China Food

Who says flowers are never red? Looking for the secret of keeping brand alive forever from “longevity products”


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focus, acme, word-of-mouth, fast, Internet seven word formula can make food brand youth forever?
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Text: archur, Lucy Guo

Source: foodaily daily food (ID: foodaily)

In the early spring of the year of the ox, everything is revived and full of vitality. All kinds of new products also began to be intensively launched.
In recent years, the domestic new product iteration speed is dizzying. On the one hand, the vigorous and changeable consumer demand, on the other hand, the continuous influx of new brands brings competitive pressure to the whole industry, which makes “bringing forth the new through the old” become the yardstick to measure the strength of the brand, and the life of new products in the market becomes shorter and shorter again.
E-commerce platform is also crucial to promote new product change. Relying on the consumption big data accumulated for many years, together with the ability to integrate and control the supply chain, it has also become the source of power for the metabolism of the commercial system.
In the face of new products emerging one after another every year, every month, or even every week, we naturally think: a year ago, a few months ago, are those powerful Internet Celebrities still here? When brand companies provide consumers with extremely rich product choices, have they considered how to prolong the life of products? In the business world where short-term benefits are paramount, is it meaningful to build “longevity” products? If so, how to cultivate it?
How to break the curse of short life if you don’t make summer flowers?
In fact, the domestic market, has been “youth online” not old products everywhere. However, under the waves of more “back waves”, the aura is often submerged.
Oreo biscuits and rabbit milk candy are two typical representatives of longevity products.
Let’s start with Oreo. It has been 109 years since the world’s first Oreo biscuit was sold in New York in 1912. The ageless Oreo firmly grasps the trend of youth with fashion, beauty and interaction as the core, and creates a sense of youth and fashion through bold creativity, interactive experience, fan economy and cross-border co branding.
According to FBC data, 59% of the audience think Oreo is interesting, and 65% think Oreo is very imaginative. “Everything is possible” has become a classic brand slogan.
From collecting netizens’ brain opening tastes on instagram and twitter, to Oreo music box, from launching National Fashion Marketing with the Palace Museum, to entering station B and incarnating as social currency, Oreo constantly tries various ways to approach and interact with young people, and finally wins the favor of every generation of young people, so as to achieve a product with boundless vitality.
Photo source: Oreo official microblog
Another time-honored food rabbit, is to rely on feelings and national tide to win the market. The big white rabbit milk candy, which was born in 1959, is engraved with the memory of different times of the Chinese people. After entering the new century, like many time-honored brands, they are faced with the dilemma of user switching and brand cognitive decline.
On the eve of children’s day on June 1, 2019, big white rabbit started its “green seeking” road with a milk tea shop. Since then, rabbit lipstick, rabbit perfume, white rabbit fashion dress… People find that under the pressure of the market environment, the national old brand over the age of flower can burst out such courage and vitality!
Source: Oriental IC
With childhood memories and fashion trends, big white rabbit holds fast to the two soul pillars of contemporary youth, quickly gets rid of the brand curse of “old product, old image and old marketing”, and finds a new way to fight back in the declining candy market.
In addition to these two exemplary brands, there are 42 year old Wangzai milk, 100 year old wufangzhai and 193 year old Wanglaoji herbal tea, all of which show their youthful vitality in different ways.
Time honored brands can play the emotional card, and how can those who have not been established for a long time keep their attraction among the new products?
9-year-old Xicha and 7-year-old Lechun can be regarded as the Mesozoic and leading domestic brands, and their practices may be worth learning from.
According to the 2020 annual report of Xicha released recently, Xicha stores have opened nearly 700 stores in 61 cities around the world. Xicha’s vitality comes from its strong innovation ability, so that it will always take the lead in the competition.
In 2020, Xicha will launch one new product every 1.2 weeks on average. In addition to purchasing high-quality raw materials around the world, Xicha has built its own organic tea garden and strawberry base, and also tried to develop innovative raw materials such as frozen extracted milk and raw coconut milk. The concentration and investment in the products make Xicha accumulate a strong product reputation. In 2020, the best-selling “succulent grape” of Xicha will continue to dominate the list for 72 weeks. From the tea circle to the fashion circle, the imitation makeup, manicure, pendant, hair color, clothing and other layers of succulent grape will not be limited, which seems to be a trend in summer.
