Tsingtao is a well-known Chinese beer established in 1903, a leading brand in China and the most widely recognised Chinese brand worldwide. Tsingtao has accompanied generations of Chinese over the years and is typically the first beer Chinese men have experienced.
This heritage means that Tsingtao is universally known and part of the fabric of China’s culture, but also means it is perceived by the younger generation as “my father’s beer.” Today, Tsingtao wants consumers to recognise the brand’s passion, youthfulness and establish a fashionable brand image as a truly global beer brand, on par with Heineken or Budweiser. Thus to attract Chinese millennial, Tsingtao needed to shift consumer perceptions from “my father’s beer” to “my beer.”
In helping Tsingtao lead the way as the first global Chinese beer brand, we first looked at what Tsingtao meant to their consumers today. Despite some success in recruiting the younger generation, Tsingtao is still seen as a Chinese beer to be enjoyed only when eating Chinese food. We encouraged Tsingtao to think like a global brand and to truly be global; Tsingtao must rise above their country of origin and create specific beer moments that are relevant and complementary to today’s consumer lifestyle.
We turned stereotypical associations with Tsingtao, a beer typically enjoyed around a Chinese dining table, into the essence of the brand. Even in the younger generation, mealtime is still the primary occasion for socialising whether it's with friends or family. So we wanted to associate the brand with the richly satisfying moments of coming together. Moments are more enjoyable with the right company, dinner is better together with Tsingtao.
The design challenge was daunting - how to bring forward over 100 years of brand equity while also reinvigorating and modernising the brand to reflect today’s China. Given Tsingtao’s strong heritage, we audited their key brand assets and identified the key assets to aid consumer recognition, leverage the reputation and heritage and create affiliation with the brand. The resulting design breathes new life into heritage elements of the brand while creating new brand assets to bring Tsingtao forward as a premium, modern and truly global Chinese brand.