What do you think when you see the logo on the shoes?
If you can link this logo with Nike, one of the world’s leading sportswear brands, you are not alone—in fact, most people are able to recognize Nike from the logo alone, demonstrating that Nike has one of the most powerful brand identities in the world.
With humble beginnings as a running shoe retailer in small-town Oregon, how did Nike gain a global reach and change the face of the athletic wear industry? Besides being a reputable company that produces high-quality products, Nike also successfully communicates their values to their target audience and creates a commonly shared understanding of what their brand represents.
What does your brand represent? What do people feel when they come across your brand? Does your target audience understand what you’re trying to communicate?
The largest environmental services provider in Taiwan—ECOVE Environmental Corporation—was asking itself these same questions as they prepared to launch their ambitious business strategy and increase their global market share. ECOVE realized their brand image needed a significant boost in order to attract attention in new markets.
What’s the next step for Taiwan’s environmental services industry?
I was part of the rebranding project for Taiwan’s largest environmental services firm, ECOVE Environmental Corporation. One of my key roles in this project was planning, researching, and writing three white papers that addressed the three main pillars of ECOVE’s business: Energy-from-Waste, Photovoltaic Power, and Recycling.
I came away from this project completely enamored with Taiwan, and fully convinced that Taiwan should be the center of the global environmental movement. Not only did Taiwan break free of its “Garbage Island” namesake to develop the world’s second-best recycling system in just 30 years, it also boasts some of the world’s most advanced recycling technologies and is home to leading producers of solar modules, LED lights, and other green products.
Taiwan is a global hub of green technologies and products—if this is the case, why isn’t a clear association between “green” and “Taiwan” ingrained in the hearts and minds of everyone living in Taiwan? Why did it take a six-month-long, research-intensive project, where I dug into environmental policy archives and interviewed Taiwan’s leading environmental experts before I became aware of this?
Taiwanese environmental service companies have world-leading green technology and products—this is true. But having the best products and the best technologies is only the first step to becoming a globally influential company.
The next step is convincing potential international clients that your products and technologies are indeed industry-leading, and, even more importantly, convincing them to work with and trust your company.
How to build a brand image that speaks to the target market?
As part of the rebranding effort, I worked with the communications team to figure out the best way to present ECOVE to the world. What information should they put on their website? What ideas and concepts should we emphasize?
First, we had to start with the basics. What does ECOVE do?
ECOVE started as an Energy-from-Waste company and has since expanded into other environmental services including solar energy, PET bottle recycling, and wastewater recycling—it is now the largest environmental services provider in Taiwan.
Great. Next: What differentiates ECOVE from its competitors? What are ECOVE’s values? Their vision? Their reason for being?
In other words, what is the fundamental driving force that keeps pushing ECOVE forward? At DDG, we refer to this internal drive as the “brand catalyst”. A strong brand catalyst is essential to success in the international market.
It didn’t take long before we discovered ECOVE’s brand catalyst: efficiently cycling resources. ECOVE wasn’t satisfied with just recovering energy from disposed resources. They were driven to keep improving their operations to recover as much energy as possible—as of today, ECOVE recovers resources with 30 percent more efficiency than 20 years ago, at a rate comparable with Europe’s leading Energy-from-Waste service providers. Whether they’re generating solar energy, recycling wastewater, or recovering energy from waste, ECOVE has always been committed to extracting the full potential from each resource.
This core idea culminated into ECOVE’s new slogan: “Every Resource Counts”.
Encompassing ECOVE’s core values, this slogan creates a strong association between ECOVE and its core values—strengthening ECOVE’s brand image as it strides into the global market.
Becoming an internationally recognized brand
Even though ECOVE had some of the world’s best technology in their field and an established reputation among their clients, very few people were aware of this before their rebranding.
After launching its new brand image last September, this is all starting to change. ECOVE is already making waves in Taiwan, and is well on its way to becoming an internationally recognized brand.
ECOVE is not the only environmental service provider in Taiwan that hasn’t been given its due time in the spotlight. Taiwan is overflowing with under-appreciated leaders in environmental technology with the caliber to compete in the international arena, who are only lacking a strong brand image.
ECOVE is boldly leaping into the international market to join the ranks of global environmental leaders—for those on the look-out for promising new brands, keep ECOVE on your watchlist.
I worked with the marketing team at DDG–a brand consultancy based in Taipei–to develop this article. It demonstrates my role in the highly successful rebranding project for Taiwan’s largest environmental services company, including developing three white papers on different environmental topics pertinent to Taiwan (Energy-from-Waste, Photovoltaic Power, and the Circular Economy.)
Originally published on February 27, 2018 on DDG’s journal.