Staff Reporters
May 16, 2023

Asia-Pacific Power List 2023: Hanks Lee, A.S. Watson Group

With a proven track record of purpose-led marketing that goes beyond business numbers, Lee strives to transform Watsons into the top health and beauty brand in most of its operating markets.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2023: Hanks Lee, A.S. Watson Group
SEE THE FULL 2023 POWER LIST
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers
#AuthenticLeaders 

Hanks Lee

Director, brand marketing and corporate communications
Watsons
Hong Kong
New member

The man behind the successful launch of the derma-cosmetics category in Hong Kong, Hanks Lee also brought Vichy, La Roche-Posay and Skinceuticals to the forefront of the beauty industry in the SAR. A seasoned communications specialist with a track record of successful product marketing, Lee joined Watsons in 2011 as a communications manager. The climb to the top was quick; today he holds a dual role managing brand marketing across Watsons’ 15 operating markets in Asia, Europe and the Middle East while handling communications functions for the larger A.S. Watsons Group.

At Watsons, he’s credited with supervising the ongoing global philanthropic programme, Give a Smile, in partnership with international NGO Operation Smile, that conducts corrective surgeries in children born with cleft lips and palates. Tailored across different operating markets in online and offline channels, the programme has funded life-altering surgery for over 6,000 children internationally.

Hanks also led the launch of the ‘The New Beautiful’ brand campaign in 2022 across Greater China, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Developed on the back of two regional surveys that show the changing perception of beauty, bespoke activations in different markets like the ‘Gender Power’ webinars in Hong Kong to ‘Girls Supporting Girls’ university sessions across Indonesia and the ‘Women in Medicine’ in Philippines took the message forward. The successful local penetration helped Watsons become the number one health and beauty brand in most of its operating markets, furthering Watsons Asia's 2022 revenue by 12%.

In line with Watsons’ larger mission of ‘Greener Stores Global Framework’ that gives retail a sustainability push, Lee’s team kicked off the Asia iteration with boy band Mirror. A new inspirational song by the Cantopop superstars reminded customers in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore to inculcate sustainable habits; in addition, social media and experiential activations exemplified the message further.

Lee’s affinity to sustainable causes is not limited to his nine to six. A member of the group’s Global Sustainability Committee and Global DEI and Wellbeing Steering Committee,  another proud accomplishment is leading the ‘Women in Medicine’ campaign to increase the participation of women in the healthcare industry, where only 25% of women make it to the top despite 70% of healthcare workers being female.

Apart from his role within marketing, he’s also active in global organisations such as the Consumer Goods Forum where he works in tandem with retailers and manufacturers at the Coalition of Actions for Healthier Lives to raise awareness of health and equal opportunity. A mindfulness practitioner under the tradition of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, Lee serves as a volunteer of Plum Village's Wakeup movement to help people embrace mindful living and cultivate compassion.

SEE THE FULL 2023 POWER LIST
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers
#AuthenticLeaders

 

Source:
Campaign Asia

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