Genzilla – They’re Coming – Get Ready!

Posted 28/08/2015 by maavn
Categories: Articles, Reports, Updates

Tags: , , ,

genzilla cover

The times they are a-changin’ in the world of marketing.  You’ve heard a lot about Millenials (Generation Y), those born between 1976 and 1994.   The focus is beginning to shift to Generation Z, those born in 1995 or later.   According to a new report from market research company Epinion and OMD that looks at GenZ in Vietnam, all 14 million of them, they have an average monthly disposable income of 112 USD, which is considered to be significant in this emerging market.

most comfortable method of contact with friendsThe results of the survey reveal that GenZ is quite different from GenM or GenY.  For example, GenZ really just enjoy being online, hanging out and cocooning at home. Their most enjoyed activity is reading news on Facebook, and most comfortable method of contact with friends through chat apps.  Bui Tieu Vy, Epinion’s Senior Marketing Executive, noted that…

“Our results found that because the under 21s have only ever known a world with internet, the line between digital and physical is very blurred to them and most feel their existence is validated by their social media presence. They would be nothing without their phone, and a large proportion have more than one.

“On top of this, they have learned from their predecessors’ mistakes and are very skeptical, making them much more unlikely to fall for online scams. For brands this means GenZ is able to read between the lines of marketing ploys and will require much more convincing to connect with a brand than to simply be told it is good.”

If you’re interested in learning more, read one of both of these articles.

Digital Savvy but Shy: How Vietnam’s Generation Z is making brands work harder (28.7.15, short)

Vietnam’s Gen Z happier communicating via chat apps than face to face in the real world, finds study  (7-15, long)

If you’re REALLY interested in this topic, download the 26.6.15 PDF report from Epinion and read all 62 pages of it.

Genzilla Summary (p. 60)

  • Digitally popular, physically awkward
  • Mobile is a must
  • Digitally responsible
  • Socially conscious
  • Over-parented
  • Smart and in the know
  • Content followers

They’re Here.  They’re Ready.  They’re Coming to Get You.  Are you ready?  :-)



Da Nang is Awesome!

Posted 27/08/2015 by maavn
Categories: video

Tags: , , ,

Kudos to Trieu Dinh Nam & the entire Zoomations team!  Enjoy!

Vietnam – View from the Sky

Posted 26/08/2015 by maavn
Categories: video

Tags: ,

No Information, Insights or Intrigue just pure enjoyment!

Chúng ta yêu Việt Nam! We love Vietnam!  :-)

Vietnam-Fulbright University (of Vietnam)?

Posted 24/08/2015 by maavn
Categories: Commentary, Updates, vietnam

Tags: , , , , , ,

Here’s an update on the Fulbright University Vietnam (FUV), which is being built on the solid and well-respected foundation of the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program (FETP),  a partnership established in 1994 – the year the decades long economic embargo was lifted and a year before the normalization of diplomatic relations – by the Harvard Kennedy School and the HCMC University of Economics.  The Vietnamese government recently granted an operating license to the Trust for University Innovation in Vietnam (TUIV), the non-profit organization that is the catalyst for this ambitious project.

fetp logoAccording to a press release on the FETP website, FUV will be built on a 15 hectare (37 acre) plot of land in the Saigon High-Tech Park near HCMC.  Incorporated as a not-for-profit, foreign-invested university, FUV will offer research and education in public policy and management, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), medicine, social sciences, humanities, and interdisciplinary sciences.

The plans are to begin construction next year with investment capital of $70 million, including $5.3 million in the initial phase, $20 million in the second phase (2017-2020) and $44.7 million in the third phase (2020-2030).

Where’s the money coming from?  Since it’s a US university, it must be the US government or another US source, right?  Here’s the “money paragraph”, pun intended, in a 10 July 2015 article entitled US-backed university in Vietnam cements diplomatic ties:

TUIV has set targets to enrol 2,000 students and raise US$100 million in the university’s first five years. About half of the US$40 million pledged to date comes from the Vietnam Education Foundation, or VEF, Act of 2000, through which the Vietnamese government has been repaying debts to the United States incurred during the war years.

unwilling to give or spend; ungenerous.
“his employer is stingy and idle”
synonyms:    mean, miserly, niggardly, close-fisted, parsimonious, penny-pinching, cheeseparing, Scroogelike

Let me get this straight.  The FUV, which “is to be designed around key principles of US non-profit higher education, including self-governance and academic freedom,” is classified as a US university but 50% of the initial installment of $40 million is from the VEF balance, meaning it’s (indirectly) from the Vietnamese government.  It sounds like a joint project to me.  Why not call it the Vietnam-Fulbright University?  Senator J.W. would no doubt look down from heaven with a smile on his face.  If you leave out “Vietnam” and the FUV is receiving “about” $20 million in Vietnamese government funding, nearly 30% of the total cost, he’ll be rolling in his grave.

