As part of our look at Taiwan's top brands of 2018, under the Asia's Top 1000 Brands report, we asked Taiwan consumers to identify their top home-grown brands, and Asus, HTC, and Uni-President emerged on top. Here, in-market observers discuss what's behind the success of these brands, and what it will take to uphold that status.
As the most popular local brands in Taiwan. What’s behind their appeal?
Daniel Cunningham, PR & Marketing Project Manager, DDG: While it should be noted that HTC has fallen on hard times with its acquisition recently, Asus and HTC are both globally recognized as leading hardware brands. Uni-President is one of the largest FMCG brands globally, and the corporate behind 7-Eleven. Due to these domestic brands' global reputation, they are on an equal footing in Taiwan with other multinational brands in their respective industries.
Eric Chang, CEO of McCann Worldgroup Taiwan: Because they are Made in Taiwan so they tap into a sense of national pride.
Dylan Porter, Managing Director, Gremlin Works: Taiwan is a proud island, and people are happy that these brands have achieved international success and are more than willing to get behind them.
Maggie Tang, Managing Director, IPG Mediabrands: Innovative image. ASUS is Taiwan proud which is strong at gaming PCs. HTC’s VIVE VR kit shows it has leading edge capability in entertainment. Uni-President has good business in China.
What are these brands doing that other local brands - or brands from elsewhere - are not doing?
Cunningham: Again, while it should be noted that HTC has fallen on hard times with its acquisition recently, HTC is known as a leader in VR, while ASUS is a leader in the gaming industry, and Taiwan has one of the world’s largest gaming industries. Most importantly, ASUS and HTC are globally recognised tech brands, and their success in Taiwan is empowered by their global reputation. While multinational brands attempt to localize and draw on their global standing, domestic brands should build their global reputation to reinforce their domestic standing.
Chang:I believed it is R&D.. rapid product development and relevancy to local market.
Porter:Taiwan has many great products, but few great brands. A lot of our work comes from helping Taiwanese companies rebrand themselves so they can resonate with international audiences. We have found that there has been a definite shift in the last few years with firms here appreciating the value of a brand and what it can do.
Do you see these brands’ future as under threat from encroaching global or non-local players?
Cunningham: The future of Taiwan’s domestic brands depends on their global brand identity. If these brands can maintain a global brand identity and continue to champion the global market, then Taiwanese consumers will respond positively. However, if they lose this global edge, then multinational brands’ localization efforts will likely win over the domestic market in Taiwan.
Chang: Definitely, they lack an outstanding brand vision and attitude to set them apart from determined competitors.
Porter: Whilst these brands have been successful, none of them have particularly strong positions and do need to work hard to ensure that competitors do not encroach on their brand-space. This will be a difficult, but not impossible challenge.
Tang: Severe competition particularly from global brands such as Samsung and Apple or even Chinese brands will cause Asus and HTC have to face more challenging resource battle in terms of size of economic scale, marketing and R&D investment.