Rui Jinsong, Executive Director and Senior Vice President of Bosideng, had an exclusive interview with Sohu
For this past Double Eleven Day, Bosideng Group reported all channel sales of RMB 568 million, a year-on-year increase of 32.7%. Such remarkable sales achievement has attracted the attention of all walks of life. A few days ago, Mr. Rui Jinsong, Executive Director and Senior Vice President of Bosideng, had an interview with Sohu.
“We’ve never forgotten why we started. We are committed to doing only one thing”
In response to the reporter's doubts about Bosideng’s ability to generate high revenue after decades in business, Mr. Jingsong Rui said that he has been wondering about why some foreign brands can still be in business after hundred years of existence, while few Chinese brands can persist for thirty or forty years? Even Bosideng was silent for a long time in the past few years. In the end, he came to the conclusion that: "The heads of foreign brands are not on the same level as their Chinese counterparts in terms of knowledge and control of the company and the brand. They always try to do one thing to the point of perfection!”
The first Bosideng down jacket went on sale in 1994. After going through the tests of the market, Bosideng has also found the answer: Committed to doing only one thing and doing it well – a return to why we started making down jackets. Mr. Rui Jinsong said that in the next 3-5 years, Bosideng would devote lots of efforts to entering the high-end down jacket market, and build it into a world-famous down jacket brand. Of course, this does not mean Bosideng only has down jacket business. It’s just we are making our strong business even stronger." In the future, when speaking of Bosideng, we hope that customer's first response is – an expert in middle- and high-end pro down jackets." Mr. Rui Jinsong said.
“Do subtraction and consolidate brand thickness”
Since 2010, the entire domestic clothing industry has been plagued with slow growth. In contrast, Bosideng is able to stand strong and become one of few clothing groups that have successfully transformed themselves. As Mr. Rui Jinsong pointed out, this was thanks to their implementation of subtraction. "Identify those modules that are doing well, then optimize them to make them better."
After getting rid of the redundant modules, channels, layouts, etc., Bosideng is becoming more and more clear about what he needs to “stick to”. That is the “character” of the brand. “A lot of successful brands will study trends, but they will never blindly follow them. In a sentence, we should follow the trends but not drift along.” Mr. Rui Jinsong said, “Why do 100-year brands have a greater say? It’s because they have character. Our plan is, starting from 2018, Bosideng has to allocate all the resources revolving around our "starting point". We use what’s suitable, and discard the unsuitable, instead of blindly taking all in. ”
“Innovate to keep up with the changes of the times”
There used to be a lot of competition impeding Bosideng’s rise. But only Bosideng survived and is standing strong. This can be attributed to, on one hand, its perseverance in quality, and on the other hand, its innovation and radicalization in product and brand communication.
For example, it’s a popular practice to place ads on the fuselage of airplanes. But in fact, Bosideng was the first brand that placed ads on airplane heads. Take another example. Between 2003 and 2005, Bosideng was brave enough to invest 10% and even 20% of its revenue in brand promotion. We once won the title King Bidder - highest bidder - at the annual CCTV primetime ad space auction. In a manner of speaking, it was thanks to these attempts and innovations in brand communication that Bosideng left a unique impression on consumers.
But after 2005, Bosideng put more focus on revenue and profits. With the growth of a new generation of consumers, although once a big ship in the domestic clothing industry, Bosideng was engulfed by the contradiction between “brand aging” and the rise of young consumers. He said frankly: "We’ve done a terrible thing. We’ve paid no attention to figuring out how to build up the heat for the brand." Fortunately, it was only a short detour. Now, it has begun to devote renewed efforts to create better-quality, younger and more fashionable products. Attention is paid to make the brand appealing to younger people with its novel and creative designs.
For example, Bosideng released a capsule collection in collaboration with Disney this year. And for this year's Double Eleven Day, Bosideng created a hit song by teaming up with Li Daben, one of the top nine contestants of the Chinese competition show The Rap of China, which generated a lot of buzz among and attracted the attention of the young people, and received positive reviews. There’s more. To enhance consumer interaction, Bosideng rolled out promotions for both online and offline stores for this Double Elven Day. Same models were sold at the same price at its online and offline stores to enhance consumers’ shopping experience.
"China will be different in five years, with great changes in areas of Chinese brands, national awareness and awareness of domestic products. So, we should use the next five years to lay the foundation for the future. Bosideng will turn into a powerful brand in 10 years.” Mr. Rui Jinsong is full of confidence about the future.
Abandoning our past practice of having our eyes locked on products and marketing, we are now more devoted to studying people, studying the needs of customers. Bosideng’s figured out a path of its own. As Mr. Rui Jinsong noted, “If Bosideng is the go-to brand for when 1.3 billion people try to buy down jackets, will you still be worried about sales?”
We shouldn’t talk about achieving our goals before we are back at our starting point and remember why we started. I believe everyone will see our reemergence and ascend to the top in the near future!