Staying Power: Marcus Chen

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Being in WD-40 Company for over 18 years, Marcus Chen, Regional Director, Asia is the right man to talk to about one of the world’s most recognizable problem solver in workshops, factories and homes in more than 176 countries around the world.

What spurred the development of the WD-40 Specialist Range?
We wanted to target the industry and trade professionals. With the automotive series, we targeted the professional mechanics for use with repair and maintenance works. Over the last 60 years, we have been planning to extending the brand. Recently, we discovered that the professionals would like to have specialist products and we wanted to keep our fans happy!

So, are we expecting even newer WD-40 products?
Oh, there are many! We are intending to launch a new bundle of products every two years. The first bundle was the general maintenance products, this year, the automotive maintenance series. Our upcoming series will be targeted at the professional market such as the oil and gas industry where rust is a problem. We intend to develop a series of rust prevention products. What we have today, are products that serve rust protection as well as repair. We don’t have the rust treatment at this moment, but that’s set to change!

What would be the oddest place that sells WD-40 then?
It would have to be a pharmacy. In Phillippines, a few pharmacies carry WD-40. The reason being WD-40 is being used to soothe the pain of arthritis. It was discovered to be a very effective counterpain.

That is so strange, any odder use you’ve heard as well?
Medical use is definitely high up the scale of weird uses of WD-40. However, to be recognized as a medical product, we would have to disclose the formula to the authorities and thus it isn’t. Another odd use was reported in Hong Kong, a python coiled itself on the undercarriage of a bus. The fire brigade had to spray WD-40 to make the surfaces oily, in order to remove, “uncoil” the python! And WD-40 is super effective in removing chewing gum – Singapore should had discovered this sooner!

Now that you have many brands, how do differentiate between then?
Our new products now focus on one or two channels. The only product that we currently have which will cross over two or more channels is the Multi-Use Product (The traditional WD-40). It’s easy to explain, while the MUP can solve all your problems, it’s not a professional solution. That’s why we have the Specialist

How did the partnership with PnD Hardware begin?
In WD-40, we wake up everyday thinking of a blue and yellow can. With our hands-on culture, we walk the streets. That’s how we identify the key players in the industry as well as potential partners

You thoughts of DIY Culture in Asia?
Labour is very expensive in Europe and the USA, and the biggest market is found in Europe, followed by the USA. In Asia Pacific, the biggest market is found in Japan – the rest, the DIY scene isn’t as prominent. I jokingly coined a different term for DIY in Asia – “Don’t Involve Yourself”!

However, Asia has one of the cheapest professional tradesman cost. One of the factor is that people are busy making money everyday and the fast life pace. Simply put: There’s not much incentive for DIY.

Do you hope to see DIY takeoff in Asia?
In Asia, our focus is on building the WD-40 brand through exposure in the modern trade. We’re building the distribution to make WD-40 available in more places, so we can allow more people to try it and discover more uses!

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About Author

Always finding ways to keep his hands full, Krado loves to tinker with his car whenever he has the free time. Usually ends in tears or a multiple fluid facial.

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