Why Trump’s win might just be the much needed growth catalyst for Asian brands

The world is stumped as Donald Trump takes on the role of POTUS. In a shocking victory, Trump pledged that he would be a “president for all Americans” in a bid to “unify the country” as he urges both democrats and republicans to “come together as one united people”.

Leaders from all over the world have sent their congratulatory remarks. Singaporean PM Lee Hsian Loong has also extended his congratulatory remarks over to Trump. In a Facebook post he said, “US voters have elected a President whom they feel best represents them. Singapore fully respects their decision. We will continue to work together with the United States to cultivate our strong ties.”

Here’s a look at the full post:

And while the government of Singapore has expressed its hopes to cultivate strong ties, reports have surfaced that across Asia, stock markets have taken a sharp turn downwards. According to an article penned by Karishma Vaswani, Asia business correspondent at BBC, she said that “a victory for Donald Trump has been widely seen as negative for Asia’s economies” largely due to his “protectionist rhetoric”.

In a statement to Marketing, Sir Martin Sorrell, founder and CEO of the largest ad agency globally, WPP said this was “effectively a second Brexit” that leaves many very surprised, including the markets and him. He added that is is going to take a significant amount of time to assess the implications beyond the short term.

On the Asia front specifically, there will be short-term questions on trade and immigration. Also, given short-term uncertainties in the US, businesses with strong Asian presences may benefit.

China, he added, will be doubling up on the belt and road and local businesses will focus more on the region and expansion, as with India, Indonesia and Vietnam as the world may become more splintered.

“Increased levels of uncertainty will mean more hesitation to make important decisions in the short term, both by people and governments. But it may accelerate implementation of helpful reforms in the medium term to reduce uncertainty and stimulate investment as a result,” he said.

“If President Trump stimulates the US economy, in the long term it may be more interesting. One thing for sure, we’ll be looking at polling techniques,” he said.

We also asked ad industry players in Asia if Trump’s win will have an impact on brands in Asia and the ad spend in the region.

In a conversation with Marketing, David Haddad, newly appointed managing director at IPG Mediabrands Singapore said, in the short term, markets will possibly experience a hit and this could trickle down to having an impact on consumer confidence and even marketing budgets. He added that, we may also see a negative impact in the short term in Singapore, with foreign direct investments, particularly if the US pulls these out.

However ,this may enable for more alignment centrally within the Asian markets, and see local brands increasing spends to capitalise and grow the local base which would cushion any losses, he added.

“Trump won the election with a particular strategy and I think we need to wait and see what he will say and how he will act in this new reality of him now being President. I think it’s early days to be formally considering that there will be an adverse impact on 2017 marketing budgets in Singapore. as a result of Trump’s victory,” he said adding that marketers need to monitor what consumers are saying and doing to get a good gauge.

Rajesh Mahtani, business development and communications lead of Publicis Media on the regional level was of the view that there will be increased competition between global and Asian brands and, therefore, increased ad spend and creativity in Asia.

“If Trump does indeed adopt a more protectionist stance with regards to the manufacturing sector, which is essentially what brought him to power, this will prompt Asian economies to make a strong pivot towards the service economy -which we are already seeing in China -thereby creating more hyper service and experience oriented brands,” he said, adding this will also make American brands attempt to compete more effectively in Asia as well.

He added that we will see some anxiety among companies in the near term, which might impact spends. But with a political outsider becoming the President of the most powerful nation and economy, he might just the focus moving towards the American people, businesses and economy.

“So in a nutshell, I am pretty positive of the outcome of the US elections. This might just be the change that people were looking for. With Trump’s win we see the matters of the economy and people’s needs and desires taking center stage over and above politics and policy making,” he added.



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