Vitality Forest tears off the “Japanese” coat. Is the domestic “foreign brand” routine not working?

Yuanqi Forest can be said to be the hottest beverage brand this year. The advertisements of "0 sugar, 0 fat, 0 card" are overwhelming. The company's valuation has soared to 14 billion yuan in just four years after its establishment .

Behind the popularity of Yuanqi Forest, it is inseparable from the "pseudo-Japanese" marketing method. From brand names to beverage packaging, Genki Forest is full of "Japanese" elements. At one time, people thought it was a Japanese brand, but because of this, it was favored by more consumers.

However, Genki Forest is quietly tearing off its "Japanese" coat recently, changing the Japanese "気" of the "Genki Forest" logo to the Chinese character "qi", and the words "Japanese Co., Ltd. Genki Forest" on the packaging have also disappeared and changed. It became a "domestic product."

In fact, it is not uncommon for domestic brands to disguise themselves as foreign brands in the market, and some of the actions behind them are staggering.

What's more interesting is that in recent years, some "domestic and foreign brands" have begun to advertise themselves as "domestic products". Isn't it possible that foreign names do not work well in China?

Genki Forest tears off the "Japanese" coat

How many people, like me, see a large Japanese text printed on the packaging of a bottle in a convenience store, and the main sugar-free beverage, will think it is a bottle of Japanese imported beverage.

The "Japanese" label commonly found in these Japanese convenience stores is the first impression of Genki Forest. In fact, this is an out-and-out domestic brand, produced in Hengshui, Hebei.

On the packaging of Genki Forest, in addition to the obvious Japanese word "気", the words "produced by Genki Forest Co., Ltd. of Japan" are also printed. In addition to "気", Genki Forest also registered "Edo Chayao", "けしき", "Sawa" and other Japanese trademarks.

All of this is to maintain Genki Forest’s "Japanese" personal design. For this reason, Genki Forest also specially registered a branch in Japan, “Japan Co., Ltd. Genki Forest”, and then transferred trademarks such as “Genki Forest” to a Japanese company. Supervise your own show operation.

The Beihai Ranch series of yogurt launched by Genki Forest continues this routine. In addition to adopting the name of "color yogurt", the package is marked "co-developed with the Institute of Plant Lactic Acid Bacteria, Hiroshima University, Japan."

Not only that, the little girl shape on the packaging of a milk tea beverage launched in Genki Forest is also considered to be the same as the Peko sauce, one of the best food brands in Japan. (It is worth mentioning that Peko sauce also copied the brand image of Merry from the American brand Birds Eye).

It is not without reason that Genki Forest puts itself a "Japanese" coat. Japan is a big country of beverages. Not only is it extremely rich in variety, but its quality is also widely recognized.

In addition, the sugar-free beverage trend that has emerged in recent years has matured in Japan. On the beverage shelves of Japanese convenience stores, more than half of sugar-free and healthy beverages, which may be why Coca-Cola launched its new sugar-free cola Coca Cola Plus in Japan two years ago.

As an emerging brand established in 2016, Genki Forest creates an image of "Japanese beverages", which can lower the brand's cognitive threshold and quickly establish a clear brand image among consumers. The "Japanese style + domestic price" approach is also Accelerated the expansion of Yuanqi Forest in the country.

Whether it is an established beverage giant like Coca-Cola Pepsi or a new tea brand like Hey Chan Nayuki, in addition to the product itself, marketing is still very significant for the brand's drive. Even Coca-Cola has to invest 4 billion US dollars a year in marketing. .

However, Genki Forest faces a choice in brand positioning, whether to continue to follow the Japanese trend or follow the ascendant national trend and tell new stories with the image of "domestic products".

Obviously, Genki Forest chose the latter. In some recent interviews , Genki Forest has stated that it will adjust its Japanese-style strategy, hoping to create a world-renowned classic Chinese beverage brand.

The most successful "pseudo-Japanese" brand is MINISO

In fact, these marketing routines of Yuanqi Forest are not new, they are all leftovers from the predecessors of MINISO. This "ten yuan store" that has just launched in the United States can be described as the most successful "pseudo Japanese" brand.

▲ There is a striking Japanese on the MINISO signboard.