Photo source: Shiqu Research Institute
In addition, the use of digital to enhance the consumption experience is also the reason why Xi tea is constantly gaining consumer favor. Some data show that: by the end of 2020, there are more than 35 million members of “Hi tea go” wechat app, and the waiting time per capita is nearly one third shorter than that in 2018.
Lechun, who is 2 years younger than Xicha, has been singing all the way for several years and has come out of a completely different new model in the yogurt industry, which emphasizes heavy assets and whole industry chain operation. Lechun’s successful experience can be summed up as “social e-commerce, content marketing, user driven, keeping up with fashion”. The 16 word formula seems simple, but it infiltrates the deep understanding of business theories such as new retail and new consumption wave.
Photo source: Gorgeous
originality + ingenuity: longevity gene of Japanese products
In the list of new product and new technology awards released by Japan food news agency at the end of 2020, there is a unique “long-term sales award” that attracts people’s attention. It is described on the official website as the products launched after World War II, which can meet the needs of the times, ensure the leading sales position in this field for more than 10 years, and continue to remain competitive today.
Not only products, but also the unique national culture of Japan has given birth to the star like longevity companies (brands). They are not only witnesses of social changes in various periods, but also have become indispensable components of contemporary commercial culture because of their accurate grasp and perfect presentation of consumption trends.
From these “longevity” products, what kind of business secret can we find?
1. 53 year old ginbis asparagus biscuit
Ginbis asparagus biscuits were first sold in 1968. In 1975, it won the gold award of Monde selection. By 2017, it has sold more than 10 million bags a year. Due to its extremely long life cycle, the Japan Memorial Day Association designated January 11 as “asparagus biscuit day”.
Image source: prtimes.jp
Why is a biscuit stick popular for the first time? The reason probably comes from the founder’s business philosophy of “hope to be different from other social products”.
Ginbis was founded in 1945 in Ginza, Tokyo. In 1968, the founder of the company, fanglang Miyamoto, launched this product. At that time, most Japanese biscuits were square or round in shape, and the stick shape was original. It is not only easy to take, but also easy to eat because the stick is divided into seven sections. Miyamoto named the product “asparagus” ingeniously, which made consumers more impressed.
Photo source: Japan Yahoo
In the early days, people were not familiar with the stick biscuits, and the sales volume was not ideal. Ginbis first made an article on the formula – changed the most common sweet formula at that time to salty, and then added black sesame. Due to different temperature and humidity will affect the taste, so the daily production of flour, salt and water ratio will be adjusted according to the weather conditions of the day, to ensure uniform quality. Black sesame plays a key role in creating a unique taste. The amount of black sesame is precisely controlled by the machine, which makes it salty, fragrant and crispy. Asparagus biscuits are not only suitable for children’s snacks, but also suitable for adults’ snacks with wine, which can be shared by the whole family.
On the packaging, the use of western style plastic wrapping paper, with the Oriental style of the bundle pocket, reflects the concept of harmony with foreign countries. On the packaging of asparagus biscuits, there is a signboard pattern that has been followed up to now: three generations of happy grandparents and grandchildren have become the common memory of several generations of Japanese.
Photo source: ginbis website
Over the past 50 years, asparagus biscuits still keep the basic formula and packaging unchanged, only slightly improved in texture. Of course, keeping tradition doesn’t mean being complacent. In order to meet the needs of consumers of all ages, asparagus biscuits are constantly bringing forth new products. Today, the whole family has 16 products with different packaging and tastes, including chocolate coated products that children like; five package products that are easy to use in small packages; high protein products designed for the elderly to supplement protein; probiotics products that help intestinal health
We use two sentences to summarize the legend of asparagus biscuit: the innovation of Oriental taste and the ultimate pursuit of details.
2. The 49 year old morinago chocolate crispy ice cream
Japan’s economy has been in recession for many years, but the ice cream market has performed well. Within 10 years, the market scale has expanded 1.3 times to 500 billion yen. Among them, Senyong’s chocolate crispy snow pie has achieved 19 consecutive years of sales growth, ranking first in the list of single product sales.
