Mon, Oct 29, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan Beer sets sights on US, Canadian markets

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp (TTLC, 台灣菸酒公司) intends to sell its star product, Taiwan Beer, to the US and Canadian markets and will set up a liaison office in China to promote it, TTLC chairman Martin Tsai (蔡木霖) said on Saturday.

Facing stiff competition from imported beers, Taiwan Beer has nonetheless managed to retain a domestic market share of approximately 80 percent thanks to the development of new product lines and successful marketing strategies, Tsai said.

Tsai made the remarks while addressing the Branding Taiwan Forum 2007 in Taipei, which also featured speeches by Chunghwa Telecom chairman Hochen Tan and ZyXEL Communications Corp chairman Chu Shun-i, who shared their experiences in brand building.

Noting the significance of marketing strategies, Tsai said that during the initial period following the government's opening the market to imported beer in 1987, Taiwan Beer's market share dropped sharply, from 99 percent to 72 percent.

The company reacted by developing its new Gold Medal Taiwan Beer brand in 2003 and later hired well-known entertainers and baseball players to tout the brand among young people, Tsai said.

The marketing strategy proved successful, as the new brand's market share jumped to 23 percent within four years, making it the second-biggest brand after Taiwan Beer in the nation's beer market, he said.

Following upon this success, the company is now seeking to expand its overseas markets beyond its existing operations in Japan and Southeast Asia, Tsai said, adding that a liaison office in China would soon open if approved by Beijing.

Tan, meanwhile, said the key to a successful brand lies in quality, business scale and customized services.

The success of innovative products, he said, depends on cooperation between manufacturers and distributors, as well as close ties between industries and government agencies.

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