To enter the soda water, the goal of the giants is not the vitality forest

The long-lost excitement of the beverage industry in the past two years is indispensable for the vigorous forest brought soda sparkling water into the game. In 2020, this kind of excitement will gradually become clear, and top brands Wahaha and Nongfu Spring will focus on the soda market.

The number of soda water brands is growing rapidly, but the overall category still presents a situation of fragmented competition, low branding, and no leading brands. Therefore, when we are attracted by Yuanqi Forest, Wahaha, and Nongfu Spring, it is also worthwhile to separate a part of our energy to focus on the category start-ups targeted by the giants, or can be called stalwart companies. What is their situation?

There are not many surviving companies
Who are these companies? Not many soda brands have entered the game earlier and survived.

There was a small orgasm during the lead-in period

From the perspective of the industry, soda water is actually a traditional category. In the early days, the industry divided soda water into aerated soda water and airless soda water according to product types. Watsons is the representative of aerated soda water. This soda water popular in Europe and the United States was first introduced to China, and baking soda was added on the basis of the original aerated mineral water, called soda soda; while the airless soda was around 2006 Originated in Jiaozuo, Henan, it does not contain carbon dioxide, and sweeteners are added to adjust the taste, represented by Mingren and Xiaoqu.

Around 2010-2012, soda water companies have gradually increased. There are more than 600 large and small baking soda manufacturers in Xinxiang and Jiaozuo, Henan Province, and dozens of them are viable. Soda water products have experienced this period. A small orgasm.

At the end of 2015, the alkali method appeared, and the market was a little upset. Because of Wu Xiubo’s endorsement and the ad placement of “Beijing Meets Seattle 2”, the alkali method gained fame, and it faded out of the market due to business management issues. The alkaline method that has come and gone has also contributed value to this category. A sales manager who has worked hard for a soda company for many years said frankly: “When visiting the Nanjing market in 2013 to introduce soda, most dealers would ask what soda is; to In 2017, we will visit new markets again, and dealers have already started to inquire about prices.” The brand operation of the alkaline method has provided market education for the soda category.

Growth period has arrived

Zou Wenwu, founder of Beijing Shengxiong brand marketing planning agency, believes: “Now the market is beginning to attract more powerful brands to enter, indicating that the market education of soda has entered the growth period from the introduction period, and the market competition and the battle for position will become more and more. fierce.”

Nielsen data shows that from 2017 to 2018, the overall sales volume of the soda market increased by 36.9%, much higher than the 3.1% of the overall beverage. Among the leading beverage brands that have a strong layout in the soda market this year, Wahaha actually launched soda products as early as 2010, and chose to launch PH9.0 airless soda this year because of the growth trend of the soda market. Last year, Tsingtao Beer, which launched Prince Seaweed Airless Soda Water, was about the same original intention.

Generally speaking, the soda market that the giants seize is still dominated by airless soda, and the burst of aerated soda will be in the next 3-5 years.

Is the bottleneck period of the shou-chong enterprise up?
In the face of such a strong offensive, what is the future of airless soda defenders like Mingren?

Industry theory

The opinions of industry experts fall into two categories. The first category believes that it is difficult for a competitive company to prevent competitors from entering the track and start to race. It is likely that the defending company will fall behind, because after a stronger opponent joins, the scale advantage emerges and the competitive advantage of the defending company Being weakened, the space and growth rate of the market can attract more peers to enter, so that the defensive enterprises face greater market pressure.

The other group believes that most of the most well-known brands in the region, such as Mingren, are well-known in the northern market, and their survivability is not bad. The entry of strong brands may stimulate the progress of the category, and they have the opportunity to grow bigger in the general environment. Be stronger and become the leader of the category.

Enterprise says

Mingren, who was the first to enter the soda category, has his own opinions. Tian Dongjian, sales manager of Mingrenhua Central Region, believes that companies should not define themselves as defenders, but competitors. “From the perspective of market layout, Wahaha has advantages in Guizhou and Yunnan, and Mingren is in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanxi also has a dominant position. It is from north to south to hit the market, and the two sides have different craftsmanship and each has its own way of playing.”

Nongfu Spring has a wide variety of products and is committed to making beverages and water on the same scale. It has indeed achieved a 50-50 situation in some areas, but most areas are still dominated by “red water”. “In some markets, water It can be sold for 11 million yuan, beverages for 4 million yuan, and Mingren soda can be sold for 9 million yuan.” Nongfu Spring is capable of multiple categories, but may not be able to carry out too much deep ploughing operations and distract energy.

The fast-growing vitality forest is often compared with Mingren, and there is even a saying: “Soda water starts from Mingren and thrives in the vitality forest.” Mingren believes that the two are not essentially at the same level of competition. “Vitality Forest should benchmark Coca-Cola brands. On the one hand, there is still a difference between soda and soda drinks. On the other hand, the current ceiling for aerated beverages is Coca-Cola.”

This is based on the analysis of the market operation level, and is there any difference in the nature of the enterprise?

Can the strong barriers of defensive companies still be hit?
Chen Qiang, a senior researcher of “Sales and Marketing” and CEO of Beijing Qiandmei Culture Communication Co., Ltd., believes that the survival of the competitive enterprises in the market must have built corporate barriers, and their construction methods have certain similarities.

