Creating a champion brand from the ground up
Interview with Mr. KK Chong, Head of Strategic Marketing, Delta Electronics (Thailand)

Text by: Delta Electronics (Thailand)

Last year’s inclusion of Delta Electronics (Thailand) into the Delta Group and the strategic importance of Southeast Asia for production and market diversification has made promoting Delta’s branded businesses regionally a top priority. In this issue of Brand News Bi-Monthly, we interviewed Mr. KK Chong, Head of Strategic Marketing at Delta Electronics (Thailand), to find out more about how Delta Thailand is driving growth in one of the most promising regions in the global economy. We will also get his insights into what lies ahead for the Delta brand in Southeast Asia, India and Australia as well as thoughts about his over 15-year career at Delta.

From Thailand to the world
In Thailand, Delta Thailand is known as a public listed company in the SET50 index, a benchmark index of the top 50 performing companies listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET). It is also Thailand’s largest public listed electronics manufacturer with over 11,000 employees including over 100 employees from countries like Taiwan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Germany, Poland, etc.

In recent years, Thailand’s government is focusing on Thailand 4.0 policy to transform Thailand into a knowledge based economy with much emphases on Industry 4.0 and digitization. As a highly regarded company in Thailand, Delta’s prominence has been brought to the forefront. But instead of resting on our laurels, Delta Thailand’s Marketing team has to work even harder to have our product and corporate branding strategies regularly updated to be on par with any well-established global company.

Delta Electronics (Thailand) HQ’s new green lobby with vertical garden, ample charging points, comfortable seats and interactive screen is conceptualized by its Marketing team to provide employees and visitors a conducive and creative environment to inspire great ideas

Getting the ball rolling with Delta’s branding
“I have to say that working in a company that aligns its businesses to global megatrends makes marketing relatively easier.” Said KK. With Delta group’s focus shifting to solution businesses, Delta Thailand’s president Mr. Dick Hsieh felt the need for a dedicated corporate marketing and communications department and so in 2016, KK was asked to head the new Delta Thailand’s Marketing department which oversees all marcom activities in Southeast Asia, India and Australia. The department is further divided into Brand Management Office(BMO), Corporate Communications(Corp. Comm.) and Sustainable Development(SD) teams to align DET’s marketing strategy with Delta Corporate, DEI.

“As a relative latecomer to a playing field crowded by well-established brands, we have our work cut out for us if we are going to be heard above the noise and gain brand recognition on par with the competition.” said KK. In the first two years, Delta Thailand’s Marketing has largely focused on amplifying our voice and publicizing our achievements in sustainable financial performance, excellent CSR work and our future-proof innovation. This is very much due to few success cases for solution business in the region. Delta Thailand’s prior business focus was in manufacturing and only started building up our solution capability around 2010.

Thanks to the hard work of Delta Thailand’s sales and engineering teams the company has been able to make major inroads in regional markets and several high profile success cases have opened up the door to new business opportunities. For example, although EV charging may not contribute as much revenue as our OEM businesses now, KK believes that it builds new partnerships and puts Delta top of mind among our potential B2B customers while extending our brand exposure as a green solution company. 

Attending the Asian and Oceanian Stock Exchanges Federation (AOSEF) forum on Sustainable Development with the Delta Thailand’s SD team. First from left is Aonthip, the team’s subject expert and Nicha on the right who joined us in late 2019

Delta Thailand’s Corp. Comm. (first from left, David Nakayama) and BMO (Benjapol) members

Delta Thailand’s Corp. Comm. member, Pornsuda (first from left) working with US Google production team in DET HQ, Thailand

Delta employees, our brand ambassadors
KK strongly believes that every happy employee can be a great brand ambassador for Delta to increase our Net Promoter score. Therefore, all his teams, DET BMO, Corp. Comm. and SD, are working closely to take a two pronged approach by influencing a good working environment while using creative tools and campaigns to educate DET employees about Delta businesses. One such tool is the 360 regional employee gazette. Such efforts will increase the chances of our employees spreading the good word about Delta to their friends and families per the principle of Net Promoter score. The SD team has been continuously creating projects together with the HR and CSR teams to ensure the fundamental welfare and rights of our employees are well taken care of. Every year the efforts have been recognized by the relevant authorities. Just to name a few, last year DET has been awarded Stock Exchange of Thailand’s (SET) Best Sustainability Award; ranked number two on global ITC sector in the DJSI annual ranking, just behind DEI; and inducted into the Hall of Fame for Top Corporate Brand, a recognition accorded by SET with the country’s top university, Chulalongkorn Business School.

Punching above our weight
Since last year, Delta Thailand has been transitioning from a traditional event-based marketing strategy to an integrated content marketing strategy that unifies online and offline promotion to deliver the right message at the right time to our audiences. A good example of this is our “sell without selling” concept- the Delta Industry Summit (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXpqfsElC_g) that began in 2018. Unlike our competitors, we made this event a platform for our partners to share their expertise and even display alongside us to show the breadth and inclusiveness of our solutions. By providing useful content and planting online and offline touchpoints throughout our campaign we are able to create a valuable experience that media, customers and local subject experts will look forward to.

KK thinks it’s not necessary to have a big team but more importantly to have a diligent team that has the experience, skills, know-how and most of all the inspiration and grit to carve out the niche. For the same reason, all of KK’s team members must take a job related training every year to ensure they always have the right skill to compete and a good chance to break out from underdog position amongst major global brands in the region.

A life of continual challenge and growth 
Thais often exude a sense of positivity that will rub on anyone who is lucky to experience their hospitality and friendship. KK thinks he was fortunate to be part of Delta’s Thai family since 2004 after relocating from Singapore.

KK’s career in Delta began by leading the QA team and then moved on to head the creation of the Industrial Power Supply (IPS) business. He is very proud of the IPS team for creating a totally original Thai business. “We did everything including R&D, production, sales and marketing from the ground up. We even breakeven before the merger into PSBG in 2012. My current role in strategic marketing, and my one-year stint as Country Manager in Australia were not roles that I expected but will always cherish. I would like to thank my superiors at Delta for entrusting me with such important missions laid with abundant opportunities to explore, learn and make a difference.” Said KK.

KK can still recall a tinge of regret on his first day in Delta Thailand when he started missing the personal printer and tall partition of his previous job. Then came the realization that there will be no more Conrad for his business trips. “Though I began at top multinational electronics manufacturers, the majority of my career has been at Delta. Ultimately I feel the integrity of our management, equal opportunity to grow based on merits and transparency in corporate governance are three of the key reasons that had made me stay over 10 years, just like many of my colleagues. I’m looking forward to many more fruitful years in Delta.”

Delta Thailand’s BMO member, Kimi Sun, with Delta India’s Graphic Designer, Bharat, inspecting the booth setup for Elecrama 2020 in India