Transform Magazine: Brand strategy in Asia-Pacific

Transform magazine event logo

There are so many components to a successful brand strategy that it can sometimes be difficult for branding professionals to ensure that they are abreast of industry trends. Meeting with peers and hearing from those who are excelling in this field provides professionals with an opportunity to stand back and get a feel for the wider market and industry trends, a conducive environment for valuable inspiration.

The Transform conference Asia-Pacific and the Transform awards Asia-Pacific on 18 November gave delegates the opportunity to, respectively, hear about award-winning brand campaigns and speak with industry peers, and to hear who the latest Transform awards winners in the region are.

The conference’s location, Hong Kong, provided an excellent example for one of the workshops, relating to international branding. As a city with a diverse population, Hong Kong can be a challenge for brands hoping to engage with both local and ex-pat stakeholders.

In other workshops, delegates discussed brand reputation, employer brand management and measuring success and return on investment. The branding professionals in attendance shared their personal experience in dealing with these professional challenges.

The first speaker of the half-day event at the Harbour Grand Hotel, Hong Kong, was Paul Tam, executive director at Hong Kong Ballet. Tam had an engaging story to tell about the artistic brand’s mission to compete on an international stage. He said how the former brand was unrepresentative of the company’s assets, and that he had wanted to raise the profile of the Hong Kong Ballet dancers to ‘stars’. The project used raw, urban photography to reposition the brand and had great feedback from its diverse and challenging stakeholders. Tam said that the new brand is a “A needle in my back”. The high standard that it sets pushes employees to perform on a higher level.

Other speakers on the day included Michelle Tan, senior manager of brand marketing at Hong Kong Tourism Board. Tan’s fascinating story told of the organisation’s decision to put experience at the heart of the Hong Kong nation brand. This sentiment was echoed by Marcus Lui, head of customer experience and design at Asia Miles, who also spoke at the event. Modern consumers tend to favour experiences over material possessions. Liu said, “It’s the memories that really count in the end.”

The day ended with the Transform Awards Asia-Pacific. Also hosted at the Harbour Grand – by comedian Ryan Hynek – the awards provided an opportunity to celebrate the great work taking place in the Asia-Pacific region. Agencies, individuals and brands came together to congratulate each other and celebrate the strength of the industry. The Grand Prix award was won by Pizza Hut and Brand Union.

The Transform awards and conferences celebrate professional, strategic branding work in four regions globally; Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Asia-Pacific and North America. Transform magazine is a globally-distributed magazine that covers the art of strategic branding in news and features from branding experts and industry leaders.

The winners of the Transform awards Asia-Pacific 2015 are:

The Winners
CONTENT

Best use of a visual property
Gold – HSBC NOW and MerchantCantos

Silver – M&G Stationary and Landor Associates
Silver – Pizza Hut and Brand Union 
Bronze – Hong Kong Ballet and MerchantCantos
Highly commended – Cali-Mex and StartJG
Highly commended – Blackfish and MADE Creative

Best brand architecture solution
Gold – HAECO and Sedgwick Richardson 

Silver – Tiger Balm and NiCE                             
Bronze – Nord Anglia Education and StartJG
Highly commended – Impulse and Labbrand

Best brand experience
Gold – Pizza Hut and Brand Union 

Gold – Qkuts and Creativoo Creative Consultancy
Silver – Alibaba and FutureBrand
Silver – sav Hospitality and FutureBrand
Bronze – Aimer and Creative Capital
Bronze – Khmer Brewery Limited and ComZone

Best use of packaging
Gold – Pizza Hut and Brand Union 

Silver – Arla Foods and Shift.
Bronze – Tiger Balm and NiCE
Highly commended – Blackstone and Brash Brands

PROCESS

Best stakeholder relations during a brand development project
Gold – Blackstone and Brash Brands

Silver – HSBC NOW and MerchantCantos

Best implementation of a brand development project
Gold – Melia Hotels International and Labbrand

Silver – M&G Stationary and Landor Associates
Silver – Tiger Balm and NiCE
Bronze – Tatts Group and Hulsbosch

Best implementation of a brand development project across multiple markets
Gold – Nord Anglia Education and StartJG

STRATEGY

Best creative strategy
Gold – Nomura and Living Group

Silver – Murata and Living Group
Bronze – Melia Hotels International and Labbrand
Bronze – sav Hospitality and FutureBrand
Highly commended – Tiger Balm and NiCE

Best brand evolution
Gold – Hong Kong Ballet and MerchantCantos

Gold – Zhao Liang Jewellery and Creative Capital
Silver – Prudential Financial and Brand Union 
Bronze – Gramedia and MakkiMakki
Highly commended – Molsion and Landor Associates

Best strategic/creative development of a new brand
Gold – Cali-Mex and StartJG

Silver – Neqta Hotels and Labbrand
Bronze – Wanda Ridong Group and Brash Brands
Highly commended – Aura and Brand Union 
Highly commended – Blackstone and Brash Brands
Highly commended – V8 Supercars and Hulsbosch

TYPE

Best corporate rebrand following a merger or acquisition
Gold – Hoau and FutureBrand

Silver – Jellis Craig and Traffic
Silver – Prudential Financial and Brand Union 
Bronze – POSH and StartJG

Best brand development project to reflect changed mission/values/positioning
Gold – BOE and Shift.

Silver – Proactive and Cluster Creative
Bronze – Hoau and FutureBrand

Best rebrand of a digital property
Gold – Murata and Living Group

Silver – Vinson & Elkins and Living Group
Bronze – Black Crane Capital and Living Group

SECTOR

Best visual identity from a charity or NGO or NFP
Gold – Hong Kong Ballet and MerchantCantos

Best visual identity from the education sector
Gold – British Council and FutureBrand

Silver – Nord Anglia Education and StartJG

Best visual identity from the energy & extractives sector
Gold – sosoon and JungleFish

Silver – EMP and MakkiMakki

Best visual identity from the engineering & manufacturing sector
Gold – HAECO and Sedgwick Richardson 

Silver – Midea SteamCube and MetaDesign China

Best visual identity from the financial services sector
Gold – Alibaba and FutureBrand

Silver – Prudential Financial and Brand Union 
Highly commended – Black Crane Capital and Living Group

Best visual identity from the healthcare & pharmaceuticals sector
Gold – Proactive and Cluster Creative

Silver – Mitra Keluarga and MakkiMakki

Best visual identity from the professional services sector
Gold – McGrathNicol and Hulsbosch

Silver – Vinson & Elkins and Living Group
Bronze – CDP and FutureBrand

Best visual identity from the property sector
Gold – Dongguan Minying and Brand Union 

Silver – Blackfish and MADE Creative
Silver – Blackstone and Brash Brands
Bronze – Wanda Ridong Group and Brash Brands

Best visual identity from the retail sector
Gold – Molsion and Landor Associates

Silver – M&G Stationary and Landor Associates
Bronze – Tatts Group and Hulsbosch
Highly commended – Century Wellness Centre and MakkiMakki
Highly commended – Qkuts and Creativoo Creative Consultancy
Highly commended – Yintai and FutureBrand

Best visual identity from the technology, media & telecommunications
Gold – vivo and MetaDesign China

Silver – Murata and Living Group

Best visual identity from the travel & leisure sector
Gold – Neqta Hotels and Labbrand 

Silver – sav Hospitality and FutureBrand

Best overall visual identity
Hong Kong Ballet and MerchantCantos

Grand Prix
Pizza Hut and Brand Union 

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