TGH Collective’s Tay Guan Hin – Expanding into the SEA Market

Tay Guan Hin is the Founder at TGH Collective. He has helped Shell, Johnson & Johnson, HSBC, and other global brands improve market share and solve business challenges. Therefore he is a true collaborator and works with some of the most creative agencies in the world. He spoke at Content Marketing Summit 2019 in Seoul. There he delivered insightful thoughts regarding creativity and how to increase brand preference and improve digital engagement.

Korean startups that are interested in expanding into the Southeast Asian market should check out TGH Collective. They can help you learn more about the advertising and marketing industry in Singapore. In addition, TGH Collective offers the Gung Ho Collective which is a creativity-driven integrated agency. They have assembled some of the top specialists and experts in their field to develop the most effective innovative solutions to solve client’s business challenges.

Seoulz got a chance to interview Tay Guan Hin on his thoughts on the Korean startup ecosystem.

Tay Guan HinSeoulz:  What are some of the issues that Korean startups might face when entering the Southeast Asian market?

Tay Guan Hin:  Korean startups seem to have a lack of deep understanding of the SEA market and cultures. Southeast Asia is made up of many different countries. Countries like Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Manila..etc each have unique cultures and values. Startups need to research each market well and understand their challenges and needs. Startups need to provide a need or solution in their marketing approach to reach consumers that’s relevant, authentic and purposeful.

Seoulz:  What was the most creative marketing campaign you have seen that was a success in Singapore?

Tay Guan Hin: NTUC‘s The worst parents in the world was one of my favorites. It has been watched by over 5.1 million people to date. In addition, it has been shared by over 90,000 people across various channels, including Facebook and YouTube. The video is set in a wedding banquet. It is about a groom giving a speech to his parents.  He starts by calling his parents, “the worst parents in the world” and spoke about how his childhood was miserable compared to his friends. Suddenly, he later mentioned that he was grateful for the way his parents brought him up, saying: “Had you given me everything I wanted back then, I wouldn’t have everything I can have now.” Because his parents saved for their retirement, it allowed him and his wife to “focus on the steps (they’d) like to take” in their new lives together.

Seoulz:  What are the key social media sites to target when entering Singapore and SEA?

Tay Guan Hin: Many countries across SEA look at Facebook. Southeast Asia is a dynamic mobile-first region and the fastest-growing for Facebook. Connecting the more than 241 million people. Instagram is the second most popular. In 2017, Instagram passed 500 million globally and many came from Southeast Asia. In the Philippines alone, the number of users jumped 50% between 2015 and 2016, according to the Global’s Connect Life Report by Kantar TNS.  As for Malaysia, 73% of internet users have an Instagram account. This is higher than in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Seoulz:  How are Korean brands perceived in Singapore?  What are in demand?

Tay Guan Hin: Korean beauty products, K-pop, Korean Drama, and celebrities are some of the things Singapore loves. In the last 9 years, the number of K-beauty labels available here has more than tripled.  It has gone up from about 15 in 2010 to more than 70 now. At Changi Airport, the South Korean duty-free chain The Shilla Duty-Free opened. They introduced brands such as Ryo, RE: NK and Giverny.  Multi-brand beauty chain Sasa rolled out its Selective concept store at Ion Orchard, with 11 Korean beauty brands including 3 Concept Eyes, Soo Beaute and Cliv.

The amount that Singaporeans spend on beauty products continues to grow. There are no figures for actual sales that come from spending on K-beauty products. However, Korean brands have a big part to play in the overall growth in the beauty sector in Singapore. According to a Bloomberg article published in April 2015, South Korean beauty companies such as Amorepacific and LG are growing at breakneck speed compared to other industries in the country.

Expanding into the Southeast Asian Market

Tay Guan Hin has years of experience helping brands grow through creativity and creating relatable stories to best portray the brand. Therefore, Korean startups looking to enter the SEA market and especially Singapore need to work with TGH Collective. Furthermore, they are one of the top digital marketing agencies in SEA and they are really disrupting and transforming the industry. They are a data-driven agency that blends creativity and data. Check them out if you are looking to expand outside of Korea and into SEA.