23 years ago Terry Waterhouse directed the rebranding and design of Eu Yan Sang International brand identity implementation programme.
The current Eu Yan Sang brand identity has remained timeless and relevant over the past 20 years since it was launch.
The call came from Mr. Richard Eu, C.E,O seeking assistance to rebrand, rejuvenate and reposition Eu Yan Sang brand In 1996.
As with Eu Kong the founder of Eu Yan Sang's Journey to Malaya from Guangdong in 1870, Eu Yan Sang needed to prepare for its next expeditious journey in to the new Millennium (2000), it’s 120th year anniversary and with the 4th generation having taken over the helm of the company with the vision to list the business on the Singapore Stock Exchange, this set the context for the rebranding project.
The brief for the task was formulated after undertaking a comprehensive audit of Eu Yan Sang’s brand image, the proposition, retail stores, customer experience, product packaging over three countries, Hong Kong, Singapore, & Malaysia.
At the time there was no brand consistency. There were six different logos in use across Eu Yan Sang in the three countries and also there was no differentiation between what was a logo, a sign, product trade marking and copyright on product.
There were many variables and misuse of Eu Yan Sang brand image which created confusion across the market as well as internally within the company. The lack of consistency and standardization added cost specifically in the branding application, copyrighting of Eu Yan Sang product packing.
The lack of brand consistency didn’t also help build Eu Yan Sang brand awareness and created a poor customer perception of the brand.
A brand audit was carried out to establish a market situation assessment of Eu Yan Sang brand image, Its competitors and also the emerging western wellness business.
The brand audit involved analysis, question why ? Challenge the status quo and look ahead to preferred future and seek to innovate Eu Yan Sang using the new brand identity as the catalyst of change.
A full Situation assessment and Strategic development programme was developed from the audit, which generated the new vision, new ideas and recommendations were formulated to establish the new corporate brand identity strategy and associated initiatives for future development.
The brand audit addressed all facets of Eu Yan Sang Business:
- Product & services
- Environments (shops, offices, factories)
- Communication (The brand, packing design, marketing, advertising)
- Behaviour (internal & external)
At the same time the market conditions for Traditional Medicine was going through changes, which were to also have an impact on the Eu Yan Sang future and these were taken in to consideration.
This process left no stone unturned and addressed every conceivable customer touch point of the business to develop the new Eu Yan Sang brand identity.
From this the current Eu Yan Sang Band was created.
The following questions were recently asked to Terry Waterhouse about the attributes of the Eu Yan Sang brand identity.
It's interesting to still see the strong authentic traditional roots of the business big idea and the symbolism of need for regeneration to stimulate new growth over the decades through the tree icon.
Q: What is the definition of each element of the logo?
A: The over all construction of logo represents Ying and Yang as it is split in two colours Burgundy & White.
The Burgundy colour forms the layer of earth, where produce grows and the roots of the brand are embedded. The white back ground is sky, atmosphere that provides the oxygen to life.
The key design element that forms the logo is a symbolic Chinese tree which stands for:
The tree is is also split in to two design elements:
The Roots of the depicted heritage and tradition of Traditional Chinese Medicine Philosophy that dates back 5000 years and also the 140 years history of growth of Eu Yan Sang’s brand
The upper portion of the tree trunk is symbolic of the future regeneration and growth of the Eu Yan Sang brand. Where growth and new ideas will blossom for the future.
The over all all styling of the tree is oriental and characteristic of Asia & Chinese.
The logo lock up is also cross cultural using traditional Chinese calligraphy and English typography.
Q: What was the brief given to you?
A: As stated above the overall brief was to rejuvenate and reposition Eu Yan Sang as a market leader in Chinese Medicine, rebrand for its 120 year birthday and position the brand in to the new Millennium (2000).
Q: How did you come up with this logo idea?
A: From the audit, analysis and creative process outlined above. It is important to note that we had a multi-disciplinary as well as multi-culture team working on this project.
