With the goal of identifying consumer attitudes and behavior in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar, which are the five ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries that are currently attracting increased attention as consumer markets, Nomura Research Institute (NRI) undertook an "ASEAN Family Income and Expenditure Survey." Based on the results of this survey, it was possible to quantitatively evaluate situations that differ from country to country, which include consumer behavior such as product ownership, service utilization, sales channels that consumers use and the sources of information that influence consumers' purchase decisions, as well as consumer attitudes.
While it is important for any business development to carefully identify the actual situation of each country and adopt a strategy that is finely tuned to each market, it would be highly inefficient to respond separately to the distinctiveness of each country. As such, attention was paid to the stage of economic development of each country, and an analysis was made of the relationship between the stage of economic development and consumer attitudes/behavior. The analysis revealed certain correlations showing common trends that are found in all countries that were surveyed.
If consideration is given to these correlations, it should be possible to eliminate much of the inefficiencies related to business development in the ASEAN countries. Specifically, for Japanese companies to efficiently develop their business in the ASEAN countries, they should consider their strategies in two directions, namely, "focusing on the degree of consumer maturity" and "making use of experience gained in one ASEAN country to move on into another ASEAN country."