Case Study: Female Empowerment


A global personal care brand was not growing in Vietnam as strongly as forecast: its core message of empowering women to pursue their dreams and passions lacked the traction it had elsewhere internationally.

This was despite previous research indicating that the target audience would respond to the idea of no longer needing to conform to the expectations and traditions of a more conservative society.

Yuzu Kyodai was tasked first with discovering why the strategy was failing, and then with creating an approach more relevant to Vietnamese women’s lifestyle choices and social pressures.

In order to tackle the topic in a new light, we reframed the problem to address what ‘being you’ means in the context of womanhood in Vietnam.


Our analysis delved into Vietnamese cultural codes: conducting semiotics research as well interviews with representatives of the key target groups. We defined what empowerment means to women in Vietnam on various levels: personal, family and society; and what hopes inspire them to follow their own path in life. Their goals ranged from becoming entrepreneurs to maintaining independence within marriage and family life,

From this social and cultural mapping, an unexpected perspective emerged on how Vietnamese women grapple with the tensions between the expectations of others and their personal aspirations. Identifying their problems enabled us to determine the wider role of the personal care category for our target customers; and to help our client’s brand became part of the solution.


  • Consumer insight
  • Communication strategy
  • Consumer ethnography
  • In-depth interviews
  • Cultural mapping


By clarifying the key motivations of our client’s target customers, we were able to create a strategy for the brand to connect with them. Seen in new settings, with a refocused language and imagery, it became a relevant part of how Vietnamese women want to live their lives.

Our client’s brand found its purpose in their customers’ lives. And this new way of speaking to consumers meant it was able to differentiate itself strongly in a very crowded category.