After 10 years in the international market as an original equipment manufacturer, Lewre International established the Lewre brand in 1997.
Currently, the company has over 100 outlets in Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Brunei, United Arab Emirates and Indonesia.
The company has been spending a lot of time and capital in brand building and today it is reaping the harvest.
“Our target markets are middle to higher-end customers and our core competency is our niche design and good quality,” Lew said.
He said the company worked closely with global designers in the US, Japan, Italy, Spain as well as locally to ensure Lewre’s position as a global brand.
“We (also) want to focus more on producing fashion accessories and handbags in future to vary our product offerings instead of only footwear,” Lew said.
The key objective of branding was to create a relationship of trust, he said, explaining why customers were loyal to a particular brand.
“Branding is important in any industry, especially when you are facing bad times,” he said.
Lew, who is also the president of the Branding Association of Malaysia (BAM), advised market players to be clear on their position before creating a brand.
“You need to know what your business direction is and what kind of market segments you are targeting,” he explained. “Players have to create value in the eyes of consumers and use the brand value to convince consumers to pay for the goods.”
The brand building process also needed to be supported by product designs, images, marketing and customer services, he added.
“We have to be caring while serving our customers,” he said, adding that consumers bought on the basis of product packaging and concept “so the market players have to be creative in their designs.”
Lew observed that some local market players lacked confidence in their own ability.
“A lot of Malaysians think that they are second-class, (but) in fact they are not,” he said. “They need to have a strong mindset and make their ideas come true.”
Lew said branding was a long-term investment “so the returns would not be seen immediately, it’s like a baby, you have to take time to nurture, guide, and educate it.” - The Star