BRAND FOCUS MORE ON EMOTION
It's been a defining year for brands that have displayed innovation and empathy throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and the same is true for brands in Taiwan.
Those that threw out the marketing rulebook and rapidly changed tact to offer utilities and experiences have prospered with consumers.
"Brand engagement and brand experience has become much more important. Advertisers want consumers to feel the brand instead of investing in brand awareness or image only," said Winnie Lan, chief consulting officer of Dentsu Aegis Network in Taiwan.
One example is Eslite Bookstore. One of the largest bookstore chains in Taiwan, Eslite has focused on creating a beautiful retail space and providing consumers various experiences in-store to keep them engaged. The bookstore did close several branches in Taiwan this year, but is eyeing expansion across Asia.
Meanwhile Uni-President, which runs 7-11 in Taiwan, started to sell books in its store to show to consumers it is more than just a grocery store. Uni-President also built a store in Taichung that combines a gym, beauty products and food seller. It rose to become the second popular local brand in Taiwan this year.
Experiences also provide a way for brands to directly reach consumers, which is becoming a "hot topic" for advertisers in Taiwan, according to Lan.
"Direct-to-consumer through data, apps and multiple channels is a hot topic for advertisers. They want to directly contact consumers instead of relying on media or retail only," Lan said.
Online messaging app Line has been using rebates and coupons to increase interactions with its customers, and has been heavily promoting its online payment system together with its taxi service in Taiwan. The app enjoyed the biggest lift in Taiwan's Top 100 Brands ranking this year, moving up 49 places to 12th place.
Brands have also been focusing on showing support during the pandemic. Apart from the usual aid donations, brands like PX Mart have been giving away free coffee to frontline workers.