August has always been the “high season” for listed companies to publish their half-year reports, and although they still face various pressures from the market environment and consumption transformation, most companies still handed over quite beautiful half-year reports: dairy giant Mengniu Dairy’s revenue in the first half of the year reached 45.9 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 22.3%; Tencent’s revenue in the first half of the year was 273.5 billion yuan, and the net profit was 90.3 billion yuan.
Similarly, Master Kong, a national classic brand that has gone through 29 years, has still given more outstanding results even if it faces the cost pressure of rising raw materials in the first half of the year: on August 23, Master Kong Holdings announced its 2021 interim report, which shows that the revenue of instant noodle business in the first half of the year was 12.722 billion yuan, an increase of more than 10% compared with the same period in 2019.
According to Nielsen’s public data, Master Kong’s instant noodle sales market share is 45.4% and sales market share is 47.9%, ranking first in the market.
For instant noodle Master Kong’s semi-annual report, it is also mentioned that the brand rejuvenation strategy is also an important strategy for Master Kong in the next few years.
01 User-centric: The business experience of “Generation Z”
The mobile Internet has broken the barriers of channels and media, and accelerated the changes in consumption concepts, tastes and needs of the entire society.
Whether it is consumption concept or purchasing power, the young group represented by Generation Z is the main force in the future.
According to public data, as of the first half of 2021, China’s Generation Z population accounted for about 260 million people, supporting a consumer market of 4 trillion yuan, accounting for 13% of the country’s total household expenditure, and the consumption growth rate far exceeded that of other age groups.
In this context, whether it is an established giant or an emerging company, the common test of the times is – how to take users as the center, understand Generation Z, understand Generation Z and capture the hearts of Generation Z? Some leading companies have made various other attempts in this: for example, the national skin care brand Pechoin, which tells the topic of “nostalgia” in a young way, injects fresh blood into the brand, makes the classic old brand look “young and powerful”, and achieves a qualitative breakthrough in image and sales conversion.
In this regard, Master Kong’s strategy for instant noodles is to make the strategy high-end; Cut into the subdivision scenario, product diversification and differentiation; Insist on doing research before the product is launched; Marketing is younger.
In terms of high-end products, Master Kong has launched a series such as “Speeda Noodle Restaurant” series in line with the standard of noodle restaurant-level good noodles, which comprehensively layout office, home, outdoor and other diverse scenarios with bowl noodles, boiled noodles and self-heating noodles, and adopts advanced production technologies such as FD freeze-drying technology, stock extraction technology, RP rapid prototyping technology, etc., to provide consumers with more nutrition and better taste.
▲Master Kong’s mini free cup
Cutting into subdivision scenarios, product diversification and differentiation: for example, for vegetarian groups, Master Kong has launched new products such as vegetarian instant noodles, fresh vegetable noodles, hand-rolled noodles, and a new version of soup master; Target groups with different dietary portions
, Master Kong’s soup master series specially launched different specifications such as Big, large food bags and small mini cups
； Aiming at health-seeking groups, Master Kong has launched tomato egg beef noodles, selected high-quality ingredients such as Xinjiang tomatoes and pure grain eggs, and adopted a slow simmering process to restore the sweet and sour taste, so as to meet the health and taste needs of consumers to the greatest extent.
In addition, Master Kong instant noodles insists on supporting each product with detailed research data before it is launched; In terms of marketing, try brand rejuvenation, cross-border co-branding, cooperation with quadratic and popular variety shows, and communicate with young groups.
02 Digital marketing to help brands rejuvenate
There is no other era where the media is so developed, and there is no era that is more fragmented, fragmented, and layered than the current one. Where to find an audience, how to reach, how to please them, and getting them is a course that is easier said than done.
The 123-year-old sports brand Reebok signed 80-year-old “senior youth” Wang Shunde as the brand spokesperson, conveying to consumers the mentality that “at any age, you can live your own appearance, break through the limit, and break the boundaries of age”.
For Master Kang,
Embracing change, embracing new technologies, and promoting brand rejuvenation are also constant strategies.
