Posts by Helen Nguyen

Background: Business degree in Marketing and Economics, plus Master of Communication and Media Studies. Strong passion for the art of communication. Love Marketing, Food, anything pretty and Travel.

Have you heard about Bphone?

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If yes, you just happened to be informed of the most recent debatable subject on Vietnamese websites and forums. If not yet, you will know now.

Firstly, let me introduce you the creator of Bphone: BKAV.


“Established in 1995, Bkav Corporation is the leading firm in network security, software, smartphone manufacturing and smart home. In the field of network security, antivirus and mobile security software of Bkav have been present in more than 100 countries all over the world” ( BKAV corporation is a very well known as an expert in antivirus and security. However, Quang Nguyen, the CEO and the co-founder of BKAV has the vision to expand the company into the most competitive marketsmartphone, on both local and international levels. BKAV is entering the electronics industry by its own smartphone produced in Vietnam and a smart home system cooperate with their phone and security products.

Inspired by the success of Xiaomi – the Chinese smartphone brand competing with the iPhone on the Chinese market, BKAV wishes to develop a Vietnamese smartphone that has a potential to beat the iPhone and Samsung in the Vietnamese market and further, well-known globally. Mr. Quang, in the launch of Bphone in Hanoi, Vietnam introduced the Bphone as “the extraordinary phone made in Vietnam” and “the top phone of the world”. BKAV wishes to develop a Vietnamese smartphone that has a potential to beat iPhone and Samsung in the Vietnamese market and further, well-known globally.

The Bphone described as the phone has the best sound and music function; the phone takes the best photo in any light condition and movement; the phone has Transfer Jet, a new technology to transfer information only by touching two phones together. They are all very good features aimed to satisfy customers’ need.

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Not yet discuss the success of the launch of this phone, I believe Mr. Quang is a nationalism that has a great vision and a great mind. His idea is unique, and he has all the ability, the power to gather all the resources, the human resource and financial source to make this idea come true. From my point of view, this idea has a possibility to bring the brand out of the preconception of the local Vietnamese antivirus company to a new perception of a modern technological and visional company, which is able to reach the future of technology and more. Since the launch of the Bphone had announced, a boom of discussion and expectation from a majority Vietnamese of many online news websites and technology forums.

The Bphone had already been already “hot” before people even see or touch it. Nevertheless, the launch of this phone on the 26th of May was a disappointment. There are enormous against and for opinions debated radically. The launch was just another copy of Steve Jobs’s style and Apple’s signature presentation. The performance of Mr. Quang and all of the staff of the senior board were not convincing and the term “the best of the world” were repeated many times, followed by some specification numbers. It is good to see some numbers and images that support their argument. It is alright to be proud of their own product and called it “the top of the world”, but the consumers did not believe in that term because there is no evidence support for that. “The top of the world” need to be seen and proved. It seems like all of the experiences that the customers have so far do not match all the expectations and specifications. And the world was not informed by the existing of this phone. I was struggling to find any articles or news that is written in English about this new product that supposed to compete with global brands. It seems like BKAV did not spread out the information well enough.

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In Marketing, the first goal that companies want to achieve is customers’ awareness. I believe that BKAV researched about their customers, they know who are their target market, they know the target market’s income and lifestyles, but BKAV did not make use of all the information they have. The evidence for my statement is a high level of disappointment and dissatisfaction can be observed among their potential customers: young, high income, technology lover, nationalism customers.

It is alright to make mistakes, but BKAV has made many mistakes and their biggest mistake is not responding to the customers. After weeks observing and listening to customers’ opinion, there is no answer from BKAV, reply to the concern of their design, suspected copied from Oppo – a new smartphone product just landed in Vietnam couple months ago from China. There is no answer from BKAV, reply to the unfulfilled satisfactions among a majority target customer. There is no proper marketing campaign or marketing activities, no social media post, no public relations strategy. I am shocked by the lack of preparation of BKAV and moreover, their behavior of receiving the feedback from the market. It must be the case when a company underestimate the power of marketing and only believe in an ancient business model: only two stages, making a product than selling it.

I agree, and I understand that it is not easy to introduce a new product to enter a new market. It never is easy. But I would like to see an effort of BKAV to rebuild their brand and the customers’ trust after this event. I would like to see a proper marketing campaign that fully researched, designed and developed to fit the target market. I would like to see a good response from BKAV and Mr. Quang to explain and comfort the unfulfilled satisfaction of the Vietnamese community and the media. The truth is Vietnamese people are so proud of BKAV brand, and they trust it, therefore, they found it hard to accept the mistakes.

