There are a few companies that make a product for South East Asia market and started their business in Thailand. I personally think Thailand is a super interesting market for tech companies because of how fresh it is. Tech is still very new here and people are starting to be more open to it, so there’s a lot of opportunity to grow. However, It can be quite intimidating to launch a product in Thailand especially if you don’t really know the market.
Here’s a few things to know if you are planning to launch a product in Thailand!
1. Thailand or Bangkok
It is very important to note that if a product works in Bangkok, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the same product will work anywhere else outside of Bangkok.
The wealth and cultural concentration in Bangkok has led to a divergence from the other regions in tech savviness, goals, outlooks, schedules and general life styles. I sometimes like to think that Bangkok is a country of its own.
I think it’s worth doing a separate usability testing for people in Bangkok and people in other regions, especially because the content and the type of content that these two groups are attracted to can be drastically different.
2. Choose Interactions That Work
As a product designer, I try to keep up with all the UI trends but that doesn’t mean that the users will always keep up with me. I found that sometimes the slickest design is not always the best.
Since Thailand is still relatively new to tech, they need things to be more explicit. For example, during user testing, I have seen that the swipe left to delete gesture was something that they weren’t super familiar with. They need a ‘trash can’ icon explicitly somewhere for them to understand that they are able to delete something.
Users can get easily confused by other things, like where to find certain information. We try to add the (i) information icon with elaborated info so they can read a full description of something without being confused.
3. A Mascot Might Be a Good Idea
People love cuteness and depending on what industry you are in, having cute branding might really benefit your company.
Huge companies in South East Asia, like Line for example, use a mascot for their branding. Line created Cony and Brown (the bunny and a bear) as their mascots which they use for their in-chat stickers and marketing products. The branding is so successful that people can recognize these characters and know that it’s Line. They even opened a shop in Bangkok for Cony and Brown merchandise.
Same with Lazada, which has a Lion mascot (that also looks like a flower?). They spend a lot of money to promote the mascot and really push it hard, especially for the Thai market because that’s what people associate Lazada with.
4. Video Content is Everything
I found that it’s very hard to get Thai users attention with text, especially when it’s not on social media platforms (like a blog). App or products that do really well in Thailand are mostly video based like Youtube and Instagram. Lately more Asian based apps focusing on video like Tik Tok and VooV are also very popular among this market.
I personally used to work at a regional office in South East Asia and the Thai market was the only market they decided to have a live promotion video for because that’s how we got people’s attention.
There are way more interesting things to learn about Thai market which is still evolving dramatically everyday. Rice Milk Research helps conduct usability testing with people of your target group so you can truly understand what they really want. Visit us at https://ricemilkresearch.com