"MINISO" with white letters on a red background is hard not to be reminiscent of Uniqlo. The selection and furnishings in the store refer to MUJI. The address of the manufacturer of the product also says "MINISO Co., Ltd., Meguro District, Tokyo, Japan. industry".

This is the same operation as Genki Forest's registered company in Japan. In the past few years, MINISO also marked "100% Japanese quality" on its products, and called itself a "Japanese brand headquartered in Tokyo" on its official website. .

▲ Picture from: Xinmin.com

This was not enough. MINISO also found itself a Japanese founder.

In the official introduction of MINISO, MINISO was co-founded by Ye Guofu and Japanese designer Miyake Junya in Tokyo, Japan. However, it is difficult to find more public information about Miyake Junya.

In addition to the fact that Junya Miyake’s resume can hardly be found on Google and Wikipedia, MINISO mentioned that he graduated from the Culture and Fashion College, and did not list him as well-known alumni along with Yohji Yamamoto and Kenzo Takada. Isn't it the "ten yuan store" of MINISO?

While MINISO was listed on the New York Stock Exchange some time ago, Miyake Junya , the legendary co-founder and chief designer, did not appear.

Although many media and curious people have tried to investigate, the identity of Junya Miyake is still a mystery. In this Internet age where ordinary people can be easily human, it is not easy.

Many people suspect that Jun Miyake is just a fictional character, and the man in the photo is an actor. Some netizens discovered that Junya Miyake's Japanese pinyin "Miyake Junya" was actually taken from two well-known Japanese designers Issey Miyake and Junya Watanabe.

However, these doubts have not affected the rapid development of MINISO. MINISO has opened more than 4,200 stores in more than 80 countries and regions around the world, with a market value of more than US$6 billion.

The founder Ye Guofu once said that MINISO was able to quickly enter the overseas market, and a large part of the credit should be attributed to the LOGO and name

How to build a domestic "foreign brand"

There are many domestic brands, such as Yuanqi Forest and MINISO, that deliberately put on a "foreign brand" coat. According to different styles and techniques, there are many factions of "domestic foreign brands", and of course their ranks are also different. One.

These brands also use actions to explain how to build a domestically produced "foreign brand."

Bronze rank: a mere name

This is the easiest way to get started and the lowest cost, as long as you have a western name. A common practice is to start with an English name and then translate it back into Chinese.

Among them, clothing brands can be said to be the best in this faction, such as Giordano, Bosideng, and Metersbonwe have all become "foreign brands" in this way. And Metersbonwe is not only foreign, but also the implied meaning of the prestige of the country, which is rarely seen in these brands.

Brands that are less inclined to use the full spelling of the Chinese name as the English name, such as Bosideng, and "Jin Ke La," which has become a classic of ghost animals.

This fertilizer manufacturer from Henan just used "Jinkela" as its English name, and even the registered company name of "American Shengdiyage Agricultural Group" uses the English Pinyin Shuangpin like "American Shengdiyage".

Silver rank: Porcelain big name

This rank is basically walking on the edge of the law, misleading consumers by touching well-known foreign brands.

Jordan Sports is one of the representatives. How many people were like me when they were young. They thought it was a brand created by NBA superstar Michael Jordan, but didn't know much about Air Jordan.

It's no wonder that in addition to the name, even the brand's logo is also a silhouette of Jordan's classic actions. The domestically produced Jordan Sports has also applied for the registration of more than 100 trademarks related to Michael Jordan including "QIAODAN".

What's even more magical is that this Li Gui who touched porcelain almost turned the master over. In the 8 years of trademark litigation , Air Jordan lost many times, and even went to court by Jordan Sports, until this year it won.

There are also "New Balance" and "Valentino" everywhere like this kind of fake foreign brands. They are New Balance and the Italian luxury brand Giovanni Valentino (Valentino Gravani).

There are a large number of these fake foreign brands, and there are hundreds of domestically produced "Valentino" and "New Balance", which is often difficult for ordinary consumers to distinguish.

Golden rank: export to domestic sales

At this stage, "domestic foreign brands" mainly registered shell companies and trademarks overseas. In fact, product development, production, and sales are all done in China, just like those who pretend to be "Yangcheng Lake hairy crabs" after being transported to Yangcheng Lake for a few days. "Bath crab" is the same.

