Analysis on the development path of Chinese sanitary ware brand

Posted on April 01 2022

In recent years, the development of China's sanitary ware brand industry has been mixed. On the one hand, the number of sanitary ware manufacturers has increased sharply, and the production capacity has also increased at a geometric level, becoming the largest producer and consumer of Sanitary Ware brands in the world. According to the data, China's bathroom brands account for 30% of the world's total, and bathroom accessories account for nearly 35% of the world's total. It is even predicted that the output of China's sanitary ceramics will reach 250.83 million pieces in 2015, and the market scale will reach 90 billion yuan. On the other hand, China's sanitary ware manufacturers are mainly small and medium-sized enterprises. The phenomenon of manual workshops and manual production is common. There are not many real large-scale production, and the product advantages are also concentrated in the middle and low-end market. Although they are exported to many countries around the world, they earn very little profits. In terms of brand influence, compared with the huge number and output of manufacturers, it is very embarrassing: not only has it not been able to enter the foreign market, but even the "one third of an Mu" of the domestic high-end market is monopolized by foreign brands. After years of rapid development, the current situation of China's bathroom brand industry is large but not strong, and the reasons for this phenomenon are various.

It started late and has a short history of development

It is understood that China's modern sanitary ceramics began in 1914. It has been nearly a century since Tangshan Qixin foreign ash company produced China's first modern sanitary ceramics. However, the development history of sanitary ceramics before the reform and opening up was very slow, and the annual output was still less than 2.3 million by 1978. It entered the period of sustainable development in the early 1980s. After the 1990s, China's sanitary ceramics witnessed a blowout development. In 1993, it became the largest producer and consumer of Sanitary Ware brands in the world. According to data, the output of sanitary ceramics exceeded 160 million pieces in 2008. Based on this, most people believe that the development of sanitary ceramics in China has only started for more than 20 years, and the brand development has really been valued by manufacturers in recent years. Compared with the hundreds of years of development history of foreign sanitary ceramics, it appears to be relatively "young" and lack of historical precipitation, which is the main reason why sanitary ceramics in China are large but not strong.

"Although the development of China's ceramics has a history of thousands of years, the real development history of sanitary ceramics is very short, only more than 20 years. Moreover, we have not caught up with the best period of development. For example, in the early 1990s, China's transformation from planned economy to market economy is a good time for sanitary ceramics to take the initiative to build and manage brands. However, during this period, China's sanitary ceramics has just started Not long ago, it was still in the stage of expanding production and busy market. The concept of brand was very weak. The history of domestic sanitary ceramics brands was very short and did not pass the test of time. Foreign big brands were different. For example, Weibao, Germany, established its factory in 1748 and has accumulated more than 260 years of history, while Tang Tao, China's earlier sanitary ceramics, established its factory in 1904 Due to the changes in the national system, this brand has fallen down. At present, our domestic brands Huida, Wrigley, Hengjie and Youlai have a relatively short development history and need to withstand the test of time. A strong brand needs to withstand the test of time and market. At present, China's bathroom brand is large but not strong, which is largely consistent with our development history During the Shanghai kitchen and bathroom exhibition, Li aidang, marketing manager of Italian Chinese ceramics, said when talking to reporters about China's bathroom industry.

Feng bin, deputy general manager and brand director of grace sanitary ware, analyzes the changes in the structure and consumption concept of Chinese consumers, because consumers' consumption concept can often drive the brand development of enterprises.

"It has been more than 30 years since China's reform and opening up, but in the past decade, Chinese talents have slowly put forward the problem of happiness. In the previous 20 years, they only solved the problems of food and clothing and secure housing. Most of the demand for bathroom brand products is still functional, and they don't pay much attention to the brand. With the improvement of living standards, everyone's consumption concept is slowly changing and the level of consumption is changing In fact, the situation facing our sanitary ware brand industry has also occurred in European and American countries. This is a process that must be experienced in the high-speed economic operation. The development history of sanitary ceramics in many foreign countries has been nearly 200 years, and we have finished it in only 20 years They have experienced the past 100 years of history and the problems we are facing, "Feng Bin said.

Lack of excellent brands and sanitary ware manufacturers

No one can give accurate data on the number of sanitary ware manufacturers or Sanitary Ware brands in China, because the entry threshold is low and there are many and miscellaneous small enterprises and small brands without registration, but we all know that we lack international excellent brands and international leading enterprises. Leading brands and leading factories are the benchmark of the industry, shoulder the important task of scientific and technological innovation and market development, and can drive the development of the industry and radiate to other related industries.

Looking back at the development history of modern sanitary ceramics in China, it is not difficult to find that most of the development of sanitary ware manufacturers in China started from export or OEM. Chaozhou, the largest sanitary ceramics production base in China, is the best example. Chaozhou has nearly 1000 sanitary ceramics production enterprises. Because the amount of sanitary ceramics required for early export is very large, and the threshold for OEM production is very low, it can be produced by setting up a simple factory shed and recruiting a few workers, eliminating the costs of brand construction and technological innovation. After the establishment of many manufacturers, they are helping large brands at home and abroad to produce wedding clothes for others. Until the deterioration of the foreign market in recent years, they slowly shifted their focus from export to domestic sales. OEM production and export have enabled many sanitary ceramics production enterprises to complete the accumulation of original funds, but also made them ignore their own brand construction and domestic market development, which directly led to the phenomenon that there are a large number of sanitary ceramics production enterprises in Chaozhou today, with huge output, but not many first-line brand enterprises.

