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From shy to shine

Marketing graduate heeds advice to "envision the future" and overcomes shyness to rise into a respected figure in retailing.
By Iela Karunungan |
<>Since then, Primer Group has successfully marketed a wide range of international luggage and luggage accessories. It is an exclusive licensee, distributor, or retailer of Kickers, L.A. Gear, Samsonite, Carlton, American Tourister, Victorinox luggage, Jansport, and The North Face. In addition, it now also carries Columbia Sportswear, Union Inks, and York Airconditioning.


As a brand-driven company, the Primer Group relies on the power of the brands it carries and the level of relationship these brands have with their customers.

Jimmy Thai says that to build these relationships and foster marketing innovation, the Primer Group follows these three guiding principles: Relevance, Uniqueness, and Consistency.

  • Priority is given to the degree of relevance each brand\\\'s campaign will bring to the life and lifestyle of its customers. Says Thai: "Our customer is first on our minds. From program execution to offerings, the campaign should be chiefly beneficial to our customers. By making our business relevant to them, we are able to build trust, credibility, and lasting relationships."
  • "Uniqueness and innovation for us extends beyond distinctive communication tactics, and our processes and business models must be innovative as well." He says that by constantly thinking out of the box, Primer Group develops fresh perspectives on products and services to cope with changing market and consumer trends."Innovations allow us to stand out in the crowded market," he adds.
  • For the Primer Group, Thai says, consistency means providing the best customer experience through aligned people and brand values as well as business principles. "We walk the talk," he says.


Although the Primer Group caters to niche markets, it still carries out two other levels of marketing: mass marketing and one-on-one campaigns.

  • Mass-audience advertising. The bulk of Primer Group\\\'s advertising is for the established brands like Samsonite, while heavy public and media relations is used for new brands to create buzz and establish the brand\\\'s credibility.
  • One-on-one relationship-building. Thai says that the Primer Group builds individual relationships with its clients through the use of technology, specifically through SMS (short-messaging system, or cell phone text messages) and through the Internet. Primer Group has a constantly updated website ( and has penetrated social networking and other relevant websites.

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