Reactivating branding to remain relevant

Great combo: DMT’s Fruit Mooncakes are a collaboration between Peninsula College and Fruit Kiah, combining the freshness of fruits with the entrepreneurial spirit that makes Malaysia a great nation.

THE time is now for Malaysian businesses to reactivate their branding activities, as the market gears up to enter the recovery phase.

Although some may choose to remain silent and ride out the market slump due to the Covid-19 pandemic, PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd group chief executive and managing director Datuk Michael Tio (DMT pic) is a firm believer that branding needs to be maintained through both good and bad times.

“When your customers do not hear or see your brand during slow times, they would assume that you are no longer in business.

“Remind them that you are still around and are looking to work closely with those seeking to grow their business, regardless of market sentiment, ” he advises.

What a view: The Nature Walk features a highly Instagrammable Japanese themed garden that stretches over 750m.

Following the ‘Milo van phenomenon’While the bulk of PKT Logistics Group’s branding exercises are focused on social media platforms such as Facebook, offline activities such as the sponsorship of business awards, business-related events, as well as radio advertisements help solidify the brand’s positioning.

When asked about his approach towards branding strategies, Tio follows what he terms the “Milo van phenomenon”.

“You’ll notice that the Milo van is present at most school sports days or sporting events, where they distribute free drinks to children and parents. This makes us faithful to the brand because it is ingrained in us since young.

“Similarly, those who are familiar with the PKT Logistics Group brand are likely to join us as employees or become our business partners after engaging with us actively through various branding touch points such as social media and community initiatives, ” explains Tio.

There was never a dull moment for PKT Logistics Group following the enforcement of the movement control order (MCO) on March 18 earlier this year.

As businesses prepared to resume operations with the relaxation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and the enforcement of the recovery MCO from June 10 onwards, PKT Logistics Group kicked into high gear and devised multiple initiatives to boost morale and spread positivity.

Its first such engagement was the Lemang Kiah initiative, which was an online lemang and rendang delivery service.

The idea behind Lemang Kiah came about one week before the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations, when Tio empathised with the plight of small-scale entrepreneurs such as lemang sellers – who tend to make their profit during the festive period – and wondered how they would survive during the conditional MCO.

As such, Lemang Kiah had a two-fold approach to address the prevailing sluggish market conditions. The first was by helping lemang sellers to market their products online on a wider-reaching platform, while the second was to ensure PKT Logistics Group’s in-house The Lighthouse Bistro could produce chicken rendang dishes to complement the lemang.

“By sharing the goodness and joy of the Hari Raya celebrations, we were able to keep our kitchen running and earn an income to sustain our overheads.

Branding mantra: Tio is a firm believer of the ‘Milo van phenomenon.’

“The Lemang Kiah initiative managed to sell over 900 sticks of lemang during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Raya Aidiladha periods, ” says Tio.

Riding on the success of Lemang Kiah, PKT Logistics Group then expanded the Lemang Kiah menu for food delivery services to include nasi lemak spaghetti with rendang ayam as its signature offerings.

Celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit

In line with the Mid-Autumn Festival that will take place on Oct 1, DMT’s Fruit Mooncakes was conceptualised as a collaboration between Peninsula College and Fruit Kiah.

Peninsula College is the education arm of PKT Logistics Group that provides quality tertiary education to students via a campus-in-industry concept, where the college campus co-exists within an industry complex.

Priced at RM68, each box comes with a selection of four mooncakes in different flavours, comprising of Royal Durian, Scholar’s Favourite Fruits and Nuts, Green Tea with Golden Pineapple and Ginseng with Xinjiang Dates.

The response was extremely encouraging, as over 1,100 boxes of DMT’s Fruit Mooncakes have been sold thus far.

“Using the Mid-Autumn Festival as a central theme, we celebrate the Malaysian entrepreneurial spirit with these mooncakes as a reminder that we too can overcome obstacles when we collaborate and work together.

“These four mooncake flavours are tailored to the Malaysian palate with the likes of Royal Durian, while introducing new editions such as Ginseng with Xinjiang Dates, ” says Tio.

Strolling around a Japanese garden

The transition to the recovery MCO allowed many businesses, namely those in tourism and places of interest, to open whilst complying with government SOPs.

This was a golden opportunity for many Malaysians to seek respite and travel domestically after being in a lockdown for many months.

Sensing an opportunity for positive engagement, PKT Logistics Group introduced a Farmer’s Night Market at The 12 Waves, Batu Kawan, Penang in July 2020.

The inaugural Farmers Night Market brought together the best stall operators from Penang, all under one roof, to sell a variety of snacks and local produce.

While most warehouses are usually off-limits to the public, the logistics group welcomed members of the public to experience the recreational activities found at The 12 Waves, namely, the Nature Walk, which features a 750m-long Japanese garden.

“The Farmer’s Night Market is a great way for us to introduce Penangites to PKT Logistics Group and what we can offer beyond logistics services.

“We would like to position ourselves as a member of the community that actively contributes to the wellbeing of the state, ” says Tio.

The Nature Walk is a specially curated Japanese Zen garden that stretches the length of The 12 Waves warehouse. The 750m garden features 118 Tecoma trees that resemble sakura trees in Japan.

Fronting the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge, the garden features a mori forest, a Koi pond, a tea house, a waterfall and a paddy plantation.

“Most warehouses restrict entry to outsiders. However, we at PKT Logistics Group believe that warehouses need not be dull-looking fortresses that are closed to the world.“Our iconic warehouses offer guided tours, as there is high interest from the education and business community who are curious to learn how we can make logistics a sexy business, ” explains Tio on how he engages with PKT stakeholders and surrounding communities.

Limited stocks of DMT’s Fruit Mooncakes are now available for purchase. Whatsapp 019-4995033 or scan the QR code to enquire.