The result of the lack of bathroom manufacturers and leading brands is that China's high-end market is almost monopolized by foreign bathroom giants toto, Kohler and American Standard. Domestic high-end places such as five-star hotels, airports, high-end shopping malls and other high-end projects mainly choose foreign brands when purchasing bathroom products. Even ordinary consumers think that foreign bathroom brands are high-end brands. Most of China's independent bathroom brands can only fight in the second and third tier markets. With the fierce competition, foreign first-line brands have gradually extended their tentacles to the second and third tier markets. Manufacturers without brands or with low brand awareness are under increasing pressure to survive, so they gradually realize the need to improve brand influence.

In view of the phenomenon that there are many and miscellaneous brands in the bathroom brand industry and there is a lack of leading brands and leading enterprises, Li aidang said: "our domestic enterprises are not good at brand management. Or from a higher level, we lack the patience before brand success and can't stand the loneliness of brand management, which is related to the enterprise's eagerness for quick success and instant benefit and impetuosity."

"This is the law of the development of every industry. Many industries such as household appliances and clothing have also experienced the process of growth and development. There are many brands in the bathroom brand industry, but there are not many manufacturers with real brand awareness. In the early stage of development, we did not focus on brand building, because many people think it is easy to earn money and do not need a lot of investment. In fact, in the past, there were many costs It's not high, even if you stick a brand, it can be operated. Even some manufacturers feel that the brand is not working after operating a brand for a period of time, and immediately change another brand, another brand is not working, and then another brand, resulting in the current situation of four or five brands of a manufacturer. Manufacturers operating like this have no real brand awareness. Of course, this is also different from our traditional concept and industry characteristics Sex related. There are also some speculative activities in this industry. They feel that they don't invest much. If they lose money, they won't lose a lot. They can change to other industries, such as real estate, so they don't operate the bathroom brand wholeheartedly, "said Yang Fan, general manager of taitao bathroom.

Lack of independent technological innovation ability

Although China's sanitary ceramics started late, due to the good inheritance in ceramic technology and the rapid development in recent years, many manufacturers have made breakthrough progress in traditional technologies and functions such as flushing capacity, cleaning function, anti siphon, water seal depth and pipeline transportation function of sanitary ware brand products, which has reached or even exceeded the level of foreign first-line brands. However, a large number of manufacturers have not made great efforts in technological innovation and function research and development. They simply imitate or even directly copy the appearance design and related technology of well-known Sanitary Ware brands at home and abroad to fish in troubled waters in the market. Often, when a brand launches a new product, several or even dozens of similar products will appear in the market, and even the advertising language of the product will be imitated, resulting in serious product homogenization in the industry. It can be said that although China has a good inheritance of ceramic technology and unique resource advantages, most manufacturers compete with international brands by relying on the cost advantages of quantity expansion and cheap labor. Their own technological innovation, brand construction and appearance design have not reached the level of international brands.

"China's bathroom brand industry has a large output and many brands, but they are not strong. The main reason is that we don't have a strong sense of innovation. If we blindly follow others, how can we talk about surpassing? Innovation includes technological innovation and appearance innovation, which is the basis for the development and growth of brands. At present, many bathroom manufacturers are keen on advertising war and price war, just don't fight innovation war. Although in the short term There will be some benefits, but it certainly can not develop in the long run, because the innovation of product technology is the driving force for enterprises to move forward. Many enterprises are also aware of this, but they have no intention to do it. When many sanitary ware manufacturers develop customers, product samples are free, and our product samples need to be purchased with money, because each of our products is packaged We devote a lot of money to technological innovation every year. Although our products are imitated by others, it does not reduce our enthusiasm for technological innovation, because the best protection for imitation is continuous innovation. What others imitate is our past products. " Liu Dongpo, general manager of Jiufu sanitary ware, believes that the lack of innovative spirit is the key reason why China's sanitary ware is big but not strong.

"In terms of technology of ordinary products, we may not be much different from foreign brands, but there is still a big gap in intelligent technology, especially in terms of design concept. During the Shanghai Sanitary Ware Exhibition, Toto, Kohler and other foreign giants attracted a lot of people's attention, not because of their exhibition hall or their size Their products are fashionable, but because their product design and product display have been able to convey a unique feeling to consumers. They are no longer selling products, but selling an idea and a feeling. Compared with them, our domestic brands still stay at the level of selling products, and their innovation in design concept has been much ahead of us "Said Feng bin, deputy general manager and brand director of grace sanitary ware.

The lack of innovation ability and the prevalence of imitation and plagiarism are the key reasons why China's sanitary ware enterprises are large but not strong and always stay in the middle and low-end market. The key to upgrading from "big" to "strong" depends on technological innovation and design creativity, so as to enhance the added value of products.

