A bright future for TCM
We were tasked to rethink and redefine the future of Chinese medicine with Eu Yan Sang, a 138-year-old icon in the industry. Through a research framework and co-creation, we envisioned a forward looking brand with respect for the rich heritage.
Eu Yan Sang
Research, audience studies, workshops, brand playbook


Today’s proliferation of prescription drugs and unknown side effects has seen a shift in consumer attitudes towards healthcare. Self-sufficient individuals are taking matters into their own hands and seeking natural alternatives to their ailments.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is one such alternative, and industry leader Eu Yan Sang recognised its relevance within this growing marketplace.

Constant was tasked with redefining Eu Yan Sang’s strategic communication approach while leveraging the company’s unique position: to be one of the most respected TCM houses in the region.

TCM is often misunderstood as a type of pseudoscience by non-TCM users. Unlike Western medicine, there is no sophisticated infrastructure to educate the public, which consequently hinders many would-be customers from exploring TCM benefits. However, the industry has gained traction recently amongst a younger crowd, both in Asia and the West, whose spending behaviours indicate an unprecedented prioritisation of health and wellbeing.

We asked ourselves, if yoga, a traditional Indian art, could get to where it is today, why can’t TCM? A giant in the industry, Eu Yan Sang recognised the opportunity to reignite the TCM conversation and facilitate a platform for educating and converting the modern consumer. The forward-looking and strategic direction of Constant combined with the heritage and strength of Eu Yan Sang became a powerful duo invested in repositioning TCM as a premium, top-of-mind health care solution.

We asked ourselves, if yoga, a traditional Indian art, could get to where it is today, why can’t traditional Chinese medicine lifestyle?


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.


The main objective here is to demystify TCM and make the brand relevant to the modern society. To achieve that, Constant understood the importance of first solidifying and aligning the brand foundations internally with Eu Yan Sang. Our strategic process was to conduct three major workshops with the Eu Yan Sang management team – ‘Discovery’, ‘Vision’ and ‘Roadmap’. Through unpacking ideas, discussing future initiatives and asking probing questions, we worked towards a refined set of brand elements for Eu Yan Sang to adapt and translate into tangible communication approaches and content strategies.

Constant’s method for these workshops was to encourage open and unfiltered communication amongst the Eu Yan Sang team. We developed a process of reiteration, where feedback was extracted from the management and added to a pool of information, from which critical analysis and insights could be formulated. In this way, brand strategy remained fluid until common themes and patterns could be identified.

Brand strategy remained fluid until common themes and patterns could be identified.


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.

The partnership between Eu Yan Sang and Constant is the beginning of an exciting journey. With an ongoing collaboration in brand and campaign development, this case is testament to the value in uniting heritage and legacy with innovative, creative brand consultancy.

An independent brand consultancy with offices in Hong Kong and Copenhagen. We define and design new products, services and experiences that drive growth for ambitious brands.

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