Hotspex Announces Majority Stake in TSI!

The Silk Initiative started in 2015 with the goal of helping more great overseas brands understand and flourish in the China market through rigorous analytic consulting, product innovation, and design services. From our humble beginnings in food and beverage consulting, we hustled from board room to event to build China and Asia confidence, eventually seeing our client roster expand to wellness, nutraceuticals, and even sectors like automotive. We have always grown organically, understanding our reputation is only as good as our last consulting project. Thanks to our formidable team, we even survived the worst that Covid threw at us. 

So as we reflect on our achievements these past seven years, we are excited today to announce that we will join forces with North America’s #1 insights firm, Hotspex.

Through this partnership, TSI will be able to further amplify our amazing services to our clients as well as support our clients in all corners of the globe through a significant regional expansion.

From our very first makeshift “office” at the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, to now a truly global company undertaking work in 33 countries, it’s been an amazing experience. As TSI enters this new chapter, we want to thank all of our dedicated tribe of supporters over the years. Rest assured, the best is yet to come!



Hotspex Acquires Majority Stake in The Silk Initiative

New strategic merger expands the Hotspex brand to provide deeper understanding of Asia-Pacific’s 3 billion consumers.

[Toronto, Canada: 20 March 2023] Hotspex, a global insights and media agency, today announced a major stake in Shanghai-based strategic brand consultancy, The Silk Initiative (TSI). This acquisition expands on the existing exclusive partnership that was announced in 2020.

The acquisition will help clients in the insights, marketing and media functions of multinational companies gain an even deeper understanding of consumers across Asia-Pacific.

  • The use of Hotspex human behaviour and motivational measurement tools amplifies TSI’s strong regional reputation for producing data-driven brand, product, and packaging solutions that drive profitable growth for brands.

  • Combining the unique strengths of the two companies means clients can now capitalize on a first-of-its- kind marriage of cutting-edge research tools, such as cognitive computational modelling with a human- centred innovation process.

  • As brands continue to set their sights on Asia-Pacific, the partnership will help answer critical questions around creating products that resonate on an emotional level, understanding rapidly changing sentiment in real-time, and coordinating efforts across markets.

The corporate footprint expansion adds to the thirty-two markets where Hotspex currently serves its customers, allowing its existing clients in North America and Europe a closer connection to their Asia-Pacific operations and regional expertise. “There has been a surge in demand for Hotspex brand building solutions from existing and new multinational clients with requests for engagements in China and Asia Pacific. Our partnership with TSI will ensure we can support our global customers with local expertise. We are excited to expand our capabilities to add data-driven innovation services to our brand-building and media capabilities so that we can help our clients find new pathways for profitable growth,” said President of Hotspex Insights and CCO Hotspex Group.

The acquisition builds on the growth that Hotspex Group has seen over the past five years as we continue to help global brands significantly increase brand value, market share and profits. The company has tripled in size since 2017, grew its client service teams in North America and Europe, and expanded vertically with the acquisition of Wave Digital Media (now Hotspex Media) in 2018. “We are proud that growth-oriented agencies in the marketing ecosystem are seeking to be a part of the Hotspex Group vision to create unmatched value for the brands we serve and where talented team members grow their careers by leading the change that is happening in marketing services,” said Shane Skillen, Founder and CEO Hotspex Group.

Andrew Kuiler, founder and CEO of The Silk Initiative, sees this opportunity as key to helping brands in Asia better connect with their consumers on all things brand, product, pack, and visual identity. “TSI has been using Hotspex emotional profiling and shopper behaviour tools since 2019. Our clients have seen this as not only hugely relevant, but also more empowering when it comes to the decisions they need to make with their brands. With the Hotspex suite of rigorous tools and their continued investment in research technology, along with TSI’s innovation capabilities, this is a game-changing move for our industry both in Asia and globally. Our team is very excited to part of it.”

For further information, please contact Gera Nevolovich at

Hotspex Inc. Hotspex research platforms and digital advertising technologies power insights and media for 15 of the top 20 global advertisers in over 30 countries. Since 2019, Hotspex has been voted the #1 most innovative insights firm in North America, and among the top five globally, by the Greenbook Industry Trends Survey. In 2022, Hotspex received the Quirks Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Award and was listed in the Deloitte Fast 500, Clutch Top 1000 Global Companies, and Noam Top 50 Inspiring Workplaces.

The Silk Initiative (TSI) is an Asia-based brand insight, strategy, and innovation consulting firm. TSI helps their clients make smarter brand and product decisions by combining research, technology, and advisory services. The Silk Initiative’s expert team is headquartered in Shanghai, with teams in Singapore and Australia.

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