“This training came just in time to help our business to develop a multi-platform strategy. We are excited to promote our values and deliver our marketing message more effectively.” - Mrs. Dương Thanh Thảo Chairwoman of Gạo Ông Thọ JSC
In Vietnam, a major global rice producer, most rice is grown by smallholder farmers who rely on wholesale distribution to other businesses. This sales dynamic often leaves farmers with little bargaining power, resulting in low prices and little incentive for farmers to improve product quality.
Mrs. Dương Thanh Thảo grew up in a rice-producing family, and fully understands the hardships smallholder rice farmers face. Through her business, Gạo Ông Thọ JSC, she has made it her mission to increase the value of rice for hundreds of farmers—by working with them to build a Vietnamese rice brand of high quality indigenous and specialty varieties. However, she needed help developing and marketing the brand to the right customers.
Through USAID’s Improving Private Sector Competitiveness project, Mrs. Thảo trained her staff on marketing and branding using technology and online sales methods. Over two weeks in July 2022, the company developed new marketing content targeted at younger consumers that highlights Gạo Ông Thọ’s core values of clean, safe, and organic rice, promoting a greener lifestyle. Her staff developed an e-commerce business strategy, including a complete website redesign to make it more virbrant and professional to reflect the brand, and applied Search Engine Optimization across the business’ online presence to boost quality traffic, utilizing its Facebook fan page and Google Maps.
Just one month later, the company recorded positive feedback and increased sales from its online store. Gạo Ông Thọ aquired 30 new clients and experienced an increase in revenue of 8% compared to the prior month. During the low season from July to August, Gạo Ông Thọ’s brand in Ho Chi Minh City reported an unusual increase in sales of 110%.
Mrs. Thảo said, “Thank you USAID and IPSC for helping us improve our skills and knowledge, earn more money, and gain the confidence to continue to expand our business! Our dream is to continue increasing production and adding more value to rice farmers, while hiring more people to work in our company.”