Located in the Daliao District of Kaohsiung, Qiao Jin Food was founded by Cheng Chi-yang’s parents in 1996. Qiao Jin focuses on seafood wholesaling and retailing, as well as the manufacturing of other processed food products such as snacks. After Chi-yang and his brother graduated from school and came home to help their parents, they noticed the transformation of the market and decided to develop their branding. As a result, they participated in the TGA Brand Counseling Project in 2016. Chi-yang recalls that he was most impressed by the crucial moment during the Project when seven or eight designing companies presented their brand name proposals in a row. When Chi-yang heard the name “Mr. Searo,” he immediately raised up his head and then he saw the back of a whale that stretches out like ocean’s horizon. The whale wears a small round red cap and is seen as if jumping out of the ocean towards the sun; the navy-blue whale has a curved belly in grey and white stripes that resemble the beach, and there are several small fish swimming casually near the whale’s fin. Bosin Design created a clever integration of the whale and its surroundings that caught Qi-yang’s eyes.
A Light-Hearted Brand Personality Invites Consumers to Enjoy Freshness from the Sea
There are several reasons the name Mr. Searo was chosen. First, “Qiao Jin” and “Mr. Searo (pronounced as xiao jin in Chinese)” sound similar and symbolize the spirit of inheritance. At the same time, they considered the acceptance level of Chi-yang’s father and his generation – only slight adjustments on the name could persuade the elder generation to proceed with the branding project. Moreover, the transformation from Qiao Jin to Mr. Searo is suitably more modern and more appropriately transmits the company’s oceanic image; at the same time, it also perfectly reflects Chi-yang and his brother’s love for sports and familiarity with water activities. In addition, the image of the whale swimming in the ocean reflects the sensation that Qiao Jin hopes to convey to its customers – passing their leisure time while “enjoying freely and relaxing” with the company of seafood snacks. The English name Mr. Searo is literally interpreted as “hero of the sea” who will safeguard the rights of all consumers.
Mr. Searo’s products include spicy silver-stripe round herring strips with scallions, original flavored flower crab crisps, original flavored croaker crisps, scallion champion shrimps, and sakura shrimp flavored croaker crisps. In the market nowadays, seafood products are usually deep-fried in order to save time, but Mr. Searo takes consumers’ health into consideration and has made use of natural raw materials and a roasting method. With no preservatives added, the manufacturing process takes more than 20 hours and requires manpower to continuously check and flip the products as necessary to avoid sticking. Products made today have to wait till tomorrow to be packaged. Even though the production capability is limited, Mr. Searo has been insisting on its procedures that will be beneficial to consumers. Moreover, Mr. Searo possesses a comprehensive supply chain that extends from handling raw materials to packaging, which is all done by its own factory to ensure food safety.
Branding Elevates Overall Image and Stays True to Company Beliefs
Conducting in-depth interviews and on-site visits helped Bosin Design to identify Mr. Searo’s uniqueness and to decide to present the products more visually. For instance, a standing paper box with an opening that resembles a fish’s mouth, lively and colorful shades, and the conversation box in the front of the package that emphasizes “Not Deep-Fried,” all communicate a fun brand personality to consumers, inviting them all to explore the rich tastes of an island country. Also, considering today’s lifestyle, small packages of 20g that are suitable for small families and office workers are also available so it’s easy to share with family and colleagues; the small size also prevents the products from being affected by humidity and keeps them crunchy.
Since joining the TGA Brand Counseling Project, Mr. Searo’s overall brand image has been enhanced, and more opportunities have also been offered. In 2018, Mr. Searo consecutively participated in FOODEX JAPAN, International Food and Beverage Exhibition in Shanghai, China, Taipei International Food Show, and TGA Summer Fun Times exhibition. It has also successfully obtained sales channels at EVA Air’s online shopping mall and MegaCity supermarkets. Qi-yang believes that brand positioning has allowed him to continuously remind himself of his original beliefs. Understanding his target groups, Qi-yang stands firm on providing quality products and avoids price wars in the hope of staying on track towards te high-end gift-giving market.
Chi-yang noted that devoting himself to the brand counseling project, attending different classes, seminars and workshops while referencing to experts’ views, have all stimulated him to have more dynamic ideas towards his own products. Bosin Design has not only focused on the products’ packaging, but more so on the brand’s sustainability. Chi-yang has expressed his high regard of the TGA Brand Counseling Project’s efforts and dedication in supporting small-scale businesses.