Savvy successor revitalizes brand

Updated 2016-11-25 19:54:28

Taiwan food company Hsin Tung Yang Co, famed for its trademark beef jerky and pineapple cakes, is on a mission to prove old can still be gold.

I sat down with HTY's Chief Executive Officer Mai Shen-yang, the tech savvy, cosmopolitan son of the company's founder, to talk future plans and the firm's upcoming 50-year anniversary.

Mai shared with me the story behind the HTY's revamped packaging, which is emblazoned with a new gold logo.

"When my father opened his first shop the letters 'Hsin Tung Yang' were written in gold on top of a red wooden sign. He was inspired by a Chinese idiom, 'gold-letter shop sign' (meaning a well-reputed brand). When making the new bag design, I asked the designer to keep the gold lettering to stay true to our heritage.

"It's the same as with clothing -- minimalist design gives off an air of luxury. We spent nearly NT million to make the new packaging, but it was worth it. Each bag held in our customers' hands is an advertisement in itself and people tend to hold on to good designs longer."

Replacing the old, red, festival-themed packaging with the new elegant design is only one part of Mai's efforts to reinvigorate the family brand.

To reposition the firm's image and give it a more youthful appeal, he recruited an actress Ariel Lin to lead an advertising push.

"She is a fresh-faced young woman who is modern and opinionated. Choosing her caters to our main customer demographic: middle-aged women."

HTY are also currently searching for a new face to front the company's 50-year anniversary celebrations, with Mai saying heart-throb actor Eddie Peng and rock band Mayday were among the candidates.

Mai's father sought to make the HTY brand synonymous with ethnic-Chinese communities -- a vision reflected in the company's first slogan, "Where there are Chinese, there will be HTY."

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