Evoking joy in every bite for every generation

Raising brand relevance while celebrating heritage and authenticity

A Singapore pioneer in traditional Cantonese pastries since 1935, Tong Heng faced the familiar challenge of brand relevance in a rapidly changing world.

FINDING THE JOY WITHIN

Working with the 3rd and 4th generation owners of Tong Heng, we quickly discovered the humanity brought life to the bakery’s famous diamond-shaped egg tarts and other perennial favourites. There was genuine camaraderie amongst the staff and owners, and a quiet pride in the popularity of Tong Heng’s pastries that graced happy moments from having tea with friends, to special occasions like engagements, weddings, anniversaries and more.

Recognizing this as the brand essence, ‘Joy in a Bite’ was codified into the new brand story, which served as a reality check for all subsequent creative and design tasks. If it didn’t evoke delight, it went back to the drawing board. We paid extra attention to the Chinese radicals for ‘一口’ (a bite) within the character for ‘興’ (prosper), thereby incorporating the brand essence into the brandmark itself.

PACKED FULL OF CHARACTER

We then sought ways to translate the essence of Tong Heng into physical form. Rejecting the obvious visual cues for a ‘traditional Chinese brand’, we asked: “What does heritage mean to Tong Heng?” 

We found the answer in the pastries themselves: age-old recipes, honest ingredients, iconic shapes, and the cultural meanings tied to the many happy occasions for which Tong Heng was the perfect accompaniment. All these elements that collectively define the brand experience were incorporated into tangible touchpoints: stationery, packaging, retail collaterals, photography and even the store itself. 

The result is a holistic manifestation of Tong Heng as a brand full of life, engaging with old and young alike, able to stand apart from newer offerings, yet never losing sight of why it has thrived for over 80 years.

SHOWN IN THE BEST LIGHT

We further developed the brand language in terms of food styling and art direction, using the tools of lighting, colour and composition to express joyfulness in a modern and tasteful manner.

A SPACE FIT FOR ALL

Beneath the visual delight of 60’s-inspired terrazzo countertops and clan-hall style full-length mirror is a deeply considered approach to realising the brand essence in spatial form. By designing the desired user journey experience for customers and staff, we arrived at elegant solutions that worked holistically for the brand.

Things like a modern, Instagrammable approach to product display; subtle visual cues like the diamond-shaped lighting fixtures and floor tiles; and an L-shaped shelf layout that extended to the sidewalk that engaged passersby, and allowed for sales to continue even during closed-door events.

The new branding is also translated to the store’s exterior, from the main signage and awning, to the custom lighted signage that beacons to visitors exploring the environs of Singapore’s Chinatown.

SPREADING JOY WHERE FANS GATHER

To bring the brand story into the digital realm, a content strategy was developed for Tong Heng, consisting of 4 pillars: Inspire, Inform, Promote and Engage. Posts were designed to communicate Tong Heng’s joyful personality to generate organic engagement and follower growth with younger consumers.

If you want to do a proper rebranding that keeps the soul of your brand, you need an agency that will put in the time and effort to understand the brand and the people behind it. In our 5 years working with &Larry, they have infused the essence of Tong Heng into everything that they designed for us. From our logo and packaging to the design of the shop, every element is authentic and an opportunity to tell our story to customers, new and old.

Ana Fong

Chief Operating Officer, Tong Heng Delicacies

RENEWED FROM INSIDE OUT

Perhaps the most telling were the intangible gains. Since the rebranding, Tong Heng has attracted younger job applicants who have brought a new sense of energy to serving customers. There was no need for paid reviews either; we worked with Tong Heng to create social media content with human interest stories and behind-the-scenes nuggets that showed how they continue to make every pastry with care and respect for traditions.

The quality of the pastries, brand experience and customer engagement by younger staff has led to organically driven growth, with increased walk-in discovery by locals and tourists, and a healthy and growing fan base on Facebook and Instagram. With a clear sense of the brand’s core tenets, Tong Heng is poised for continued success and relevancy with a new generation of Singaporeans and overseas fans alike.

16x

follower growth
on Instagram
since 2018

12.5%

increased sales
during 2019
Lunar New Year

23%

growth in total
revenue in 2018

30%

hike in the sales of
wedding pastries

10%

stabilised growth
thereafter

48→30

drop in the average
age of new hires by
18 years

RENEWED FROM INSIDE OUT

Perhaps the most telling were the intangible gains. Since the rebranding, Tong Heng has attracted younger job applicants who have brought a new sense of energy to serving customers. There was no need for paid reviews either; we worked with Tong Heng to create social media content with human interest stories and behind-the-scenes nuggets that showed how they continue to make every pastry with care and respect for traditions.

The quality of the pastries, brand experience and customer engagement by younger staff has led to organically driven growth, with increased walk-in discovery by locals and tourists, and a healthy and growing fan base on Facebook and Instagram. With a clear sense of the brand’s core tenets, Tong Heng is poised for continued success and relevancy with a new generation of Singaporeans and overseas fans alike.

TONG HENG DELICACIES PTE LTD

FOOD & BEVERAGE

ART DIRECTION, BRAND IDENTITY, BRAND STORY, CONTENT STRATEGY, COPYWRITING, SPATIAL DESIGN, GRAPHIC DESIGN, ILLUSTRATION, PACKAGING, SOCIAL MEDIA, WEBSITE DESIGN, BRAND SYSTEMS

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