Entrepreneur

This Brand Is Almost As Old As M’sia—Here Are 2 Methods They’re Using To Stay Relevant

Throughout the years, Malaysia has been home to many brands successfully making their way into the lives of our society. Some of them having even been around since our great-grandparents’ days.

Sissons Paints is one of them, still operating after 59 years which makes them almost as old as Malaysia itself. This is an impressive feat considering that we have more than a 100 paint brands in our country alone.

So what is it like running a brand that has been around for decades? We managed to chat with Jacky Chin, the Sales Director of Sissons Paints Malaysia, and learned a bit more about what the brand was like back then to now.

The History Behind Sissons

A lot of people may assume that Sissons’ has local roots, but it’s not.

The beginnings of this brand actually dates back to 1803, when the Sissons brothers founded the paint company in England—meaning that they have been in the paint making business for the past 200 years.

The brand first made its way to Malaysian shores in 1959 through Sissons Paints (East) and since then, it has gone through multiple owners as well as rebranding phases including one of the largest conglomerates in Malaysia, Boustead Holdings Berhad, before its current management.

Image Credit: Sissons Paints

Many successful projects were undertaken by Sissons Paints, spanning through a variety of industries. Some of the more notable projects include Sepang Gold Coast, MyTown Shopping Centre, The Curve, The Royale Hotel Raja Chulan, and the whole residential area of Mutiara Damansara.

As the paint is locally manufactured, Sissons Malaysia also exports their products to other countries, such as Myanmar, Brunei, and Hong Kong.

But of recent years, the brand is struggling slightly in terms being a recognisable name to the younger generation.

So when True Colour Painting Solutions took over in December 2017, Jacky Chin, the Sales Director of Sissons Malaysia, decided that a shift was needed.

Bringing Back Their Game

Sissons gained its peak popularity in Malaysia back in the 80s, but since then, not enough efforts have been done to push their name out which has caused a minor setback in their branding.

Jacky knew that moving forward, digitising their marketing strategies were top priority as social media continues to dominate and the reach there is a lot wider.

But other than creating content for their social media platforms, another avenue that Jacky wanted to explore more was collaborations between brands.

“I was actually inspired by the recent collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Supreme, where a luxury brand and a streetwear brand joined forces and created great products,” shared Jacky.

So one of the collaborations that recently happened was between Sissons and Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC), where they painted the walkways leading to the cinema halls in GSC Paradigm Mall Johor Bahru, the biggest cinema in all of Johor.

Image Credit: Sissons Paints

The idea was to turn the usual boring blank walls into murals that would instantly attract attention with the 36 different colours used, which was actually inspired by the colours on GSC’s popcorn bucket!

It took a total of 31 days for the project to be completed, and Jacky shared that a lot of layering techniques were used to create a 3D effect on the walls from certain angles.

“We wanted designs which were not only bright and colourful, but also grabbed attention with its unique artwork. The goal was for it to be eye-catching enough for people to upload on social media, and we were pleased to see people happily taking photos with it while we were there,” said Jacky.

The collaboration won’t be ending there as Jacky mentioned that they were planning on running competitions involving the murals to generate more traction.

Besides that, Jacky also looked into another trend that seems to be heavily supported by our government recently: e-sports.

He added, “I believe e-sports has potential to grow even more in Malaysia, and PUBG was a game I noticed was quite popular. So I thought it would be a good idea to involve Sissons in this by sponsoring a team.”

Image Credit: Sissons Paints

The idea for this came about after Jacky heard that a Malaysian duo, dubbed the AWFUL SQUAD, managed to qualify for 1st Broadcaster Royale event which was organised by TWITCH and PUBG.

As there aren’t a lot of national e-sports athletes, he found it quite impressive for the team to qualify among many other international players to represent our country to the U.S. where the event would take place.

Though the team did not make it to the finals, the event was viewed by hundreds of thousands around the world, which left Jacky satisfied.

“We’ve been around for 59 years, so we consider ourselves more of the older generation. It’s nice for us to be able to do something for the younger generation and helping to push our country on the global stage while also creating awareness to our brand.”

Moving Forward

In the future, Jacky hopes to be able to do more collaborations such as these where the branding may be subtle but it’s enough to stay ahead with the current trends and work with brands who have a large following.

When asked about what other plans he has in mind for the next few years, he mentioned that though their current focus is on digital marketing, the brand would like to go back to traditional marketing somewhat.

“If you look at our local paint industry, it’s very traditional. So although we want to be different and stand out, we can’t stray too far away,” said Jacky.

As shown in the previous collaborations, Jacky brought up his wishes to work more with local brands as one of his goals is to be able to build up Malaysian companies among the citizens.

“Even though the brand came from England, the root is still close to Malaysia. It may have come in as Sissons Paints East, but everything is still local and that is an image that we want to keep.”

This article was written in collaboration with Sissons Paints.

 

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