Innovation and branding can help Bright go farther

Michael Yang
To build their brand in younger generations' minds, there are many things that the Bright group can do.
Michael Yang

 Dear editor,

I am writing after reading Ni Tao’s “Popsicle lovers happy to pay a Bright price” (July 26, Shanghai Daily).

First of all, a time-honored business that can survive for generations usually has a spirit of innovation, which does not operate only for profit. As a Shanghai native, I love Bright’s Milky ice cubic more than you do.

But my seven-year-old daughter is only familiar with overseas brands like Haagen-Dazs or some Japanese Ice cream because in those franchised shops you can see delicate ice creams which are colorful and really attractive to the younger generations.

In addition, in a Japanese ice cream shop you can buy several different flavor of ice creams for a package price, while Bright’s products tend to be big and are available only in one color.

Thus to build their brand in younger generations’ minds, there are many things that the Bright group can do. It seems to me that as a state-owned enterprise, the group needs to show more innovation, so that it could come up with products catering to different social groups, especially the young people.

The second problem is the channel of distribution. The delivery and storage of Popsicles costs a lot, thus with most supermarkets and convenience stores, their shelf room is precious and they usually leave the best space for the more lucrative products that could afford to pay higher commission.

To solve this problem, in addition to raising the price, the Bright group can do just like “Northeast Popsicle” who gave a retailer a freezer for free, so the retailers can use it to display their products.

Michael Yang

Sales manager at Shanghai JinJiang International Investment Corporation

Dear Mr Yang,

Thanks a lot for your feedback. It’s very informative and insightful.

I do agree with many of the points you made in the letter.

Bright as a dairy giant needs to catch up with leaders in the ice cream market, and one big way to do this is through innovation, to create a richer product lineup that appeals not just to post-70s or -80s Shanghai residents like me, but captivates the younger generation of consumers as well.

After all, they are the future TA of any businesses if they were to succeed. The failure of brands like Li Ning, as business columnist Wu Xiaobo once said at a lecture, can largely be blamed on the company’s inability to generate feelings of affinity and identification with the brand.

People, except me and perhaps you as well — I assume we are about the same age, in our 30s — are hardly drawn to a brand whose founder is largely unheard of to them, however famous and legendary he used to be.

Brand identification is important, and that means old champions like Bright have to do a lot more to build up its reputation among future consumers, with well-designed new products rather than just marketing gimmicks filled with elements of nostalgia.

In an age when marketing has become vital to business success, established brands like Bright cannot continue to rest on its laurels and count on the continued support of old folks, because one day they will go.

All this is said with a caveat though. To my knowledge, Bright does have new products with flavors like passionfruit, vanilla and caffe latte.

But yes, you are right, they lack a bit of visibility in the market.

Ni Tao

Shanghai Daily opinion writer

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