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Tiger Balm: The Future of a Heritage



The case is set in January 2014, and discusses the challenge facing A K Han, the Executive Director of Haw Par Holdings on Tiger Balm, the key brand in the Group’s healthcare business. Tiger Balm, an almost century-old herbal topical ointment, was a popular analgesic in Asia. Aggressive brand building and marketing strategies had helped the Singaporean brand gain presence in nearly 100 countries worldwide. Along with a signature hexagonal glass jar and the iconic leaping tiger logo, the heritage of the brand was strong, enabling it to expand its global footprint in the past century.

Yet, Han knew that the expectations for the heritage brand to continuously perform better in terms of sales and growth were high, as its brand equity was perceived to be strong. To be competitive, he knew his brand needed to be global and yet stay relevant to the Asian consumers. It should not become stagnant or irrelevant as consumers change – and new markets emerge. He had to meet the diverse and changing needs of consumers in the East and the West, without losing the Asian heritage that Tiger Balm stood for. Where should he direct the famed Asian tiger toward in the future? What products, markets and marketing strategies should Tiger Balm develop next?

This case is appropriate for a post-graduate or executive development introductory marketing or strategy course. It will generate discussion pertaining to product life cycle, global market, segmentation, targeting and positioning.

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SMU Faculty/Staff can download the case & teaching note on iNet with your SMU login ID & Password via the following links:

·       The Case (SMU-14-0044)

·       Teaching Note (SMU-14-0044TN)

For purchase of the case and supplementary materials via The Case Centre, please access the following links:

·       The Case (SMU-14-0044)

·       Teaching Note (SMU-14-0044TN)


Published Date

15 Jun 2015


Year Completed

Temporal Coverage

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