Eu Yan Sang
Eu Yan Sang (EYS) is an icon within the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) industry, yet despite over a century of experience, the company has struggled to stay relevant to the modern, digital savvy consumer. Constant was tasked to rethink and modernise the brand while paying respect to its rich heritage.
Although EYS has an existing, loyal customer base, it was important for the company to engage and educate younger audiences about the benefits of TCM. The answer lies in brand relevance, and bridging the gap between future and existing markets.
To kickstart the project, we dug deep into consumer research reports and brand documents, before conducting qualitative research through in-store visits. Through this exercise, the team was able to uncover pain-points in the user journey, and confirm certain brand messages – namely, that EYS is seen as trustworthy, credible and of high quality.
These insights helped us lead three major workshops with EYS – ‘Discovery’, ‘Vision’ and ‘Roadmap’.
Through a process of repetition and feedback, patterns emerged and valuable insights could be gained to inform a comprehensive umbrella strategy. The fluid nature and sense of open discussion from the workshops resulted in an aligned brand identity and foundation for the client. This was consolidated into an official brand playbook that encompassed brand manifesto, customer profiling, communication approaches and a channel ecosystem.
The playbook serves as a clear set of guidelines for the company’s future marketing initiatives, and is a tangible outcome of uniting heritage and legacy with creative and innovative brand consultancy.
Field research and stakeholder interviews
User journeys and ethnographic studies
Brand audit development
Brand transformation workshops
Brand playbook development
Campaign creation and production
For a brand like Eu Yan Sang that prepares for the next phase in our development, we needed a partner that would demonstrate deep understanding of modern lifestyles, but still have respect for our heritage and loyal customers.
Challenge & Insights
Eu Yan Sang has an existing, loyal customer base of TCM veterans who are willing to pay for high-quality products. However, it was important to find meaningful ways to engage and educate younger audiences.
The obvious challenge here is brand relevance. Modern Asian youth are informed, self-sufficient consumers conditioned to question traditional marketing tactics. This group’s over-exposure to advertising and familiarity with Western medicine has rendered TCM a ‘voodoo’ practice. In fact, communicating product efficacy was identified as an important objective for the company moving forward – one that required Eu Yan Sang to stand out in the face of other brands.
A shallow approach to this issue would be a brand revamp and shift to a youthful, ‘contemporary’ tone of voice. Constant found this to be an uninformed solution that lacked true insight. We took a step back and saw the real challenge as targeting the future, would-be TCM audience without alienating existing customers. Similarly, Constant saw the value in leveraging Eu Yan Sang’s long-held reputation and highlighted a gap in the market fit for a true TCM educational powerhouse.
Eu Yan Sang’s communication and brand vision were also experiencing some internal misalignment challenges. Long-service employees had a different understanding of the company’s mission compared to new staff. Different expectations lead to different executions, and consequently, an ambiguous brand message.
To kickstart the project, Constant reviewed insights from Eu Yan Sang’s past consumer research reports and brand documents. The team also conducted qualitative research by visiting retail stores and asking questions to staff and customers – the purpose was to uncover the user journey and corresponding pain points.
Through this exercise, we confirmed certain brand messages that were important to Eu Yan Sang. Namely, that the company is trustworthy, credible and of high quality. However, the key insight gained was that despite a high price point, Eu Yan Sang products were rarely seen as premium in their category.
The next steps for Constant were to break down the opportunities and ask ourselves the following questions:
How to elevate Eu Yan Sang from ‘expensive’ to ‘expensive, but premium’?
How to educate and communicate to consumers that the product is worth the premium price?
How to change consumer behaviour and convert unlikely audiences to become TCM advocates?
Tying this all together was the need to develop an umbrella strategy that bridged the gap between existing and future markets.
We asked ourselves, if yoga, a traditional Indian art, could get to where it is today, why can’t traditional Chinese medicine lifestyle?
Impact & outcomes
The workshops were of great success where both Eu Yan Sang and Constant were able to co-create and fully align on a new set of revised brand foundations to guide the brand’s future development. The tangible deliverable of these workshops was the development and design of an official brand playbook, which encompasses the aligned brand identity & manifesto, customer profiling, communication approaches, and channel ecosystem. With the playbook, Eu Yan Sang now has a clear set of guidelines for its current employees and potential hires to formulate an internal structural system and point of reference for all future Eu Yan Sang marketing campaigns.