This product was launched in 1972, which can be regarded as the representative of Japanese longevity ice products. Crispy snow pie is wrapped with vanilla ice cream in a traditional Japanese chocolate crust. As the expected main product, it is eye-catching, but the initial sales volume is not outstanding.
In order to reverse the declining trend, morinago first retained the distinctive features of the original products, and made almost harsh improvements to the details. In the 1980s, most ice cream manufacturers in Japan took increment as the direction of product innovation. Morinaga kept up with the market and increased the product weight from 4-Pack to 12 pack, and then to 18 pack, becoming a truly family sharing pack. It is commendable that while the weight of the product increases, the original price of the product remains unchanged. In 1980, the price of the product was 100 yen, and it only rose to 120 yen in 2007. The small profit and quick turnover earned the reputation of crispy snow pie.
Photo source: morinago official website
In order to improve the crispy taste of the product, the R & D personnel also took great pains. The inner filling is changed from vanilla ice cream to chocolate sauce sandwich, and then the sandwich is changed to crispy chocolate; the outer layer of the crispy skin and the inner chocolate coating have been improved for many times, which not only improves the taste, but also insulates the water in the ice cream and prevents the crispy skin from softening. It has become the most critical core technology and secret weapon of crispy snow pie. In order to ensure the crispy taste, morinago even made detailed requirements on the humidity, temperature, transportation time on the way and the quantity of goods taken by dealers in the production workshop. It only takes 2-3 days from delivery to shelf. For frozen desserts with long shelf life, this kind of delivery speed is unique.
The traditional freezing point is greatly affected by the season, which is popular in summer and unsalable in winter. Morinaga went the other way. In the winter of 2019, Morinaga successively launched two limited products, namely “crispy snow pie with vanilla flavor” and “crispy snow pie with chocolate increment” in winter, and invited popular idol group “crispy snow pie with vanilla flavor” to shoot advertising films, so as to enhance the awareness of young people.
Photo source: morinago official website
A simple improvement of a small detail of the product may bring limited changes, but the improvement of every detail will bring about the improvement of product quality. In 1985, Morinaga’s Crispy fruit and snow pie won the gold medal of the world quality appraisal conference’s freezing point category, and since 2001, it has occupied the first place in Japan’s freezing point category sales for many years. Today, morinago’s fruit crispy snow pie is sold in Japan every 0.17 seconds on average, which has really become an immortal myth in the freezing point world.
3. 57 year old jingcunwu meat bun & Dousha bun
According to legend, Roubao originated in the Three Kingdoms period, and then spread to Japan in the Song Dynasty. During the Meiji Restoration period, it was carried forward by the overseas Chinese hotel in Yokohama Zhonghua street and became a high-grade food loved by the Japanese people.
In 1964, inoumuroya launched the first generation of Japanese industrialized meat buns & Dousha buns. It is said that the president of inoumuraya went to Japan’s first bread school to learn baking technology and improve the taste of steamed buns. But because the products need to be frozen, and in the 1960s, ordinary Japanese families rarely had refrigeration kitchen equipment, so the sales volume can be imagined.
In view of this, inspired by the steamed buns in Zhonghua street, inoumura developed an industrial steaming cabinet with food machinery manufacturers in 1965. The steam cabinet uses steam heating to freeze steamed buns, which can keep the temperature of food for a long time, making steamed buns a convenient food that can be sold all day long. The glass panel has a good display function, attracting customers to eat at ease. The steam heating makes the equipment easy to clean and more hygienic. Steam cabinet came out only one year ago, and it has been popularized in retail stores and convenience stores all over Japan.
Photo source: Japan Yahoo
An excellent product can often promote the innovation of surrounding / related industries, so as to drive the development of the whole industrial chain. The steamed buns in jingcunwu not only let the steaming cabinet enter the public life, but also promoted the advent of industry-leading pastry processing machines such as automatic stuffing machine, molding machine, etc. Moreover, the operation convenience, stability and production capacity have been greatly improved. By the 1970s, the daily production of 1 million steamed buns had been realized. Today, the annual output of steamed buns in jingcunwu has reached 200 million.