But many research articles show that people tend to forgive easily. So, BKAV, just start over! Fix the problem, spread out the good rumors, prove the quality of your product, build a relationship with customers and remember, evaluate all of the parts of the business process carefully. I suggest you may want to start with an extraordinary marketing department in your company. Don’t let the term “the top phone of the world” was only a deceit. Let the world know about you!


Android Users and iPhone Users are different in characteristics???

An American Advertising company named Chitika revealed a report in Jan 22 stated that the American people who has a higher income and higher level of education tend to use iPhone more than Android. The study also mentions about iPhone users’ characteristics: “Smart and Educated people” use “Smart phone”.

Chitika is not the only company interested in this topic. A Pew study in 2013 discussed that men are more likely to use the Android phones than women.  Students at college and higher income level people are more likely to use iPhone than others.

Of course, these studies are not strong evidence to conclude iPhone users are smarter or richer. However, there are a few common characteristics of these users that we can “recognize”:

Group 1: Android users: male, deeply technical, hard thinking, more likely to be in technical field and work as a programmer.

Group 2: iPhone users: consumers rather than producers, addicted in social media and non for technical jobs; higher income, higher education level.

Which phone are you using right now? Are these surveys/studies somehow reflect your characteristic? Share your comments below to discuss further.


BBC Panorama – Factories produce Apple products in China and Indonesia: terrible condition!

BBC just released a documentary about Apple’s factories in China and Indonesia. BBC found terrible facts about work conditions and very low standard in these factories, where people – workers be treated like in Army factories, working at least 12 hours, fall asleep while working, standing and sleeping during short breaks, 12 people in a dorm room for 8 etc. The documentary points out that Apple broke their promises about working conditions and even it’s could be quick and easy for them to address the issue, Apple hasn’t put any effort to solve the problem. Even when BBC told Apple about what they found, Apply reply did not satisfy people’s expectation. BBC even did a deeper research on Apple supply chain and the more they found, the more disappointed we feel.

However, there are many contrast opinions on this issue. It cannot be denied that this is a very common fact in Asian countries, common working condition in China and Indonesia in lots of factories, not only Apple. All electronic companies depend on the rare material that people destroy land and find the mineral mine. The question I have in mind is why Apple is the only name pointed out in this issue? Why not Microsoft, Blackberry, Samsung or any other name? Why we keep hearing this issue over and over again pointed out that Apple should be shame about this. Remember that some competitors of Apple from China. Is this their strategy to show people the negative side of production so they could compete Apple in a secret way? Nobody knows for sure, but this is a legal and illegal problem that Apple can’t just sit in their headquarters in California, US and look over the world from their window. I suggest what they should do now is taking action to prevent people’s anger and spreading bad information.

In the mean time, please check out this video and please leave your comments below. What you think Apple should do now?

Smartphone camera + equation + PhotoMath = problem solved!

If you are having trouble to calculation and Math subject, this app could be your best app ever!

A London app development company named Microblink developed this app for the long term plans to use the same technology to build app for online banking in the future which named PhotoPay and barcode scanner.

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Only need to download the app form iTune and this app is also available on Window Phone now. Android version will be released next year.

Please leave your comments when you try out the app and hope you enjoy it!


#Maccaslunchbox, FREE steak wrap!!!

If you go to Federation Square sometime between 21st – 24th October, you should drop by Macca’s Lunch box to get yourself a free steak wrap!

You will easily be attracted by a big red pop-up shop decorated with lots of lettuce and long queues at Federation Square, that’s where is it!

And if you take a pic of your free wrap and post it on social media, make sure you use #maccslunchbox hashtag!

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The Steak and BBQ Mc Wraps are 2 new products that Mc Donals came up recently in there “Real Choices” menu. The main idea is to promote the quality of the products through “ordinary to extraordinary” quality of Aussie steak. With the idea of the free steak wrap at cute Red Macca Lunch Boxes around Australia from Oct to Dec this year, some hashtag signs provided to customers, Mc Donalds is trying to bring this campaign to social media. In the next couple months we will be able to see if this campaign is successful or not. For now, just enjoy your free steak wrap first!

