|Sun Mingbo, chairman of Tsingtao Brewery and a deputy to the National People's Congress [Photo / China.org.cn]|
Time-honored brands should innovate to "stay young" in a modern market while sticking to their traditional values, a beer mogul told China.org.cn.
Sun Mingbo, chairman of Tsingtao Brewery and a deputy to the National People's Congress, said that old brands should make new changes in order to meet changing demands. He made the remark in Beijing on March 9 on the sidelines of the ongoing sessions of China's top legislative and political advisory bodies.
Tsingtao Beer, the flagship beverage brand based in Qingdao, a beach-lined city in China's east coast, was founded over 100 years ago when the Germans arrived and set up an Anglo-German brewery.
Although the ownership of the company has changed several times, it has remained one of the most beloved drinks among Chinese people.
"Time-honored brand" is a coveted designation granted to brands with a long history. Of over 1,100 time-honored brands accredited by the Ministry of Commerce, only 20 to 30 percent of them have fared well and many are now facing challenges or even struggling to survive in the modern market.
"The secret for its long-standing popularity lies in the company's constant innovation and commitment to quality and craftsmanship," said Sun.
To address different market segments, the 114-year-old Chinese brewer explored various types of drinks including pilsner, draft beer, fruit beer, dark beer and green beer.
It has also launched special limited edition packs for major world sports events, major celebratory events and popular movies in an attempt to woo a larger customer base across the world.
While calling for innovation, Sun also called for protection of time-honored brands in terms of intellectual property rights and mergers and acquisitions, saying that the government should give more green lights to those brands in applying protective registration to avoid copycats.
According to last year's brand value assessment report, Tsingtao Beer is the NO.1 time-honored brand with a total value at 35.8 billion yuan (US$ 5.18 billion).