Wanglaoji “touches porcelain” Metaverse, Baiyun Mountain only has “hot spots” marketing?

The Metaverse cannot save the old-fashioned herbal tea.

The popular Metaverse concept is popular in various industries, and the law of “everything can be Metaverse” is now also being staged in the consumer concept section.

According to Tianyancha, Guangzhou Baiyunshan Pharmaceutical Group Co., Ltd., an affiliated company of Wanglaoji, recently applied for registration of the trademark “Wanglaoji Metaverse”, which is classified as “32 categories of beer and beverages” in the international classification, and the current trademark status is “application for registration”.

Just a few days before Wanglaoji’s trademark application, Wanglaoji publicly auctioned a digital art work “Baijiahe” online, which is an NFT (non-fungible currency) digital collection based on surname culture.

As a daily consumable, the marketing concept can indeed boost product sales and bring about substantial performance conversion, but it also exposes the marketing dilemma of the brand side.

Consumer digital collections without a technological core are destined to fail to project real value in the real world, and old-fashioned herbal teas that have lost their window period may only be able to “build momentum” on hot concepts.

In that year, a battle for rights and interests focused on the brand name, which missed the window of making the herbal tea industry bigger and stronger. Facts have proved that the brand alone cannot make the tea industry big, and now, the concept of the Metaverse alone cannot revitalize the herbal tea industry.

As a functional drink, the dilemma of single category, product homogeneity and lack of research and development seems to better describe the peak pattern of Wanglaoji herbal tea industry.

01 Trademark battle, both lose

In a protracted trademark battle, Wang Laoji won, but also lost.

In 1995, Hong Kong Hongdao Group (the parent company of Jiaduobao) signed a contract with Yangcheng Pharmaceutical (the predecessor of Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Group) to obtain the production and operation rights of Wanglaoji in red cans and bottles. Until 2012, Jiaduobao stopped using the trademark of Wanglaoji. .

During this period, Wanglaoji was madly titled various variety shows. The popular slogan “I’m afraid of getting angry and drinking Wanglaoji” boosted Wanglaoji’s sales from 100 million yuan in 2001 to 15 billion yuan in 2011. Forehead.

According to relevant statistics, Wanglaoji’s sales in 2003 reached 600 million yuan, an increase of nearly 4 times over the same period of the previous year. In 2004, the annual sales exceeded 1 billion yuan, and continued to grow in the following years.

By 2012, the annual sales volume of Jiaduobao Group exceeded 20 billion yuan, occupying 80% of the canned herbal tea market, and surpassing Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Sprite, etc., and became the first in the national canned beverage market.

During the high-speed growth period from 2009 to 2012, the growth rate of herbal tea performance continued to remain in the range of 16%-18%, and the herbal tea market at that time was still full of imagination.

However, after 2014, when GPHL wanted to take back “Wanglaoji”, the two parties went to court over the right to use the “Wanglaoji” brand, breaking the pattern of the herbal tea industry. Jiaduobao Group adopted “Jiaduobao” as the product brand name. Wanglaoji and Jiaduobao are competing for herbal tea, and the advertising content is also full of “gunpowder smell”, which obviously deviates from the rigid needs of mass consumers.

At the advertising level, Wanglaoji and Jiaduobao used the strategy of naming popular TV programs to quickly gain brand exposure. In order to seize the potential market and force the other side to retreat, the two sides chose a “two-line” strategy. On the one hand, they continued to compete for trademarks and packaging rights through lawsuits, and on the other hand, they expanded the market by changing channels at low prices.

According to the “2016 Beverage Industry Overall Operation Report” released by the China Food Industry Association in March 2017, the market sales revenue of the herbal tea industry in 2016 reached 56.12 billion yuan, with a growth rate of only 4.2%, while this figure was 10 in 2015. %.

Price and channel advantages are normal means of competition, but the long-term appeal to court has dragged down the overall business process, making this battle the source of internal friction of brand resources in the herbal tea industry.