MQ-9-ReaperViewed from another perspective – in the spirit of turning swords into plowshares – the TUIV could fund the entire university, including all three phases, with the cost of just over five (5) MQ-9 Reaper drones.  Let that sink in for a moment.  (Each drone costs $13.77 million, not including the cost of ground stations and other associated equipment.  An added benefit of diverting funds from a drone budget to a new university is that fewer innocents are likely to die.)  Since this not very likely, let’s just call it the Vietnam-Fulbright University in honor of Sen. J. William Fulbright, passionate opponent of the American War in Vietnam, vocal critic of US foreign policy and author of the classic, The Arrogance of Power.  He would be pleased.  Plus, what a great way to cap off the 20th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries.


Fall 2015 EducationUSA Higher Ed Fairs: Location, Location, Location?

Posted 21/08/2015 by maavn
Categories: Commentary, Events

Tags: , , ,

Tuesday, October 6th: HO CHI MINH CITY
Wednesday, October 7th: CAN THO
Friday, October 9th: HUE

I must admit that I’m a bit baffled as to why EdUSA is organizing fairs in Can Tho and Hue.  Nice places to visit but not exactly hot “markets” for StudyUSA.  (At least one has quite a few students with a high visa denial rate because of the attempts on the part of many to use the F-1 as a ticket to emigration.  Google “sestak, hue, visa scam.”)

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is a no-brainer but why not Hanoi, where the US Embassy organized a very successful US higher education fair last January? What about Danang, where there’s a lot of interest in StudyUSA, a growing ability to pay and a paucity of events?  (Most colleagues fly over Danang on their way to events in the country’s two largest cities, i.e., markets.)

new edusa logo

It’s like an experiment though one not likely to be successful if student recruitment is your goal.  From the official (EdUSA/State Department) perspective it’s yet another opportunity to exercise soft power in places other than Hanoi and HCMC, and to do so on the dime of the participating US colleges and universities.  What’s not to like – from an official perspective?

At 1k per school it’s quite inexpensive – a chance to discover why those may be your first and last fairs in two off-the-beaten path locations that are worth visiting and maybe recruiting in on a targeted basis but probably not fertile recruitment grounds via traditional fairs.  Let me know!  Prove me wrong!



What’s in a Name? (“Ivy on My Mind”)

Posted 19/08/2015 by maavn
Categories: Updates

Tags: , , , , , ,


I’ve been seeing more advertisements for education companies using the word “Ivy” in their name and got to thinking about the wisdom of overusing a marquee word.  There are at least four, as of this writing.  Talk about stiff competition!  (I believe that IvyPrep was the very first Ivy in Vietnam, which means the others listed below are the followers.)  Maybe too much of a good thing?  Maybe a dilution, or cheapening, of the magical power of this word?  Or does “Ivy” sell, regardless of how many companies use the name?

The word Ivy, of course, is a reference to “a collegiate athletic conference comprising sports teams from eight private institutions of higher education in the Northeastern United States.”  Those eight (8) institutions also happen to be ranked among the top 16 in the US News and World Report 2015 university rankings.  They include:  Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University and Yale University.

 As the Ivy League Wikipedia entry points out, The term Ivy League has connotations of academic excellence, selectivity in admissions, and social elitism.  The overall acceptance rates for the Ivy League class of 2019 range from 6.1% at Columbia University (2,228 from a pool of 36,250) to 14.9% at Cornell University (6,234 from a pool of 41,907).  That means that not many Vietnamese kids, nor kids of any other nationality, for that matter, gain admission.  It’s the lure, the possibility, the dream of being offered admission to an Ivy League institution that’s good for business.  Most have the same chances of winning the lottery.

ivy league academics



ivy prep

The test prep and overseas study advising market is competitive enough already.  Why not create a new name, a new identity, that enables you to distinguish yourself in a very crowded marketplace?


P.S.:  Are there any other “Ivy” companies that I’ve overlooked?  What about “Vina-Ivy”?

P.P.S.:  Ivy on My Mind sung to Georgia on My Mind.

Linden U.S. University Fairs – In Cooperation With Capstone Vietnam

Posted 17/08/2015 by maavn
Categories: Announcement

Tags: , , , ,

144hinh_linden I’m pleased to announce that Capstone Vietnam, a full-service educational consulting company based in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), is assisting Linden Educational Services with its U.S. University Fairs on 20 and 22 September in Hanoi and HCMC, respectively.

There are currently 34 colleges and universities from 18 states participating in this fair series, which is part of a regional tour that includes Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Jakarta, Indonesia.  This is another great opportunity for interested  students and parents to get first-hand information about a variety of top-notch public and private US higher education institutions at a US higher education-only fair.

For more information and to see the list of participating schools, follow this link.



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