Saturday, September 19, 2020

The Prospects Of Sustainability Through Brand Localisation Explored In Taiwan x Malaysia Business Matching Session

Major Influencers Of Visual Design And Branding From The Taiwan Design Circle Joined A Live Webinar To Share Their Thoughts

Last month, Taiwan Design Research Institute (TDRI) was honoured to play host to the Taiwan x Malaysia Business Matching Session – a continued effort by TDRI to bridge the communication gap between businesses and design. Held online this time around, the business matching gathered applications from all across the country, reaching a wider audience through social media despite the pandemic setbacks.

TDRI is the only design-based organisation in Taiwan promoting and exporting Taiwanese design services to other countries, and has already worked with several companies from Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Through a business matching platform, TDRI helps business owners and manufacturers to expedite the design and development phase of their project and make it a reality by the year end. 

This year also marks the second time TDRI has initiated the Taiwan x Malaysia Business Cooperation in collaboration with Malaysia’s homegrown and award-winning design agency, Tsubaki Studio. Along with major influencers of visual design and branding from the Taiwan design circle, the Taiwan x Malaysia Business Matching Session brought together some of the best design companies: Dot Design, Kimu Design, team CIRCORE, Ideoso Design, Bilateral Design, Summer Design, Holycow Design, IPRINT Design, and IS Design Brand Consultancy.

Prior to the business matching session, a webinar series with fellow design companies was streamed live on Facebook on July 22 and 23, 2020 and boasted a positive reception of close to 5,800 views, with Facebook users comprising graphic designers, brand consultants, digital artists, design students, and those from business communities. All 3 episodes were well-received by the enthusiastic audience. 

First to grace the webinar was TDRI’s President Chang Chi-Yi, who in his opening speech mentioned that design plays an important role in increasing value for businesses. As he noted, the business cooperation between Taiwan and Malaysia with a focus on design is a plausible idea that can contribute to the local economy as well as cultural growth.

Chang Chi-Yi, President of Taiwan Design Research Institute (TDRI)

“This year, Covid-19 seems like a threat to the world but for us, we see it as an opportunity. With design, we hope we can grow our economy and compete better,” he noted during the first episode of the webinar. “We hope our collaboration with Malaysia can bring more opportunities to everyone.”

The big line-up of speakers included Lance Han, director of Dot Design; Link Lin, founder of team CIRCORE; Ryan Han, director of Holycow Design; Lin Ken-Yu, executive director of IS Design Brand Consultancy; Kelly Lin, founder of Kimu Design; Joy Chu Hsiang-Yi creative director of Ideoso Design; Eric Wang, industrial designer of Summer Design; KF Lim, founder of  Bilateral Design; and IPRINT Design’s creative director Jone Chen Yu-Chung and market strategy manager Daniel Chen Yu-Hung.

Each speaker also gave a brief presentation about their portfolio and shared examples of successful local Taiwanese brands in the market and why branding plays an important role in any business. It was in hopes that by sharing their honest views on the application of brand localisation in businesses, those looking to brand or re-brand their businesses in a new environment post-Covid-19 would see the Taiwan x Malaysia Business Matching Session as an opportunity whereby a subsidy of 60% is being offered by TDRI to successfully-matched projects. 

A total of 16 candidates were selected from the application process. It attracted people from various industries including food and beverage, fast-moving consumer goods, furniture manufacturing, quantum acoustics, printing, retail, wholesale, and services. 

Taiwan x Malaysia Business Matching Session – a continued effort by TDRI to bridge the communication gap between businesses and design was held online this time around

To be eligible for the subsidy, one needed to submit an online application form and have an initial 30-minute meeting with the design companies that had been handpicked for them based on their budget needs and project requirements, after which the business proposals would be reviewed by TDRI. The services on offer include branding, corporate identity design, product design, packaging design, visual design, and web design.

For more information regarding Taiwan Design Research Institutes’s initiative and the design companies from Taiwan, check out:

To watch recordings of the webinar, go to:

Webinar Highlights

Here are some interesting quotes from the speakers:

Lance Han, director of Dot Design: 
“Clients have the knowledge and experience with regards to their industry more than we (designers) do. Therefore, it is important for us to learn from them and be inspired by their experience. In return, we show them what the future may look like for their brand and inspire them.”

Link Lin, founder of team CIRCORE: 
“Many companies are afraid when it comes to a rebranding exercise. There will be a period of time when they are unable to see the results of their investment. However, one of our clients were able to grow their business within a year after the rebrand. I think what’s important is how long a business can survive and how far it can grow with its current brand image.”

Ryan Han, director of Holycow Design: 
“From January to May 2020, when the pandemic was a serious matter, our business actually grew because our clients had taken this time and opportunity to rethink about their businesses and saw their revenue increase during these few months. Somehow for us, we were able to grasp the silver lining of the pandemic and bring an unexpected positive outcome for our clients. 

Lin Ken-Yu, executive director of IS Design Brand Consultancy: 
“Sometimes, when our design is too outrageous we might compromise to match the market needs and the client’s budget.”

Joy Chu Hsiang-Yi, creative director of Ideoso Design: 
“I think it is the people of Taiwan that makes us unique. We are a very people-oriented community. I think that makes us empathetic in our design and our designers have less limitations culturally due to our openness. This allows many of our local talents to grow. We have the diversity which is very healthy for design development.”

Kelly Lin, founder of Kimu Design: 
“International brands from Italy and Holland discovered us through our signature products. I think the exposure comes from what we can do as a designer and also luck.”

Eric Wang, industrial designer of Summer Design: 
“For us, the pandemic affected our business quite heavily. Many of our clients are from overseas and the pandemic had stopped many of their operations. To survive this, I believe companies should develop more new and innovative products to compete in the future.”

KF Lim, founder of Bilateral Design: 
“I find that during this pandemic many of my friends and clients realised that branding is important.”

Jone Chen Yu-Chung, creative director of IPRINT Design: 
“Branding is very important; it is a sign of trust for consumers. If a brand is weak, consumers will have less confidence in the company because branding can influence the profitability of a company.”

About Taiwan Design Research Institute (TDRI)

Design is taking the world by storm. It plays an increasingly important role in the economy, culture, and society of a country. Meanwhile, more and more industries are treating design as a core competitive advantage. With this in mind, the government is establishing the “Taiwan Design Research Institute” (TDRI) in 2020. The aim of this project is to capitalise on Taiwan’s strengths in design to drive industrial development and the overall economic growth. The TDRI plans to consolidate public resources from a wide range of government agencies with “the power of design,” promoting design as a central governance value and as a national defense strategy. The Institute is expected to guide the sustainable development of industries and society, which should in turn improve the living quality of the general public. It can assist the government in making national design policy and increasing governance efficiency. In addition, through an integrated interdisciplinary approach, the Institute will introduce design-based thinking into government administration, drive talent cultivation in the private sector, and build businesses that lead the design industry.

For the latest news on TDRI:

Official Website: 


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