What is the TREND and WHAT can you do to keep ahead?
On the one hand, it is extremely difficult to complete in the discount, commodity sector. It is dominated by the big players and cost-down solutions. These eventually hollow out the value of your products so only a “shell” remains.
This is the situation of many players in Taiwan today who feel forced to cost-down by reducing people costs (salaries), place costs (site) and production costs (value) below the minimum – even to cheat, as the recent foodstuffs scandals witness – in order to remain price-competitive.
On the other hand, competing in the premium, luxury sector involves greater investments in all these areas. These investments have to be made at a time when maybe cash flow is falling. However, if these investments are not made in time, the business might fail despite a traditionally strong market position.
Today, to stay abreast of change, a business must change even faster.
This is even more evident in the many businesses currently in the difficult process of transitioning
- from the thinking of an older generation who maybe started the business in the period prior to 2000 and know how to make a profit on even very slim but stable margins made through engineering on the production side
- to the thinking of a younger generation who are maybe educated abroad and understand new, more dynamic social and cultural trends which result in considerable but riskier profits that can be made on through branding on the market side
For the last 10 years, government agencies have been encouraging and subsidising businesses to create their own, more up-market brands, but on the whole the process has failed and many of our clients, big and small, have lost a lot of money trying. The old, sure way of thinking at least keeps the business running, but new ways of thinking are necessary to keep them up-to-date with new and emerging trends.
From our Industrial and Consumer Product Design Department we know that this problem is not only in Retail, but also at the core of many manufacturing companies, indeed, at the heart of most business in Taiwan.
In fact the dilemma is so serious and fundamental that at the moment it seems that the conflict between the two ways of thinking among smaller businesses and in the supplier networks that are so vital to the domestic business environment, that it could even threaten the future of the commercial sector.
With over 30 year’s of international experience – and over 10 servicing premium clients in Taiwan – we really understand the situation, your problems and have a great team to support you through the difficult times ahead!