Marketing campaign spreads word about Shanxi products
Qinxen Energy is among Shanxi's brands to feature at a marketing roadshow in Shanghai in August. [Photo by Guo Xueyuan for China Daily]
Local brands win more recognition across the nation
Local Shanxi brands have won increasing recognition among consumers nationwide thanks in part to an eight-year-long promotional campaign.
The province in North China began a marketing campaign for its local brands in 2013, with the first roadshow held at Beijing's Jinyuan Lufthansa Shopping Mall on June 21 that year.
With the COVID-19 outbreak brought under control in China, Shanxi has held three roadshows for its branded products across the country this year, with the first show in Shanghai in August, the second in Qingdao, Shandong province in September and the third in Shenzhen, Guangdong province in October.
Through the promotions, Shanxi's brands in a variety of industries, including herbal tea, tourism and handicrafts, as well as manufactured products, have become better known to domestic buyers.
During the most recent show in Shenzhen, Huang Jiaqi, a resident from Guangzhou, capital city of Guangdong province, sampled several varieties of herbal tea produced in Yicheng county, Shanxi province.
"When I was served a cup of herbal tea, I mistook it for a fermented variety made of normal tea leaves,"Huang said.
"I was amazed when I was told it was made of medicinal herbs. It didn't taste bitter as you would expect from herbs. I can tell that there is a long-lasting sweetness."
Wang Yuan, Party secretary of Yicheng, who headed the county's delegation to Shenzhen, said he was happy with the visitors' response to the local herbal tea products.
"I noticed that our herbal tea products attracted the attention of many visitors. I hope our branded products can reach more customers as the marketing campaign goes to more regions in China," Wang said.
During the roadshow in Shanghai, Sang Yingzi, general manager of Jin Popo, a Pingding county-based company selling agricultural products, said the marketing campaign is a good opportunity for enterprises to build a connection with potential clients and customers.
"Thanks to the campaign, we have seen steady growth in new clients and stabilized ties with old partners over the years," Sang said.
A worker from a company in Yicheng county makes herbal tea at the Shenzhen roadshow. [Photo by Hu Bo for China Daily]
Also at the Shanghai show, Changzhi-based Jinxin Energy Group displayed the company's coke products used for casting.
"It's no surprise that our products attract a great many professional visitors. Shanxi is known for its high-quality coke and we are a representative of quality coke producers in the province," said Song Xinyuan, an executive in charge of marketing at the company.
Shanxi Sanlian Group, a casting manufacturing company based in Hejin city, sees the market campaign as an opportunity to learn about the latest information and developing trends in the industry.
Sanlian Group used to just be a producer of castings for automotive engine cylinders. It is now expanding to cover more sections in the industrial chain, according to Zhang Xuejun, board chairman of the company.
"Based on the information obtained during the previous sessions of the campaign, we are adjusting our products to meet the emerging needs of clients," Zhang said. "We are producing more castings for many automotive components other than engine cylinders."
Zhang Yanbo, general manager of Shanxi Zhineng Technology, another casting producer from Shanxi, said he expects to cooperate with high-tech companies to promote smart manufacturing in his company.
He said one of the technological breakthroughs resulting from its partnerships forged in the previous sessions of the campaign is using three-dimensional printing to produce various sand molds to meet clients' tailored demands for castings.
The company has invested in a 3D-printing project with a total investment of 150 million yuan ($22.8 million). The first phase of the project became operational earlier this year.
The branding campaign has also highlighted cooperation with businesses in the hosting cities and regions, according to the events' organizers.
"The host cities have been selected according to their advantageous resources, for instance, their market potential and their strength in technology and manufacturing," said Chen He, chairman of the Shanxi subcouncil of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, one of the organizers of the campaign.
"We stress collaboration with the host cities for sharing resources of both sides," Chen added.
During the Qingdao show in September, a number of business matchmaking events were held between representatives from Shanxi and their counterparts in Qingdao.
For instance, Beizhengnong Biology, an agricultural technology company based in Changzhi city, signed 15 letters of intent and two agreements for cooperation with businesses from Qingdao and the rest of Shandong province.
Guo Yanjie contributed to this story.