Growing up in an Asian American household with Taiwanese parents, I realized that the importance of my heritage is never more apparent than when it comes to brands. When I was looking for a new phone to buy, my parents firmly put their foot down against Samsung and iPhone. It was HTC all the way. Why? Because it was a Taiwanese brand. They weren’t necessarily against other countries, but being a consumer of a Taiwanese product meant supporting our roots and our people. Now, not to toot my own horn or anything, but Taiwan has a lot to be proud of: from global tech and computer genius like Asus to the local deliciousness that is 85C Bakery. And while we may not all own HTC smartphones or ASUS laptops (though I see no reason why people AREN’T eating 85C), there is something else that is as proudly representative of Taiwan as everything else: Tatung.
This Taiwanese giant has its hand in everything from televisions to home appliances. Its relationship with its consumers is a prime example of brand loyalty– Taiwanese people will buy Tatung products because it’s made in Taiwan, for Taiwan. Trust me, I’ve seen this firsthand.
Tatung’s origins isn’t the only thing that makes it famous. They’ve established themselves not only as a producer of commercial goods but have also made a point to be a part of the community– an effort that falls short on behalf of several other corporate giants. Part of these community outreach efforts include Tatung University in Taipei, which offers programs in engineering, management and design, and support of Tatung Senior High School as well. Tatung University was ranked #18 in the global universities in the 2013 iF rankings. The education-industry relationship between the university and Tatung Company gives students valuable opportunities in specialized internship programs and job opportunities. During their junior year, students choose a professor as their learning and research advisor for academic research and career planning. By investing in Taiwan’s people and their education, Tatung becomes a social force on both the global and local scale. It’s no wonder that people should want to support the company when it’s such a household name.
Tatung is to Taiwan as Ford was to America in the early 20th century. It’s a homegrown company that grew to epitomize a country. In Taiwan’s case, Tatung has become a national pride through their multi-faceted approach in corporate responsibility: anti-discrimination, environmental protection and social contribution, which comes in many forms like the university and disaster relief. They’re conscious of their environmental footprint with a policy that aims to reduce pollution output and greenhouse gas emissions in their products. In the wake of Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and debates on whether or not global warming is real (it is), it’s at least comforting to know that there’s a company that errs on the side of caution. Tatung not only supports the local Taiwanese community, but it also collaborates with the Taipei Philharmonic Foundation for Culture and Education to promote aboriginal arts and culture indigenous to Taiwan. Tatung also stands for commitment to quality and the cultivation of innovation, as seen in its range of computer hardware and electronics and in this nifty video on how to make the most of your rice cooker:
So next time you consider a product, whether you’re Taiwanese or not, think about what you’re supporting when you purchase it.