Our branding and marketing strategies have been instrumental to the success of our business. As at December 31, 2011, our marketing department consisted of 45 full-time employees divided into two groups: brand development and market operations.
We have adopted an umbrella brand strategy to reach a broad range of consumer groups. Each of our principal product lines has a premium brand ( Chin-su brand for sauces and the Omachi brand for instant noodles) and a mass-market brand (Nam Ngu brand and Tam Thai Tu for sauces and Kokomi for noodles), meeting the demands of customers of different levels of affluence. The introduction of product variants further permits us to sell to consumers in different regions and with varying tastes.
We actively defend our brands from infringement and reselling by third parties. We also monitor the products of our competitors through our distribution network. Should we learn of material infringement of our trademarks, we will take all necessary steps, including legal action, to protect our brand image.
Our primary means of reaching our target consumers are television advertisements, which are generally 15 or 30 second commercial spots that focus on the health benefits, taste and affordability of our products. In 2011, Masan Consumer had more than 27,000 television commercial spots nationwide, giving the total Vietnamese audience an average viewing frequency of 243 times per person over the year.
In addition to television, we advertise through more than 13 newspapers and magazines with a combined circulation of approximately 11 million copies in 2011, reaching more than 65% of our customer base.
We also advertise through radio, building banners, bus stops in key cities and advertisement spreads on the sides of buses. Additionally, we market our products with a variety of other activities such as outdoor campaigns and in-store promotion events.
Product Management Strategy
Our product management strategy has been fundamental to our success. We manage our current portfolio of brands by product segment and, within each product segment, by target market.
We have a common branding strategy, for instance, using Chin-su as an umbrella brand for premium soya, fish and chili sauces. This maximizes the value of our brands, establishes a reputation for premium quality across our products, and generates economies of scale in advertising and promotion.