Road paved by strong barriers

Take the product barrier to stand out. The industry knows that in terms of production technology, airless soda water is more difficult than aerated soda water, because the characteristics of baking soda will ferment when exposed to high temperatures, so airless soda water is prone to produce seasonal flocs, which was faced in the early days of the industry. The problem. Mingren Soda also solved this problem in the early stage, and then successfully discarded the homogenized enterprises in the surrounding area and moved to multiple regions across the country.

Mingren started as a pharmaceutical company. Compared to other fast-moving consumer goods companies, Mingren defines itself as a health product rather than a fast-moving consumer product, and emphasizes the functionality of the product. In addition to dual system certification, Shanghai also has GMP certification. Therefore, product quality has always been Mingren’s selling point, and there is even an internal slogan called “Drinking Market”.

Defend position with channel barriers. No matter how powerful the product is, it will eventually talk to the terminal.

Mingren’s channel and product positioning are closely related to the company’s background. Because Mingren’s slogan is “Drink Mingren before and after drinking” because of his background in a pharmaceutical company, Mingren prefers to choose the channel of tobacco and hotels. There have also been positioning researchers who think that Mingren’s slogan is narrow, while Mingren believes that this is precisely the establishment of barriers. The Chinese wine industry has a market of trillions. If you can think of Mingren, this market is enough.

Most of the men who love to drink also have a trunk, so Mingren has a lower repurchase rate of single products in the terminal compared to the top beverage brands, but because the FCL shipment is also very popular in the channel. So walking into the terminal, it is easy to find that Mingren is accustomed to using silver wire to attract attention. In addition, the company’s pharmacies are also a strong channel for Mingren.

Are strong barriers strong

These two major barriers can fully support companies to survive in some markets, but from another perspective, giant companies have also been the defenders of a certain category, and their product development capabilities are not bad. Take Tsingtao Brewery as an example. Soda water, its selling point is the same seaweed extract as high-end cosmetic Lamer.

In terms of channels, in addition to the aforementioned companies, Jinmailang deserves more attention. For the stubborn companies, although Jinmailang has insufficient product innovation capabilities, the small boss model has a certain impact on the channel, and its own channel advantage may be another major advantage of most stubborn companies. This is the stubborn enterprise. Thousands of people stepped on it with one foot.

Zou Wenwu believes that: “Soldering companies should strengthen their core channels and market expansion operations to ensure that they are not entered by competitors. Products must be upgraded and iterated to ensure that Mingren is always in the leading position in the soda market. .”

When talking about whether the channel will be seized by the aggressive enterprises, Mingren seemed very confident: “Compared with the top brands, Mingren can give the terminal a higher profit margin for a long time, and because consumers buy the brand name The habit of Ren soda water, for the terminal, our products have the same value as Wanglaoji and Deluxe, which has been developed through more than ten years of market practice.” From the perspective of pricing, Ming Ren soda has a price of 3 yuan. , And Nongfu Spring, Wahaha, and Tsingtao Brewery cost 4-5 yuan. This is Mingren’s insight into the market.

For some years of packaging issues that the outside world is concerned about, Mingren said that it will take time to reach a certain size, completely eliminate brands that follow the trend and carry out iterative upgrades. The entry of several major brands may accelerate this process.

Brand barriers are the most aggressive barriers for companies
There is no doubt that product barriers and channel barriers allow defensive companies to have the capital to compete with offensive companies. Chen Qiang believes that defensive companies still need to pay attention to: “Don’t rely too much on product barriers and channel barriers, especially regional leaders are more willing to invest funds The construction of channel barriers, but the strongest barrier is the brand barrier. This barrier formed on the minds of consumers has the ability to control and counterattack.”

Zou Wenwu agrees: “Mingren needs to do a good job in branding articles on the expansion of category value, and also to do a clear brand positioning and enhance brand image to improve the brand threshold of soda competition, such as advertising operations or image Upgrade, which forces new entrants to have a brand image lower than themselves.”

At this point, consider Budweiser, which has launched two soda brands (Natural Light and Social Club) since August last year. Budweiser has tried to solidify its high-end brand image since entering China. Therefore, through cooperation with the Olympic Games, European Cup, and high-end concerts, media platforms are used for communication, and product packaging iterations are added to achieve its goals.

Tian Dongjian revealed that Mingren also intends to infiltrate the brand value to consumers when arranging the market. “We use our expertise and focus to deal with all kinds of competition.” In recent years, Mingren has cooperated with hematology departments of well-known hospitals in various provinces. If the test results of the patients show that the uric acid value exceeds the standard, Mingren will provide a box of soda for free. In addition to delivering the function of soda water neutralization, it also hopes to enhance the trust of Mingren brand through hospital endorsement, form brand influence, establish and deliver value.

In the rapidly changing market environment, Mingren also realized the need to make adjustments. Currently, it has begun to deploy a multi-platform matrix such as Douyin. It has opened about 10 accounts for distributors and consumers, and tells different brand stories for the audience. , It also extends the consumer population downwards and reaches more young consumers.

Giants with strong brand influence will naturally not miss any opportunity to attack. At the end of this year, the two sides will announce the results of the first round. In terms of the long-term development of the industry, this process and results are very exciting.