Adrian Peter Tse
Sep 2, 2015

How Hong Kong's Fortune Pharmacal is updating its heritage brand

HONG KONG - Home-grown pharmaceutical brand Fortune Pharmacal has had to evolve its brand in recent times to remain relevant. While 'heritage' continues to play a strong role in the brand's communications, contemporary issues facing Hong Kong have also come to the forefront.

The "Lion Rock Spirit" campaign

With 61 years of history, Fortune Pharmacal is a Hong Kong heritage brand that local people can identify with. However, getting specific product lines to remain top-of-mind has been a challenge for the company in recent years.

Angel Choi, general manager at FP Healthcare Limited, told Campaign Asia-Pacific that the brand has focused marketing efforts in two key areas: brand and product.

For example, the company’s brand marketing has concentrated on aligning with modern issues facing Hong Kong people while the product marketing side has centered on “easy-to-understand” commercials for its over-the-counter medications.

“We don’t focus so much on the science of the medicine, as we've found this makes it difficult for people to recall our products,” said Choi. “Instead, our stories and content are more situational in nature. We want to make it relatable to everyday Hong Kong life.”

L-R: Angel Choi, general manager, FP-Healthcare, and Teresa Poon, sales and marketing manager, Fortune Pharmacal, at Yahoo's Emotive Brand Awards last week.

A recent example of the company's brand marketing efforts is the 'Lion Rock Spirit' campaign, which featured different Hong Kong demographic groups ranging from the young to the old.

While the Lion Rock Spirit is a well-known metaphor for the tenacity of Hong Kong people, the commercial, which was unusually sombre in tone, aimed to capture and voice contemporary problems facing Hong Kong people. It also aimed to affirm the power of persistence in the face of difficulty—a principal engrained in the Hong Kong ethos. 

“In the past few years, we’ve noticed a strong trend towards ‘the pride of Hong Kong’ and the support of local brands,” said Teresa Poon, sales and marketing manager at Fortune Pharmacal. “It’s also been a chance for us to communicate our brand's heritage. Fortune has grown up with Hong Kong, and we want to continue to stand side by side with Hong Kong people.”

"Lion Rock Spirit" campaign:

With an in-house social media and digital marketing team, ecommerce has played an important role in reaching younger consumers. For example, using Yahoo’s platform, Fortune ran a news-style interactive poll for its the 'Lion Rock Spirit' campaign, in which people could vote for the individuals and initiatives that they felt best encompassed the spirit of Hong Kong.

“We want people to participate in the story and brand," Poon said. "For this, we don’t just use Yahoo. Nowadays you need to have multiple approaches to multiple platforms. Obviously there’s no textbook answer on how to measure success on digital, but for us our KPI have been on achieving a high brand-recall rate as well as elevating confidence in the brand.”

In addition to Hong Kong, Fortune Pharmacal markets its products to Asian and Chinese markets in China, the US and Canada. “Outside of Hong Kong, we have big markets there,” Poon added.  


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