Staff Reporters
Aug 13, 2018

Indonesia's top local brands

A good price, high utility and a dash of nationalist pride go a long way in Indonesia.

Indonesia's top local brands

As part of our look at Indonesia's top brands of 2018, under the Asia's Top 1000 Brands report, we asked Indonesia consumers to identify their top home-grown brands, and Indomie, Go-Jek and Tokopedia emerged on top. Here, in-market observers discuss what's behind the success of these brands, and what it will take to uphold that status.

What’s behind these brands’ appeal to local people?

Rajiv Lamba, Managing Director, Neurosensum: Indomie traditionally has been very popular amongst Indonesian consumers and its consumption cuts across segments.

Go-Jek and Tokepedia are new-aged cult brands and are able to create the story of successful technology startups that originated from Indonesia and have made Indonesians proud. Both these brands also have a wide appeal and cut across segments.

Putri Diah Paramita, Marketing Director, PT Paragon Technology and Innovations (Wardah Cosmetics): The appeal of these brands to Indonesian people is related to their understanding of the local needs, attitude and behavior which enable them to be the part of most of Indonesian's lives. 

Indomie: The taste, the price and the innovation that are based on the local cuisine have made the brand become the heritage of Indonesian consumers. 

Go-Jek: The ability to find the instant solution of urban Indonesian consumers , enable them to make the impossible become possible. 

Tokopedia: The approach and the variety of products that are being sold (and also to be the platform for the merchants) has made e-commerce become accessible for Indonesians. 

In short, these brands are the pride of the nation. They are "Indonesian" brands. 

Partha Kabi, Technical Advisor, MediaCom: Tokopedia’s brand promise and platform to consumers has always been “growing Indonesia together”. This has a very nationalistic and affiliative spirit/value that connects very well with Indonesian consumer values. It strikes an instant chord with the consumers.

Indomie’s brand promise is anchored around family values. It is also a 40+ year old brand and generations have grown up consuming this brand everyday. It is very close to their daily lives and also reaches a very large population everyday.

Go-Jek, I guess, is the first home grown, successful, Indonesian startup that is extremely relevant to consumers’ daily lives. The brand connects so well because it is a brand that has solved an age-old major problem in people’s lives in the realm of today’s context.

What are they doing that other local brandsor brands from elsewhereare not doing

Lamba: I think the ability to connect, create products and communicate using the local culture context has been the key for success for brands like Indomie and Wardah.

Go-Jek and Tokepedia’s ability to solve local issues such as macet (traffic jams), logistics, hassle of hotel and flight bookings and service at consumers’ doorstep using technology has made these brands relevant and famous.

Tokopedia realized early that credit card penetration is low in Indonesia so it expanded its payment mechanism using ATMs in minimarkets, which resulted in more and continuous usage of the platforrm.

Paramita: They're able to innovate their products and/or services based on the deep understanding of local insights and local culture. 

Do you see these brands’ future as under threat from encroaching global or non-local players?

Paramita: It is still indeed under threat from other global / local players, as other players will easily copy what they have invented. It is important for these brands to keep innovating, find the differentiation and own the right value to Indonesian consumers. As the barrier to entry in the industry is getting lower, they need to keep strengthening the loyalty of their consumers. Keeping them addictive to the brands, and being a good brand advocate. 

Lamba: To stay ahead of the curve these brands should continue to innovate, keep on delighting consumers with better service and quality. It’s a matter of time that brands like Amazon will come to Indonesia and give tough competition to brands like Tokopedia. With the advancement of AI In the technology sector, it’s important for brands like Tokopedia to adapt and continuously evolve their business model.

Kabi: I don’t see an immediate threat to these brands. But, then again, if a brand comes along which solves an inherent need better than these brands.

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