YTL, Air Asia, Maxis and a host of other firms have made waves in the global brands scene.
Recently, firms like SP Setia Bhd aroused lots of interest when they joined a consortium which bought London's iconic Battersea power station.
Closer home, top local banks, Maybank and CIMB, have been creating waves in the regional market.
The numbers are growing but the pace to join the global brands league could be quickened as it is awareness and recognition of brands such as these which contribute to the growth of the country.
Malaysian companies may have made a headway into the global scene but the number can be bettered, says Jennifer Chan who is the organising chairman of the coveted Malaysia's Most Valuable Brand (MMVB).
"Brand building isn't simply about investment or posturing. It is the sum of multiple components. Strong brands build a strong economy."
"But ultimately, the financial performance and stability of a brand is a net result of its marketing efforts and corporate governance."
The MMVB, which is into its fourth edition, is a biennial event initiated by the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Malaysia (4As).
It stands apart from other awards such as the Putra Brand Awards which measures the financial value of brands from Malaysia, owned by public-listed companies.
"The valuation is done by Interbrand, one of the world's largest brand consultancies which conducts financial valuation surveys of brands all over the world," explained Chan, ahead of the award event that will take place in October.
Malaysia is now part of an elite group of 12 countries globally which have country brand valuations conducted.
Chan added that a brand must embrace a distinctive and unique personality that represents the company, product or service, to have a competitive edge.
"It must be a powerful cog in the Malaysian economic wheel while making a positive contribution to the nation's wealth - and with the capacity for making a play for the global stage."
To celebrate the role of brands as an engine of economic growth, 4As and Media Prima Bhd recently held a breakfast session at Balai Berita for chief executive officers (CEOs), chief marketing officers (CMOs) and chief financial officers (CFOs).
It was attended by a broad mix of large public-listed companies and some privately-held companies and small- and medium-sized enterpri-ses which are likely to be listed in future.
4As' objective for MMVB is to fully and convincingly impress upon CEOs, CFOs and CMOs that brand building is a critical investment-oriented decision and not a cost-cutting indulgence.
This is important to the Malaysian business scene, of which the majority are the SMEs that cannot afford to be sidelined when foreign brands come onshore through the various free trade pacts that Malaysia has signed.
Most of these business outfits do not place branding as a main priority, saying it requires a lot of financial effort.
Advertising and brand building programmes tend to be the first to be trimmed during difficulties, which, Chan added, places the company in danger as it leads to a situation when "the brand stops talking to the consumer".
Understanding brand value is important.
"We believe that a brand valuation exercise will help raise the awareness, standards and practices in brand planning; broaden Malaysian companies' branding skills and enable them to compete with confidence in the global market."
Source: Business Times