From its humble origins in Taiwan to its global prominence today, Giant’s brand identity has played a pivotal role in shaping the company’s trajectory.
During our discussion, we delved into Kao’s insights on the criticality of brand identity and Giant’s numerous innovations that has kept it at the forefront of the cycling industry.
Q. What is the foremost trait that defines the identity of Giant as a brand?
First of all, the diversity that we propose. Giant offers all types of bikes from city bikes all the way to high end and competition bikes.
We also always try to stay true to ourselves and our values, but innovative at the same time. I think that Giant knows how to stay ahead of its time and how to identify future opportunities and trends. We were the first company to develop the carbon fibre bikes, that’s what made us famous, but that’s also what built our brand vision for the future.
“Raise the Bar’’ is our mission.
Finally, we are responsible for all our production chain, which means that we can control the quality of our products, the environment in which they are produced and the ethic behind it.
Q. What practices separate Giant from other brands that’s helped position it at the top of the competitive bicycle market?
Integrity, staying true to ourselves and to our customers. Also, giving back to the community by sponsoring races or projects. We want to create a better world and I think that this is very important.
Diversity, anyone can find the perfect bike for them, something that only Giant offers. Innovation, creating the perfect biking for any circumstance. Communing, performing on a mountain or on a road, we want to defy the odds of nature and let our riders be the top bike riders.
Q. What factors make the UAE an attractive market for Giant?
Giant wants to be innovative, and the UAE as a country is a paradise for innovation. This place not only lets your imagination roam free, but it encourages you to develop new technologies and products.
The people here are open to change, they are aware of the importance of sustainability, and most importantly they are always seeking for new experiences. Therefore, I think that both are complementary, and I hope that we will be able to reach our common goals and “Raise the Bar” together.
Q: In your opinion, what has been the impact of Liv bike Brand as the women’s specific Giant Group brand in a sport mostly dominated by men?
Liv is the first bike brand made by women for women. As you know, women’s body structure is different from men’s, therefore we use different muscles when riding a bike.
Riding a bike that is built for men can be difficult and doesn’t let a woman ride to the maximum of her capacity. Liv is the answer to that. Liv is importance for our company that is also represented by a lot of strong and inspiring women to give back to the company.
Q: Can you tell us how Giant Group has been contributing for soft mobility around the world and what efforts has the company done to reduce its footprint on the product processes?
Giant has been more and more focused on soft mobility across the years. King Liu, our former CEO and creator of the brand, always saw the importance of soft mobility. He started by creating a public biking system in Taiwan called U bike, which we are very proud of.
Actually, U bike wasn’t profitable for a long time, but he still decided to invest on this project and now Taiwan has one of the best systems in the world with more than 85 thousand vehicles and 500 million cumulative riders.
For how to reduce footprint, the Giant Group officially announced our ESG policy on the 50th anniversary celebration: “Cycling for a Better Future,” which includes three aspects:
Innovating a Clean Future, Transforming for Circularity, and Mobilizing for DEI. It is expected that through the execution of the ESG policy, the group will be able to contribute to environmental sustainability and fulfill its corporate social responsibility and commitments.
We’re now also focusing on the E-bikes, that are very famous in Europe for example, and that offer easy mobility for elder people as well. In the Netherlands, we developed family bikes for mothers who still want to use bikes to go around.
Q. How has the cycling community developed in the UAE over recent years and where do you see it going in the future?
We got a very good response from the customers in the UAE. Indeed, when Giant first implemented in the country, we weren’t sure whether or not it was going to be a success, but little by little we noticed the apparition of new events and races in the country such as group rides organised by our team in the UAE and the new Giant store.
We’re very happy about that. In fact, the whole region is developing a bike culture which is truly amazing to see.
Also, the government has been taking initiatives, such as the Road to COP28 project to go towards a more sustainable way of living. So to finish I would say that all this is pretty promising and we are happy to be part of this change.