brand to stability while facing not just a global pandemic but also global rivals that are threatening to overrun local players. In terms of battling Covid and the ensuing economic downturn, he helped unite local brands across categories to make a movement around Vietnam-made products—partnering with the biggest e-marketplace in Vietnam, Shopee, to open a #ProudlyMadeinVietnam section on its site. 

In the middle of a pandemic, Võ has continued to build out Biti’s marketing strategy, even as he’s taken the lead in driving patriotism across Vietnam. He has developed a loyalty program to retain consumers and added services like order and drop-by. In a downturn, Biti’s retained 90% of its consumers, he claims.  In 2020, he also extended the brand into new categories such as smart health-tracking shoes, anti-slip wear for older adults and special footwear for medical staff. His efforts to premiumise the brand compensated for pandemic’s negative impact on volume. The company reached its annual target despite the retail category in Vietnam being hit by an average 40% to 50% sales drop.

Võ  has also worked hard to improve the firm’s DEI focus over the past year. He co-created Happy Biti’s, a program to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as mental health and happiness for all 8,000 people in the organisation. He is also a leading advocate for the subject in Vietnam, as part of the team that is planning to launch Vietnam Purposeful Marketing Awards, jointly founded by Brands Vietnam, Advertising Vietnam, Young Marketers and Biti’s. 

Away from running Biti’s marketing, Võ is also busy. He founded Young Marketers in early 2013, a non-profit, social training platform for marketing students that runs an annual contest attracting thousands of contestants and a nine-month development training program coached by top local marketers. This program has trained over 1,000 students and developed more than 120 elite students who work across companies including Unilever, Suntory PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Vinamilk, P&G, Abbott, Grab, Shopee, Vingroup and Masan Consumer. Võ has also served as a senior member of the final jury at MMA Smarties Asia Pacific and on the Vietnam Marketing Awards. He is also  a member of the Young Advisory Board of Fulbright University Vietnam and consults with the University of Economics/ National University HCM on improving marketing training. 

SEE THE FULL 2021 POWER LIST
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers
#LeadersForGood
 

 

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