Please leave your comments below if you have tried this product. Do you think it is a good way to promote a new product by giving it for free?

Xiaomi vs Apple

I was attracted by an article in Harvard Business Review, “Xiaomi, not Apple, is changing the Smartphone Industry” by Juan Sampere. Have you ever heard about Xiaomi? Have you ever seen its product? Personally, I believed this is only a Chinese company trying to gain domestic market share by taking advantage of Chinese regulatory (prevent foreign online services). But my belief has changed after I read about this company and this is actually a very smart strategy of Lei Jun, FOunder and CEO of Xiaomi bring this company to the current position after a very short time. Chinese customers prefer to use domestically produced products with “not very expensive” prices. This is not the first time a local smart phone company launch, there are about 3-4 Chinese firms holding major Smartphone market share in China, such as Lenovo, Huawei, Meizu, etc., however, Xiaomi has caught the world attention by their successful business model like no other.


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The graph above was made in 2012. 2 years later, now 2014, Xiaomi captures 5% market share, increase 1.8 % from last year. Xiaomi even beats Samsung in China market. Xiaomi sold is 15 million smartphones this year, while Samsung dropped to 13.2 million sales from 15 million sales in 2013. Other local companies such as Chinese Lenovo, Huawei also decreased in sales.

Recently, Xiaomi has risen to 5th place in its share of global shipments, according to Strategy Analytics’ Woody Oh, could be the biggest achievement of this 4yrs old company. Even Xiaomi is claimed to copy Apple ideas and designs, Xiaomi Founder and CEO, Lei Jun states that Apple and Xiaomi are two totally different companies and one day people will understand that when they know more about Xiaomi and the company doesn’t want to be compared with Apple or be called “China’s Apple”.

Xiaomi is reaching Asia and Europe market with the affordable price products, unlike Apple’s core is premium products. Xiaomi has a little reputation in Australia, Europe and North America. This is predicted as a serious threat to giants such as Apple, Samsung, Sony and Google. Even Samsung remains the global smartphone leader with a 25.2% share of the market in Q2 of this year, followed by Apple with 11.9%, China’s Huawei with 6.8% and Lenovo with 5.4%, according to Forbes, Xiaomi seems to be growing fast in the very near future with their effective business model.

Please leave your comment below to share your thought if you have a Xiaomi Smartphone or Are you excited to try this product? Do you think this company could win some market shares in Australia?

Additional readings and sources:


Apps to use at the supermarket

Imagine you are in a supermarket, buying grocery, food, shampoo, tissue, flowers,… Are you always being loyal with branded products or non-branded can be bought as well? Would you buy chocolate if it’s not branded “Cadbury” or “Kitkat”? Would you get a Coco Cola or a Pepsi? Which ice-cream should I go for?… Have you ever got confused of choosing product so you open… an app (such as Woolworths app) right at the moment you are at the supermarket to check star rating points or customer feedback about the products, nutrition or compare prices? If you are having problems with choosing a product…

The first hint is in the picture below. 10 companies with hundreds sub-brands control food and beverage markets that their products are worth to try!


However, choosing one product from ten “different but similar” ones is not an easy job, not only brands but quality, price, quantity are  put into consideration. Therefore, I add in here 5 useful apps that you should download to your phones and carry to the supermarket:

1/ Shop Ethical

This is an app for “green” product, friendly to the environment 34265-1_asl

2/ ShopWell

Checking Nutrition of Food on the packages


3/ FoodSwitch

When you are on a diet and still want something like chocolate, download this app to switch to a better choice!


4/ Frugal

If you are considering to buy a big pack or small package of any product, this app would help you convert price and quantity to determine the best price for you.


5/ Sustainable Seafood Guide

If you love seafood, this app is for you! It helps you to make choices at restaurant or supermarket by telling you the nutritions of specific type of seafood, over 100 types with a ranking system.


Before this reading this blog post, have you ever heard of these apps or actually use them before? Did you find your favorite branded food product in this app when you searched for it? What would be your main consideration if there are two similar products from the same brand? Do you truly love the brand/product or you consume it just because everyone else does? Do you think these Big 10 should have their own app for customers to check on their products?

Please leave your comments below and sharing your thoughts.


Microsoft smart watch’s new feature: hand writing keyboard

Follow my blog post about Apple and new product line coming call: iWatch, today I am blogging about Microsoft’ creative hand writing keyboard on smart watch!

