Vincent Tsui (ćŸç·Ł) has two very different public profiles.Â On one hand he’s the marketing director of skincare brand Mentholatum. The other is an outspoken columnist for Apple Daily, Sky Post and House News.
A year ago, Tsui was like any other marketing director juggling in the industry.
Then something changed when he decided to contribute to House News as a columnist.
His fame is inseparable from House News, Tsui confided, as the platform allows him to raise his voice against what he views as injustice issues on marketing, social, and even politics.
“I don’t hold back just because my political comments may bring consequences. I have been very vocal about social issues such as Occupy Central and ads being withdrawn on mainstream newspapers.”
He said this attitude marks the stand of his personal branding that he has been crafting – being outspoken.
“Most opinion leaders and powerful influencers have chosen to keep silent. This is a big problem,” he says.
Crafting personal characteristics is valuable for Tsui, as personal branding and corporate branding share common elements.
Kotler saysÂ marketing has gone through three distinct eras:
Marketing 1.0: The “Product centric” era
Marketing 2.0: The “Customer centricâ era
Marketing 3.0: The âValue-drivenâ era
Value-driven marketing is a force to be reckoned with following the emergence of social media, he said.
âBrands need to abide by certain values to engage with consumers. It should be an attitude, brands taking a stand on societal matters.â
An example of this approach was Starbucks and its support for gay marriage.
âWhen Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz expressed the brandâs support for same-sex marriage at the companyâs shareholder meeting, it humanised the brand.â
Tsui said the recent Wong Wai Kay HKTV stunt is another demonstration of the powerful impact for value-driven marketing.
âWhy the public are sticking up for Wong Wai Kay? Have they all seen his TV shows? I doubt it. But people support him for the value his represents, a voice against the dominance of mainstream television.â
On the flip side, chain restaurant Fairwood has some lessons to learn, regarding the blast associating controversial actor Chapman To (ææ±¶æŸ€).
Web users called for a boycott of Fairwood following its endorsement of To, who was labeled a threat to peace.
In response to the attack, Fairwood drew a clear line between the brand and the actor to ease the tension.
âThis is an act of bullying,â he said forcefully.
âBrands should be in touch with humanity and speak out against injustice. Just like Starbucks.â
As a marketer, Tsui believes his role holds the responsibility to perfect the products before putting the blames on ad agencies when campaigns donât sell.
âEvery marketer should ask themselves if they have fulfilled their duties to make sure their products are strong enough before challenging the capabilities of ad agencies.â
He stressed advertising agencies can only spread their wings when marketers and the public are also tasteful enough to embrace news ideas.
The primary task of building a creative culture in Hong Kong, he added, is to first improve the public acceptance of creativity.
“Audiences need to develop their own tastes to become more appreciative to something creative. Otherwise no matter how brilliant your creative work is, it just won’t work.”