Delon Wang
Delon is Trends Manager, Asia Pacific at Mintel. He oversees Trends content and Trends client servicing for the region.

In a bid to grab the attentions of today’s consumer amidst everything else that is going on, brands and companies are coming up with new ways to create an impression, sometimes through efforts that may cause some head scratching moments.

At Mintel’s most recent ‘Top Trends in Asia Pacific’ webinar (26 October 2018), we explored some of the recent, wild product and service innovation stories to come out of the region for reasons good or bad.

Not for mosquitoes, China


Source: Branding in Asia

In today’s experience driven economy, numerous brands have been exploring the opportunities presented by crossover marketing to fulfil consumers’ demand for novel, playful and unique experiences. Mintel’s latest research on the Chinese consumer reveals that just over a third of post-80s consumers say that crossover marketing activities will foster favourable attitudes towards a brand.

RIO’s partnership with Liushen has helped the alcopop brand raise brand awareness, as well as give it a playful image. However, as such buzz tends to be short term, continuous exploration of new flavours and activities is needed to truly change consumers’ perspectives in the long run.

BonsAI counsellor, Japan

In Japan, a special bonsai equipped with AI technology can converse with people and listen to their problems. Developed by electronics company TDK, BonsAI can listen to people’s problems and act as an advisor by holding conversations through an equipped speaker. In fact, the bonsai plant is often recommended item to have for relaxing an overworked mind.

As the number of singles and elderly in Japan increases, people are seeking out new ways to improve their mood. As these demographics continue to grow due to changing life decisions, more are turning to alternative sources of companionship. This desire for companionship, often hampered by circumstances or choices, suggests a deeper connection between company, our moods and mental health problems. Handy devices such as the BonsAI may see potential market growth, while other products that offer a more positive mentality will enter the market in future as this trend continues to grow.

Scream detector, South Korea


Source: www.thinkstockphotos.co.uk

Earlier this year, Seoul Metro partnered with telecom company KT to install a scream detector system in women’s toilets at 10 stations along subway Line 5. Named ‘Safe Mate’, the system will activate warning lights near the entrance the toilet and automatically contact station staff when a scream is detected. Seoul Metro plans to develop this system so that it can automatically report any incidents to the police upon detecting a scream.

In 2016, South Korea experienced one of the worst things that could have happened at a metro station: the murder of a woman. A one-of-a-kind capability, the scream detection system will put commuters’ minds at ease to a certain extent, and in today’s world—where fear spreads faster thanks to the growing use of social media—brands and companies that prioritise safety are likely to win consumers’ trust.