Check this cool feature

We all know that a smart watch is a multifunctional product that support our technological devices such as smart phones, tablets, laptops and lots more. Since the revolution of “internet of things” in 2010, we are expecting this will drive trillions in economic value as it permeates consumer and business life by 2018. The Apple smart watch will work with home devices. Samsung already bought Smart-Home startup Smart Things for $US 200 million. Google is developing an app for all the everyday things in our life. All the giants in the technology field are already prepared for “internet of things” battle, to gain market shares and grow. Do you think this hand writing keyboard feature on Microsoft watch would be able to compete in the market? Are you expecting a better feature will be released in the future? Would owning a smart watch make you feel more powerful and controllable? However, there is no doubt that the competition between these companies in smart wear market will only bring us to a better world in the future with the sciences. We will be surprised.


“Stop Bryllupet”

When I was browsing for a new topic, I happened to see this blog, Thea Bryllup’s Blog, a special Norway girl.


My attention was caught by a big “slogan” at the home page: “Stop Bryllupet”. What does it mean? So I did a bit of research and before we talk about any Digital Marketing, let me tell you a story.

Thea Bryllup, a beautiful 12 year old girl from Norway is blogging about the most important event in her life: getting married! There is no doubt that this would be the 1st teen bride in Norway, who is getting married in 1 month. “On Saturday, this little girl will walk down the aisle. At the altar, she will meet her 37-year-old husband-to-be. Your eyes aren’t betraying you – this bride doesn’t just look young for her age: Thea is Norway’s first ever child bride. And she’s just 12-years-old” – wrote


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Since this blog is open to share her personal life moments and preparation for the wedding in this coming Saturday, her blog became one of the most read blogs in Norway and goes viral within a month. Thousand discussions, for and against this marriage has been mentioned in social media and spreading out. Some people even tried to stop the wedding. Some negative and emotional comments raised. And do you know this Saturday, October 11, her wedding day, is also the UN’s International Day of the Girl? Thea is just one of million girls who have been forced to arrange the marriages. 39,000 girls, one every two second, are robbed their childhood by arranged “I do” everyday. By sharing the Thea’s story on this blog, social media community is sharing the message to the world: Girls not Bride. Mabel van Oranje, Board Chair of “Girls Not Brides” campaign, spoke on Norwegian NGOs, “Our goal is to end child marriage in one generation. If we can keep this generation of girls out of marriage before age 18, we can be pretty sure that they will make sure that their daughters do not marry young either”.

Efficiency by using digital marketing campaign, United Nation can raise awareness for an international message like “Girls not Brides”, to encourage people to “digital attend” to stop the child marriage issue and raising their voices to help young girls around the world.

Please leave your comment below to share your thought about this campaign and actively involved in saving young girls from arranged marriages.


IOS Virus targets Hong Kongers’ cell phones

The social media world has watched a big wave from the Umbrella Revolution from Hong Kong recently. The situation is getting more and more complicated. Thousands of protesters have been protesting on the street for a few days and the Chinese government has done all they can to prevent the protest goes further.


On 1st Oct, all the news wrote about a new virus attacked all iPhones and iPad users. South China Morning Post wrote: “Cybersecurity researchers have uncovered a computer virus that spies on Apple’s IOS operating system for the iPhone and the iPad, and they believe it was targeted pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.”

It is still unclear how hackers used the virus on iOS to get information for users, specially the protesters and who behind this event is still unknown, but the code used to control that server is written in Chinese.

Not very long time ago, Hong Kongers were waiting in line to get iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus in early September. However, with this security problem, Apple would face a strong drop out in sales and serious lost brand image and customers’ loyalty. There is no record about virus attacked on other mobile devices and tablets from different brands. How can Apple face this issue? This is not the first time Apple is in trouble with hackers and virus. Apple customers from different countries also concern about their personal information, especially when Google recently was also a victim of hackers (5 millions Gmail passwords leaked).

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In addition, Google can be used in China. They even blocked Instagram so all digital social apps can’t access to Chinese people in this country. Some banks and businesses are temporary close in Hong Kong. The protest seems to grow bigger and bigger. Big brands from foreign countries, especially Western countries must face some issue locally and hopefully there will be a solution for all of us in the near future. Please leave your comments below and share your thoughts. How would these giant companies facing problem at Hong Kong and China at the moment? Closing business temporary, is that the way out?