Staff Reporters
Sep 22, 2022

Asia-Pacific Power List 2022: Sai Tzy Horng, Julie’s

Sai has helped to elevate his father’s business from a humble biscuit company to one that is increasingly fashionable and top-of-mind among younger consumers.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2022: Sai Tzy Horng, Julie’s
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Sai Tzy Horng

Julie’s Biscuits
New member 

When Sai Tzy Horng was growing up, his father, founder of Malaysian biscuit manufacturer Julie’s, would bring home biscuits for him and his brother to taste-test. He may have started out as a lucky recipient of biscuits, but Sai has now elevated his role at Julie’s, specifically as a director at the company who looks after a wide brand and marketing remit. 

As young blood in a 37-year-old company, Sai initiated a SG$1 million (US$720k) rebrand for Julie’s in late 2020 and injected new life into the brand’s social presence. The brand refresh, which happened over a year following an agency review, produced a more millennial-friendly look-and-feel to cater to a younger audience. Given that Julie’s was largely perceived as an ‘old-school’ snack brand, the new brand identity was key for Sai.

In the last two years, some outstanding campaigns have emerged as a result. Through agency partner GOVT Singapore, the brand produced two memorable Raya ads in a row that parodied market tropes to good effect. This series of hilarious spots to parody brand focus groups also exemplify the brand’s knack for powerful storytelling. 

Sai said in a separate interview that his aim was to ensure that younger consumers have a way to carry over their nostalgia for the brand to the present. Hence, the need for unified brand design and storytelling is important for consumers to have clear and easily identifiable touchpoints. This is also done by leveraging local insights in each market. For instance, in Singapore, wheat crackers tend to perform best due to being a staple snack for National Servicemen and the market being a more health-conscious one. 

Looking forward, Sai plans to take Julie’s into more markets aside from the 80 it already operates in—these include Myanmar and Cambodia. For a small Malaysian brand with roots in Melaka, we’d say that Sai has come a long way since his taste-testing days.

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


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