Manufacturers pay too much attention to short-term interests

With the rapid development of bathroom brand industry, a number of excellent manufacturers have gradually entered the international market and are moving towards success after accounting for a certain domestic market share. However, many problems have been exposed. For example, due to the rapid development, some manufacturers focus on short-term interests. The development and growth of sanitary ware manufacturers need a strong sales channel to support, and also need to invest a lot in product technology research and development and brand promotion. However, many sanitary ware manufacturers just ignore these two points, or adopt a simple price war strategy of emphasizing marketing over technology and neglecting brand.

"Channel construction and brand building need to invest a lot of manpower and financial resources, and it takes a long time to have an effect. Moreover, the return of such investment is often invisible. The bosses of many manufacturers prefer to buy land and develop real estate with RMB 20 million rather than invest RMB 2 million in channel construction and brand construction. Because investing in entities such as real estate, things are really in front of each other It can be seen that investment in channel construction and brand construction is often invisible, so many sanitary ware manufacturers are unwilling to pay this money. In fact, the development of an enterprise must have strong channel support, and the promotion of a brand also needs to be baptized by the market and tempered by the business sea. These all need real gold and silver investment. However, many of our enterprises do not Save this money and hope to expand the market in the "price war and promotion war", hoping to open the market and make money in this way. Even some well-known brands come to join the fun and often engage in promotional activities. As soon as the promotion is carried out, there is a price war, and a toilet is 299 yuan or 199 yuan. Whether for the purpose of seizing popularity or cleaning up inventory, this is very important What kind of marketing methods are very bad. For a long time, it will only make the price war in this industry more and more chaotic, and make more and more enterprises linger in the medium and low-end market for a long time, so they can't be stronger. "Mr. Zhang, general manager of a sanitary ware enterprise, said anxiously when talking about the problem that sanitary ware enterprises focus on short-term interests.

In addition to belittling channel construction and brand construction, many bathroom manufacturers have taken the idea of "taking shortcuts and going to sea by boat", wearing waistcoats and wiping the edge of well-known brands to sell in the market, such as ssuuu and ar? - rovv (two V), Nanfang Wrigley, Japanese Wrigley, etc., and have achieved success to a certain extent. Driven by these manufacturers, people outside the industry also seem to see business opportunities. They spend thousands of yuan to register a brand similar to well-known brands, build a simple shed for production, and even directly transfer goods from other factories for sales, trying to make hot money. Although these Shanzhai enterprises can not become bigger and stronger, nor can they develop in the long term, their emergence has had a great negative impact on the brand construction of the whole sanitary ware industry in China, and even made the whole industry bear the reputation of "plagiarism and Shanzhai".

Lack of standardization in management and market operation

"The bathroom brand industry is big but not strong. The main reason is that the current enterprise management and market operation are lack of standardization, and a set of management system consistent with the actual situation of the enterprise is not established and improved, which can easily lead to confusion in enterprise management. For example, the agent of a well-known brand once complained that the bathroom brand he represents has a large manufacturer library due to the lack of standardized management The storage data is always inaccurate. Because the internal operation process of the manufacturer has not been established, not only the shipment data is not recorded, but also the new products can not be put into storage, and the workshop supervisor often transfers goods. Some agents have to give gifts to the workshop supervisor in order to pick up the goods, and even some agents have to live in the factory in person to wait for delivery, which makes both sides very tired. It is only the products Chaotic management will have a great impact on the operation of the market. In addition, other non-standard management is very unfavorable to the expansion and strength of the enterprise, "said Zhang Xuezhi, vice president of Guangdong oulejia kitchen and bathroom Co., Ltd.

At present, small and medium-sized enterprises account for the majority in the whole bathroom brand industry in China. Because of their small scale and weak strength, most manufacturers adopt family management in management. This kind of management plays an important role in the original capital accumulation of manufacturers in the early stage, but with the development of enterprises, some disadvantages are gradually exposed. For example, the centralization of power is serious, and the production and marketing cannot be separated. The enterprise boss has multiple duties. He is not only responsible for product R & D and production, but also responsible for product sales, and even takes into account personnel, finance, etc. This "self-produced and self sold" model needs to spend a lot of manpower, financial resources and energy. It not only has high sales costs, but also often takes care of one thing and loses the other, and it is difficult to achieve good performance. In addition, the sales channels of the sanitary ware industry are mainly developing in the form of stores, self operated stores, franchise agents and experience pavilions. With the changes of the market and consumers' purchase methods, these sales models are gradually unable to meet their needs. Due to the lack of brand influence, it is particularly difficult to expand invisible channels such as home decoration and engineering, which restricts sanitary ware enterprises to become bigger and stronger to a great extent.

The sanitary ware brand industry is a "double high industry" with high energy consumption and high pollution. In the production process, it needs to consume a lot of land resources and other energy, and will also produce relatively large pollution. The products produced at this cost, whether exported abroad at low price or sold at home at low price, are not a healthy way of development. Only by seeking improvement in quality, management, brand, technological innovation and other links and changing the existing extensive development model, can China's sanitary ware brand industry move forward from big to strong and gain advantages in competition with major international brands.