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Myanmar | Market Research | Vietnam

What brands must know to connect with Myanmar's millennials

By  Lima Curtis    
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As Myanmar’s rapid progression slowly erases almost 50 years’ of military rule induced isolation, there is a huge amount of interest from local and international brands trying to stimulate sales in this exciting new market.

Around the world, the Millennial cohort, is one many brands focus on thanks to their stupendous global buying power and Myanmar’s are no different in terms of their comparative spend ability.

However, this doesn’t mean they can be treated the same as their global, or even South East Asian, counterparts. According to a new report from market research company, Decision Lab, and InnateMotion the following key points are important for brands hoping for success in Myanmar:

MYANMAR’S MILLENNIALS ARE ROOTED IN RELIGION, BUT STILL ANXIOUS TO PROGRESS.

With religion (Buddhism predominantly) at the core of their culture there is a sense of peace and harmony consistent with Buddhist values that underlines their lives and daily routines. It drives them to care for their elders and siblings, and frames all their ambitions to make them more meaningful, so they can give back to family and society.

But there seems to be progressiveness in their attitudes too. Gay couples, some in school uniform, can be seen in malls and in recent times, a transgendered make-up artist ‘Ma Htet’ captivated TV audiences with her life story, and brands must cater to and be seen to be sensitive to both.

MYANMAR’S BROKEN SYSTEMS HAVE CREATED A SELF-LEARNING CULTURE.

When a country’s basic infrastructure including transportation, education and telecoms, is lacking in every way, Myanmar’s Millennials have realised they have no one to depend on but themselves.

The strive for progress has created a huge need for self-learning and self-improvement, with many either taking tuition classes to supplement their university education, or learning new language skills in preparation for better job prospects. No free time is wasted. There is a real hunger to learn more and be more.

Brands that can tie this into their narrative and act as a facilitator for progress will be at an advantage here.

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MYANMAR’S MILLENNIALS NEED STORIES TO FILL THEIR IDENTITY GAP

Myanmar is a country devoid of a narrative: a cultural and ethnic melting pot stripped of its identity by 49 years of military dictatorship.

In the process of momentous change – and in the absence of any role models except Aung San Sui Kyi and her father – the millennials lack an identity.

Who are they? Who do they want to be? They lack a story to live by that brands can help fill.

By offering brand meaning and providing stories and cultural narratives we can help to inspire them and create an identity, which will help them define their lives and give them something to live by.

For much more insight into Myanmar’s millennials and key insights and examples on how to action success in the South East Asian country download the report here

Decision Lab has also conducted research into the new generations in Malaysia and Vietnam. You can download our free report about Generation Z in Vietnam and Generation Z in Malaysia.

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