If you visit places outside Dhaka, you will find many unknown local brands in many product categories at district or upazilla (smaller administrative unit) levels. Some of them sound funny (like “tiktiki” or lizard brand mosquito coils in Savar), some brand names are highly symbolic (like “Hati” or Elephant brand drycell batteries in Mymensingh) etc. Some names are plain owners’ name and nothing else. You won’t find these brands at national level stores, however, they are successfully surviving at regional level for a long time. Have you ever thought of where they got the competitiveness to face national level competitors in this age of media spending and superiority claims? It is interesting to think of their competitive advantages.
I think the prime source of competitiveness at the rural or district level is the “price”. These local brands perform the basic function that they promise and are available at lower prices to attract the segment of cash-strapped customers. So, their target segment(s) could altogether be different from that of the national competitors.
The second source of competitiveness could be the easy access to “distribution” outlets. Regional brands are quick to reach the regional outlets, sometimes into deeper pockets at outskirts where national producers have hard time reaching them. So, “availability” makes these brands survive in a competitive scenario.
Some local brands are sponsored by local businesses that have great social contributions as well. For example, Amrit Lal Day in Barisal, whose products are found everywhere competing effectively against national competitors. Apart from its “karikor bidi” businesses, which may not promote any social cause, the group has great contribution in education sector which cannot be denied. People can easily “connect” themselves to this brand, making it popular regionally.