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Strategy   Brand

Activation   Experiences

Digitalisation   UI/UX

Talking about how a classic brand can win over modern markets

Chien Chi Tow no

The project rejuvenated a traditional business, transforming space, service, and communications both online and off into a full brand experience.

Lifestyles change, values change. Things that worked before may not work today—different generations have different priorities.

Which is just not how things are

done anymore.

Correct. We helped Chien Chi Tow build an online presence, setting up a booking app, mobile payment, and online retail supported by a loyalty programme and CRM.

Did any service aspects need updating?

The store experience itself needed improvement. From the outside, you couldn’t see much of what was going on. But inside, there was very little privacy from consultation to treatment.

Communication materials were in Chinese, which limited the customer base. Prices were not listed—which, as you can imagine, felt off.

To address these points, we updated reception areas with a contemporary aesthetic and made them visible to passers-by. Consultation and treatment areas were created with more privacy and discretion, while new comms clearly outlined services and fees in English.

What does this say about the modern TCM consumer?

That the TCM of today is still very much about prowess and effectiveness, but communicated in a softer, gentler way. Modern consumers don’t want a provider as much as a partner—someone they can understand and make decisions with, someone who speaks their language.

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Chien Chi Tow, a heritage TCM brand!

They started in 1969, imagine? A pioneer among TCM brands, popular for their efficacy. And they did have that solid reputation for many, many years.

What happened?

Customer bases get older, lifestyles change, values change. Things that worked before may not work today—different generations have different priorities.

Can you talk a bit about TCM consumers? What do they look for?

The TCM market—it’s extensive, very nuanced. Not at all homogeneous. A lot of different needs and behaviours. A lot of brands. Even an established brand needs to cultivate visibility.

What was missing?

You have to understand that Chien Chi Tow has stayed a top-notch “product”. Just a little fallen behind the times.

We did a series of mystery audits and in-depth interviews to get to that, and the findings made the necessary improvements very clear.

People needed convenience and discretion. One example where these needs were not met was how, at that time, Chien Chi Tow bookings could only be made by phone and on-site.

Are there any other areas you touched on?

Yes. Maintaining consistency across several outlets is always a challenge. So we created service blueprints and manuals with step-by-step instructions for all service roles to help train staff.

 

We also encouraged a customer-centric service outlook, building customer intelligence with behaviour analytics, survey setup, and feedback forms.

Sounds very thorough. Did it work?

The project rejuvenated a traditional business with a holistic, omnichannel, and customer-centric approach, transforming space, service, and communications both online and off into a full brand experience.

More people engaged with the store, and the new interiors and better space planning greatly increased comfort—not just of the customers, but the staff, who were seen to work with renewed vigour as the new outlets featured proper rest areas and storage.

And the revival caught the eye of the media! Featured with great fanfare on Channel News Asia and ZaoBao.

(Laughs). Yes! It also appeared on the first episode of Channel New Asia’s new series Ctrl + Alt + Delete: A Tech Restart! highlighting the importance of keeping up with the times.

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