Production capacity is only the basic condition based on the market. In order to achieve long-term performance, it also needs to be delicious and constantly promoted. In 1979, inoumuraya launched its first pizza bun. At that time, Japan’s economy was growing at a high speed, and Western-style meals were accepted and loved by the people. How could such a home-made pastry that hit the fashion trend not be popular? Since then, inoumuraya has been on the road of innovation: hamburger buns, Dandan vermicelli buns, curry buns “Nothing is impossible, only unexpected.”. The product development team of Jingcun house is composed of 15 young people. After a lot of brainstorming every year, it selects 20-30 proposals from more than 300 alternative proposals and puts them into practice to ensure high quality.
A two-step fermentation method was used to produce chewy meat bun. Photo source: jingcunwu website
What is the lack of Chinese brands in the long run?
China and Japan are different in culture, folk custom, living habits and principles, resulting in different brand management concepts, which eventually makes the performance of longevity products and brands very different. There have been many institutions specializing in the mystery of Japan’s longevity enterprise ranking in the world, which can be summarized as two points
1. Japan has not experienced colonization and long-term civil war, and its business environment has been well continued.
2. Influenced by the three religions of God, Confucianism and Buddhism, the Japanese secular view regards the enterprise as a family business, and the highest level of enterprise management is to pass on from generation to generation, dedicate themselves and serve others. As individuals, the enterprise and workplace are also the best places to realize themselves and enrich their body and mind. Therefore, managers try every means to make the enterprise survive, while employees work together with the enterprise We live and die together.
Image source: www.nippon.com
In China, the principle of “efficiency first” and “result only” is a universal principle in the business world. Chinese brands do not lack the ability to push explosive products, but the ability to forge explosive products into longevity products. Song Qianqian, chairman of Jiahua capital, once said: in a huge market with 1.4 billion consumers and 1 billion online traffic, it is not very difficult for a brand to achieve small success. The difficulty is that it can continue to maintain competitiveness after becoming famous. As the saying goes, it’s easy to be a net red, but hard to be a long red.
From the above three cases of Japanese longevity brands and products, we can see again the common characteristics of Japanese Enterprises: continuous improvement and people-oriented. Meticulous insight into consumer demand, step-by-step product innovation, keep pace with the times, word-of-mouth from generation to generation. In the Japanese market, there are few new forces and tracks cultivated by capital, and the evolution of consumer demand is melting in the continuous iteration of longevity products.
As the saying goes: the country is easy to change, the disposition is hard to change. It’s really hard for us to learn from the “Craftsmanship” of Japanese enterprises. The practical significance of the above cases for domestic brands lies in that they also follow the common rules of the business world: the ability to focus on operation and the ability to respond quickly to market changes.
Looking back at those flash in the pan popular products and brands, how many really do these two points?
Lei Jun, the founder of Xiaomi, once summed up the way to operate the Internet industry with a seven word formula: concentration, perfection, reputation and speed. In China’s food industry, where a large number of Internet forces have infiltrated and Internet thinking has been transformed, these seven words are also applicable.
The so-called focus, we might as well understand as adhere to the original intention of the brand. Only when a product is the best in the same category can it bring the reputation of the brand. Whether it’s the cheese tea that likes tea or the original handmade yogurt of Lechun, after continuous improvement and wide recognition, it has the expansion capital.
Second point: quick. We translate it as “micro innovation based on market demand”. Disruptive innovation has been mentioned a lot in recent years. In fact, for the food industry, to do disruptive innovation, we have to bear high costs and commercial risks. Brand new products can attract people’s attention, but they also need to cultivate consumer mentality in the long run. And minimally invasive new can quickly respond to market changes, let the brand get lasting attention.
to know is easy , but to do is difficult. To cultivate long-lived brands and products, it is far from enough to rely on a few case studies. It also needs local brands to constantly sum up the success and failure in the business war. Foodaily is willing to share some of its humble opinions on the commercial market with you, because we firmly believe that China has a good chance to create a century old brand with a long history, as well as a long-lived product with eternal youth!
 
Cover image source: Shin- shouhin.com
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