That developed the strategy and thinking behind the direction of the new design of the brand through to the implementation process across all brand touch points.
Q: Was there any interesting thing that happened during the process of creating the logo?
Work on this was huge learning for the team to learn about the Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy, The history of Eu Yan Sang and gain insight to all the ingredients and the benefits of the products that Eu Yan Sang retailed. I personally sampled many of the products during the audit and remember not being able to sleep due the amount of Ginseng Tea I drink in the stores.
A: Also part of my research took me to a Traditional Chinese Medicine University in Guilin where I was plugged in the electrical mains circuit to demonstrate the Mandarin system and energy flowed around the body.
This was a fascinating project and certainly opened all our eyes to traditional Chinese Medicine highlighting to the team the strength and power of a believe system.
Also we could see the huge potential where Asian Wisdom and Western technology could be incorporated to make the product more accessible, customer friendly and accessible.
Q: Having designed the logo 20 years ago and seeing it now, what do you feel about creating this logo for Eu Yan Sang? Would you change anything?
A: The logo has stood the test of time and is time less.
Whilst the brand has developed & implemented many initiatives over the past twenty years, which has been welled received and recognized the brands weakest execution is in retail store network.
The Eu Yan Sang retail network is the brand s biggest foot print and public billboard for the brand and to my mind this is where the brand need to invest its future in.
The future of the Eu Snag Sang brand needs to appeal to a younger demographic and create a new customer experience that will integrate the Physical,Human and Digital experience (P.H.D).
What did you want customers to think and feel when experiencing the logo? What were your thoughts then?
We wanted to symbolise change to the market and the customers, build brand awareness, establish a device that could be consistently applied to all aspects of Eu Yan Sang Brand applications, convey quality, integrity and promote a more contemporary visual image.
Any quotes you would want to share for Eu Yan Sang’s 140th anniversary?
When we think of today’s most innovative companies, we often list those that are less than a decade old, based in Silicon Valley and have recently gone public.
Arguably more impressive, however, are the companies that have been around for not just 10 years, but 10-plus decades. That is, before the internet, let alone television, air travel, the Great Depression and the end of the first World War.
You Eu Yan Sang Has managed to survive through the years. Through striving to maintain relevance and innovate an industry that is dates back 5000 years.
The brand holds it's ground with many brands that have managed to sustain their brand and business for more 100 years.
To remain relevant over the next 60 years to the market landscape will be it's most challenged ever in its history.
"Those who look at the past and present are sure to miss the the future”. J.F. Kennedy
Change is now the new normal in every business sector today
We live in a world of fast change and information overload. The tectonic plates of the retail world are constantly shifting with new geographies, new strategies, new ideas, new products, new technologies, and new customer experiences.
But the fundamental fulcrum of manufacturing, distribution and consumption will always be retail whether through the physical retail store or the digital platform.
Eu Yan San now need to focus their attention on building its brand and community of customers through developing a new intimate relationship with its customer base both old and young, Asian and Western to establish a new life style centred around the philosophy of Chinese Medicine and transforming the customers perception from the old perception of traditional Chinese Medicine to new modern day life style and culture through the Physical, Human and Digital elements of its business.
The symbolism of the Eu Yang Sang logo has never been more relevant at that this time and hopefully the Eu Yan Sang brand will continue to grow, regenerate, and flourish for years to come.
Here are a list of centenarian.companies that Eu Yang Sang share a similar age:
List of companies that are over 100 years old.
Hamelys Toy shop (Founded :1760 (260 years old)
General Electric | Founded: 1892 (127 years old)
Coca-Cola | Incorporated in 1892 (127 years old)
The J.M. Smucker Company | Founded: 1897 (122 years old)
Target | Founded: 1902 (117 years old)
JCPenney | Founded: 1902 (115 years old)
UPS | Founded: 1907 (112 years old)
Boeing | Founded: 1916 (103 years old)
Nikon | 1917 (102 years old)
Shell Oil 1907b (112 years old)