The Yuanqi Forest and MINISO mentioned above are all in this list, and an industry chain of overseas registered shell companies and trademarks has been derived from this. Many domestic milk powder brands are well versed in this.

For example, "French Biostime", which claims that "products are developed and produced from France", indeed registered a company called SARL Biostime in France in 2008. In fact, China's "Biostime" was established in Guangzhou in 1999. .

This international strategy of "exporting to domestic sales" can double the value of many domestic brands and obtain extremely high brand premiums at very low costs.

King's rank: Matryoshka acquisition, becoming "True Ocean Brand "

Fake is true when it is true, and when it is false, it is also true. The highest level of "domestic foreign brand" is to turn itself into a real foreign brand. Jissbon, which has recently caused controversy on the Internet, is one of them.

Although the brand of Jissbon was founded by Wuhan Renfu Pharmaceutical and began to sell domestically in 1998, Jissbon (UK) Global Co., Ltd. was established in the United Kingdom in 2002. JISSBON (UK), if it is only an export "Transfer to domestic sales".

After the establishment of the British company, the domestic Jissbon advertised itself as a general distributor in China and assisted the "British parent company" to expand the global market.

By 2006, Jissbon had sold 70% of its equity to the world-renowned brand of insulation and protective hygiene products, Australia's Ansell, thus acquiring genuine foreign ancestry.

The better operation is that in 2017, Renfu Medicine bought Jissbon from Ansell and completed an " acquisition of an internationally renowned security protection brand."

Question, a brand that was born in China and was later acquired by a foreign company, with manufacturers in many countries around the world, is now a domestic brand or a foreign brand that has been acquired by a Chinese company?

With the rise of the national tide, are domestic "foreign brands" working well?

So many Chinese companies are trying their best to put on the garb of "foreign brands" for the simple reason that foreign brands often mean better quality assurance in the eyes of Chinese people, while domestic brands give people the impression of being cheap and low-end .

However, this stereotype is being reversed. In recent years, the rise of the national tide has attracted more attention to domestic products, and the scale of consumption has also increased significantly. Domestic brands do not need to conceal their identity as a domestic product. This can be seen from the abandonment of the "Japanese" brand image of Genqi Forest.

Guochao has received attention, probably since Li Ning's appearance at New York Fashion Week. At that time, "national tide" also specifically referred to domestic fashion brands. Now they have evolved into domestic products and products with Chinese characteristics, becoming a popular consumer trend.

▲ SING girl group “National Tide Times'' MV.

" Baidu Guochao Pride Big Data " shows that from 2009 to 2019, the proportion of Chinese brands' attention increased from 38% to 70%. In addition, Suning Tesco’s " Big Data Report on Domestic Products Consumption " pointed out that the post-90s generation has become the main force in domestic consumption. Chen Yalei, Head of Consumer Research at Credit Suisse China, said :

Chinese consumers, especially the younger generation, do not think foreign brands are better. Now, Chinese consumers are optimistic about China, and they think there is nothing wrong with'Made in China'.

This change in brand recognition has a lot to do with the development of China's economy and culture. It is often easier for powerful economies to export their own culture and values.

This is why Disney can use fairy tales from various countries as the carrier of American values, and the impression of Monkey King by foreign audiences mostly comes from the Japanese animation "Dragon Ball."

Not only in the field of entertainment, this law is also applicable in the business world, because the promotion of commercial brands is often a cultural output, which requires telling stories to consumers.

AJ can develop from a sneaker brand to a cultural symbol. Without Jordan's legendary experience, even Nike's sneaker technology would be impossible to achieve.

The popularity of Supreme is inseparable from the popularity of street culture. As Ai Faner said in a previous article , Supreme has reproduced American culture with its own works. You can't help but think about the mapping behind each product. It is a social and cultural phenomenon.

Supreme has a kind of "big brother" temperament, it will show you things that it considers important or worthy of attention on a global scale. And they are not selling you what they make, but selling you ideas they think are valuable.

Nowadays, the national tide is in the ascendant, and more and more brands advertise "national products". Even Nike and Adidas have also launched the so-called "national tide series" in China. This may be the best era for domestic brands.

Of course, domestic products still have a long way to go. When people buy domestic products, it is not because of "patriotism", but only because of their recognition of the brand and products. When the "national tide" can go abroad and even be "cottage" by foreign brands, The tide has really risen.

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