According to the financial report of GPHL, Wanglaoji’s advertising expenses were 300 million yuan in 2011 and 547 million yuan in 2012, a year-on-year increase of 176.26%. In 2013, the cost was as high as 1.312 billion yuan. In 2014 and 2015, the cost They are 945 million yuan and 1.095 billion yuan respectively, which are significantly lower than those in 2013.

During the period of mutual tearing of herbal tea brands, milk tea and fruit tea have become the new favorites of young groups. Internet celebrity brands such as HEYTEA, Michelle Bingcheng, and Yuanqi Forest have been launched, which have almost reduced the dimensions of herbal tea drinks. In the evening and dusk of the sunset, the old brand herbal tea and the new tea drink went to both sides of the balance.

Retailers believe that the dispute over trademark rights between Wanglaoji and Jiaduobao has completely disrupted the herbal tea beverage market. Large and small brands have grown rapidly during the window period, and market products are mixed. Without establishing a user-level herbal tea mentality, it directly leads to The herbal tea category is limited to “functional” beverages.

02 Herbal tea “difficult to help” Baiyun Mountain

According to public information, the existing business of Guangzhou Baiyunshan Pharmaceutical Group Co., Ltd. (Baiyunshan), the parent company of Wanglaoji, is divided into four major sectors, namely big health, big southern medicine, big business and big medical.

The business structure that should have continued to invest in the pharmaceutical field is not the case in the Baiyunshan system. According to Baiyunshan’s third quarterly report data in 2021, Baiyunshan’s research and development expenses are only 604 million yuan, accounting for only about 1.2% of the total revenue of 53.5 billion yuan from January to September. According to media statistics, among the more than 70 domestic pharmaceutical companies listed on the secondary market in the first three quarters of 2021, Baiyunshan ranked more than 60 in terms of R&D investment.

Under the influence of strong market competition, constant policy changes and continuous low investment in research and development, Baiyunshan’s business has been hindered. According to the data reported in 2021, the revenue of Baiyunshan Great Southern Medicine sector was 6.058 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 8.14%, and a decline of 10.39% compared with the same period in 2019.

At present, the Baiyunshan South Medicine segment is dominated by proprietary Chinese medicines and generic drugs. The market sales of “Viagra” sildenafil citrate generics “Jinge” and Banlangen are relatively strong. As the second-ranked Jin Ge in terms of revenue in the Great Southern Medicine sector, its gross profit margin of 85.93% has earned Baiyun Mountain a lot of profit. In 2020, Jin Ge’s revenue will reach 832 million yuan.

Although there are representative drugs such as Jin Ge, the development situation of Baiyun Mountain is still not optimistic due to the domestic drug sales pattern. Offline retail stores tend to collect medicines in a centralized manner. The competition in the same category is fierce, and it is not easy to win the bid.

Also based on this, the main point of profit is still on the sales of herbal tea under the big health sector.

According to the 2021 interim report, in the half-year revenue of more than 36 billion yuan in Baiyun Mountain, the big health sector with Wanglaoji as the core contributed more than 1/6 of the 6.6 billion yuan. It contributed 3.184 billion yuan in gross profit, accounting for 42.8% of the main business income of Baiyun Mountain.

However, missing the growth period of the domestic tea beverage industry, new tea beverages have gradually occupied the high ground, and the status of traditional functional beverages has declined.

According to the data of the Prospective Industry Research Institute, the fastest expansion period of the domestic herbal tea market was in 2012, with a growth rate of 16.7% that year, and it has since declined. In 2015, the market growth rate fell to 9.7%. Among the top brands in the herbal tea market, Jiaduobao has exposed a series of problems such as arrears, factory closures, and out-of-stocks.

Wanglaoji’s life was not easy either. According to Baiyunshan’s 2020 financial report, Wanglaoji Great Health’s main business revenue last year reached 6.862 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 33.36%; its net profit was 1.195 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 13.41%.