For example, the short video giant Douyin has become one of the important means for Master Kong to communicate and influence young people. Master Kong-related topics on Douyin #花式吃面播放量超过了3 50 million times, and blogger @handsome Sydney piggy A video of Master Kong’s noodles has more than 37.3W likes.
▲Video about Master Kong’s instant noodles on Douyin
Cross-border quadratic and cooperation with popular variety shows are also Master Kong’s brand rejuvenation attempts in the past one or two years.
For example, in the previous birthday celebration event in which Master Kong cooperated with the two-dimensional super virtual idol Luo Tianyi, the total exposure exceeded 400 million+ times. In addition, in 2020, Master Kong focused on large-scale marketing and promotion activities for high-priced noodles and high-end noodles.
Including Master Kong’s braised beef noodles sponsored “Strange Words”, Laotan sauerkraut beef noodles and “Kung Fu Panda”, spicy beef noodles and “Peace Elite”, rattan pepper beef noodles and “Douluo Continent”, etc., through various IP cooperation, deepen the influence of instant noodle products in young consumer groups.
The star product tomato egg beef noodles, in the packaging design adopts the main vision catering to the young group, and creates its own two-dimensional IP “egg dingzai” to attract the Z generation with young visual marketing.
03 What should FMCG brands learn from Master Kong?
Whether it is a traditional giant or a new consumer brand, in the future increasingly competitive market, learning how to sustainable development is the key to winning.
First of all, keep up with the pace of the times and embrace the young market.
For traditional industries, most brands are slow to transform young because vested interests are high enough and transformation is complex. Master Kong embraces young people in a timely manner, quickly responds from the product side and marketing side to carry out healthy product layout, multi-scene penetration, cross-border two-dimensional, e-sports, variety show, and cultural IP.
▲Master Kong linkage game peace elite
Secondly, comprehensively promote the digital strategy and benchmark the quality of aerospace products.
As early as 2012, Master Kong has begun to try to cater to the digital transformation of the young market. Master Kong combines the experience of cooperating with international well-known enterprises such as PepsiCo and Starbucks, introduces the systematic management model of European and American countries, and localizes it to form a complete strategy suitable for the Chinese market.
The digital strategy enables Master Kong to respond quickly through data decision-making in terms of supply chain, channel layout, and consumer insights.
While promoting digital construction, Master Kong’s instant noodles respond to the call of “aerospace power”, and product quality control benchmarks aerospace quality. Two star products: “Braised Beef Noodles” and “Speeda Noodle Restaurant” are examples of the application of aerospace technology. At the same time, it also actively participates in the popularization of public welfare aerospace education for the younger generation.
▲Aerospace education science popularization site
At the same time, pay attention to food safety and strictly control product quality.
As a food enterprise, Master Kong always adheres to the “zero tolerance” for food safety risks, strictly controls every link from the farm to the table, and ensures food safety and product quality.
At the same time, Master Kong is also actively popularizing food safety knowledge. In June this year, Master Kong responded to the 2021 National Food Safety Publicity Week and organized a month-long food safety publicity month. This is the eighth consecutive year that Master Kong has carried out this important activity, aiming to support the “Healthy China” strategy and continue to make efforts to protect “safety on the tip of the tongue”.
In addition, take data as the core and increase the code of new retail.
Under the trend of the gradual stabilization of traditional distribution channels, Master Kong’s instant noodle division continues to increase new retail in order to improve the efficiency of channels, logistics, marketing and other links.
Master Kong’s instant noodle business upgraded the e-commerce department to a new retail department, focusing not only on traditional e-commerce, but also diversified channel operation layout
, such as social e-commerce, catering e-commerce, fresh food and other O2O platforms. At the same time, an intelligent supply and marketing network is established, and with the help of an intelligent data platform, the intelligent operation of the entire process is realized, reducing operating costs and improving sales efficiency.
To sum up, building a food safety protective wall, product innovation, young marketing, digital transformation, and increasing new retail have enabled Master Kong to achieve stable performance even in the face of rising raw material prices and fierce industry competition, which is also worth learning from other FMCG brands in similar situations.