China's time-honored brands, including Tsingtao Beer and the renowned traditional Chinese medicine pharmacy Tongrentang, have started to try out innovative marketing strategies.
"I bought them because of the packaging, which took the form of a blind box," said a young woman surnamed Wang who purchased a set of products from Tsingtao Beer last year. Wang said that despite her lack of personal preference for beer brands, she was intrigued by the mystery box that contained the goods. "I had no idea what was inside until the moment that I unpacked it, which was interesting," noted Wang.
Other time-honored brands have taken similar steps. For instance, Tongrentang worked to take advantage of social media to attract young consumers. Tongrentang's new retail brand Zhima Health garnered a large amount thumbs-up from followers for its posts on Xiaohongshu, a Chinese social media and e-commerce platform.
With the help of social media, Zhima Health no longer needs to expand its brand influence by word of mouth like its parent brand Tongrentang, since social media serves as an effective platform for consumers to learn about a newly-launched product.
Last year, flagship stores of Chinese time-honored brands released more than 30,000 new products, and the sales of new products increased by 66 percent year-on-year, according to the report on the digital transformation and innovative development of time-honored brands released by the Circulation Industry Promotion Center of the Ministry of Commerce.
Figures also indicated that an increasing number of time-honored brands started doing business in the e-commerce sector of social media, so as to tap new market potential. During the June 18 shopping spree this year, thanks to live-streamed e-commerce, Luzhou Laojiao, one of the oldest Chinese liquor brands, saw its sales increase by more than 160 percent month-over-month.
"Nowadays, domestic products have gained a wider popularity among young consumers," said Sun Yueting, deputy secretary general of the Beijing Time-Honored Brands Association, adding that the Chinese fad helps bring great opportunities to time-honored brands, and it is particularly important for such brands to continue innovating while carrying forward their tradition.