In terms of product output, Wanglaoji has also tried self-innovation. At the end of 2018, after officially belonging to Baiyunshan, Wanglaoji overthrew the traditional red can and green box packaging for the first time and launched a new bubble burst iced herbal tea.

In the new tea drinking track, Wanglaoji also launched a new product of sugar-free herbal tea, featuring “0 sugar, 0 fat, 0 calories”. However, the overall performance in the market was mediocre, and the performance had little effect.

As a large pharmaceutical company, Baiyunshan has an unbalanced structure in R&D investment, weak product innovation, and lack of hard-core products to support its profit structure and business model. overall business.

03 “OEM” business, tossing more than

In fact, Wanglaoji has always played the role of “cash cow” in the Baiyunshan system. From a product perspective, it is difficult to find profitable products like Wanglaoji in a short period of time in the Guangyao Baiyunshan product matrix. Growth curve, and because of this, Guangyao carried out “all-round development” of Wanglaoji brand.

For example, in the beverage category, the liquor Wanglaoji “Suisui Niu”, Wanglaoji Beer and the milk brand “Wanglaoji Ji Ruyi” were launched; in the soft drink category, Qingweile, Cordyceps Drink, Dahongqi and Goji Berry Drink, Osmanthus Sour Plum Soup, etc. were also launched. Throat lozenges, Guiling paste, Chuanbei flavored loquat candies and other snack products.

When the trend of new tea drinks started, Wanglaoji did not forget to step in, actively explore the offline tea market, launched the offline tea brand “1828 Wanglaoji Herbal Tea Now Brewed”, and threatened to open 3,000 offline concept stores within 4 years , then silently.

In 2021, Wanglaoji began to take the “OEM” route, and cooperated with Guangzhou Sibu Group to launch a co-branded beer brand “Beihai Beer”. However, due to the cooperation of Fangsibu Group’s use of a “unique sales model”, it was eventually approved by the business administration department. It was identified as a pyramid scheme, and the business was interrupted.

If it is said that the active development of the “Wanglaoji” brand branch is a further exploration of the maximization of commercial value, then the cross-border “rectification” overturning the car is a further “overdraft” on the Wanglaoji brand side.

In a sense, Baiyunshan is using the Wanglaoji brand as a crazy pilot. If the branch products can be made bigger and stronger, the effect of 1+1>2 may be achieved. Half a “OEM”. Wang Laoji moves frequently, but often presents the characteristics of “big thunder and little rain”.

Now, Wanglaoji seems to have found his new favorite Metaverse again. During the Spring Festival, Wanglaoji has cooperated with Ali to launch the “Baijiahe” digital collection, the first batch of which contains 100 surnames.

According to relevant data, since February 2021, Baiyunshan, the parent company of Wanglaoji, has registered more than 100 series of trademarks including Lilaoji, Zhenglaoji and Gaolaoji. Laoji” series trademarks have been approved one after another.

Just recently, the regulatory authorities have issued letters of concern to a number of listed companies involved in the concept of “Metaverse”, requiring specific explanations of the correlation between their main business and “Metaverse”, so as to avoid companies that have not yet formed a stable business model. In the future, strong posting of “hot spots” interferes with the market.

Blindly pursuing short-term benefits and ignoring the long-term value of the brand, even if the business is improved in a short time, it will inevitably bring “irreversible” damage to the brand.

On the one hand, Wanglaoji attacked more, weakening the efficiency of resources. Except in the field of herbal tea, it did not achieve outstanding results in the branch line and strengthen the brand reputation; In terms of “hot”, in terms of software and hardware configuration, there is still a lack of sufficient motivation and patience.

Nowadays, there is a lack of innovative product support, missing the window of incremental market force, and saying goodbye to the high-gloss growth period of “staking”. Veteran herbal teas should also be aware that relying on hot marketing alone cannot save the old-fashioned herbal tea industry.

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