On 22 April, the “[2021 29th China Retail Consumption Statistical Analysis Results Conference]” organized by the China General Chamber of Commerce and China National Commercial Information Center were held in Beijing.
The well-respected annual industry event, which relates findings of market analyses and R&D outcomes, and encourages sharing of results and brand promotion, was themed “[New Landscape, New Consumption, New Drives]” this time. It summed up the operational characteristics of China’s consumption market in 2020, as well as provided a scientific analysis on market development trends in 2021. Such information will facilitate business and brand resources integration and effort to explore and realize the strengths and potential of China’s huge market, in turn drive the quality growth of the country’s consumption market.
2021 29th China Retail Consumption Statistical Analysis Results Conference
Among the brands with leading market sales in 2020 named at the conference, Blue Moon achieved excellent performance with its liquid laundry detergent capturing the highest market share in its category for the 12th since 2009, while its liquid soap rewarded the biggest market share in its category for the 9th consecutive year since 2012.
Worthy of mentioning is that in the 2021 11th China Brand Power Index (C-BPI) brand rankings and analysis report recently published by Chnbrand, an authoritative brand rating organization in China, Blue Moon liquid laundry detergent and liquid soap both ranked first for the 11th consecutive year since 2011.
The number one rankings speak clearly to Blue Moon’s product innovation capacity, constant effort to educate consumers about cleaning and employ consumer-oriented omni-channel marketing tactics.
Innovation drives product diversification
Blue Moon is not a new brand to most consumers in China. Established in 1992, Blue Moon is a daily chemical product production company known for its liquid laundry detergent and liquid soap products. After 30 years of development, the brand has kept growing and is now a well-recognized comprehensive home cleaning solution provider in China. Its portfolio of products can be divided into three major segments, namely fabric care, personal hygiene, and home care.
Emphasis on R&D and apt in innovation are the foundation and driver of Blue Moon’s development. As understood, a R&D technology center was set up by Blue Moon on day one when it began operation and subsequently the Blue Moon Applied Sciences and Laundry Academy was established to develop and assess laundry products and laundry methods. As stated in Blue Moon’s 2000 annual report, as at 31 December 2020, the Group had under its name 678 registered trademarks, 158 patents and 173 copyrights.
Blue Moon’s innovative capability is reflected in its products. In 2000, Blue Moon had the foresight of filling the liquid soap gap in the China market and launched its first aloe vera anti-bacterial liquid soap product, opening itself to and claiming first mover advantage in the liquid soap market in the country. In 2008, when laundry powder still dominated in the detergent market in China, with the shrewd market sense and R&D capability, Blue Moon was able to overcome technical barriers and forcefully promoted the use of liquid laundry detergent across the country, which marked the beginning of the era of “liquid” laundry detergent in China. In 2015, when concentrated liquid laundry detergents had 98% share of the market in developed countries, such the US and Japan, they only accounted for 4% of the market in China. Aware of that, Blue Moon again overcome difficulties and introduced China’s first “concentrated+” liquid laundry detergent product branded “Supreme” in a bottle with a measurable dispenser pump for use in washing machines, giving the industry the push to go “concentrated”.
In recent years, Blue Moon has been gathering momentum on innovating. While expanding its core fabric care products, it has also been pushing to diversify its business.
Regarding personal hygiene products, since 2020, Blue Moon has not only upgraded its high-end liquid soap product “Jinxiang Amino Acid Liquid Soap”, but has also launched new personal hygiene products including anti-bacterial foaming liquid soap, the Foam Time Kitchen Liquid Soap, automatic hand washing machine and rinse-free anti-bacterial liquid soap, among others. Its aim is to build a portfolio of products for all types of consumers and usage scenarios, thereby fully meet the niche demands in hand washing of consumers. As for home care products, Blue Moon’s “Tianlu” and “[Volo]” brand product series as well as the Moon House Dishwashing Cloth and Concentrated Softener also have strong consumer patronage.
Being able to unearth consumer demands and transform them into growth drivers, Blue Moon has managed brilliant business performance: in its 2020 annual results, the revenue of personal hygiene and care products surged by 99.7% year-on-year to HK$836 million and that of home care products was up by 24.5% year-on-year to HK$565 million.
Blue Moon’s liquid laundry detergent and liquid soap has ranked first for 12 consecutive years (2009-2020) and nine consecutive years (2012-2020), respectively, in terms of market size
Knowledge-based marketing assures company standing
In such a fast evolving society and economy with a vast array of products competing for consumers’ attention, having excellent products to offer is fundamental for a company to participate and win in the competition. However, a company which relies on a single product would not be strong enough to assure its market standing. Hence, Blue Moon has given high emphasis on knowledge-based marketing and presenting long-term value in its strategy aiming for breakthroughs.
“What should I do to remove grease marks on my clothes? Put some pre-wash special liquid laundry detergent on the stain when the clothes are dry, let it sit for five minutes, then wash as usual ……” Some consumers probably have already learned this “pre-wash treatment method for grease removal” at hypermarkets or Blue Moon’s official website.
In fact, the consumer awareness is not accidental, but epitomizes Blue Moon’s persistence in educating consumers on doing laundry over the years. Blue Moon has not only set up a laundry academy for some years now, enabling it to continuously draw useful conclusions regarding scientific laundry method, but has also kept teaching consumers about doing laundry different ways, as well as providing them with comprehensive cleaning consultation service.
According to the company, to better reach and serve consumers, Blue Moon has continually organized charity activities under the “Scientific Laundry Across China” banner since 2012, including going into hypermarkets, companies and residential areas and opening laundry technology centers to help consumers with daily laundry glitches. Starting in 2013, Blue Moon has been organizing the “Blue Moon Festival” that coincides with the Mid-Autumn festival, allowing it to interact with consumers via offline activities and demonstrate product usages, passing to consumers scientific laundry knowledge and addressing the problems they encountered when doing laundry.
Blue Moon’s years of efforts have paid out. Consumers’ cleaning concept and method have been changed gradually and the overall size of liquid laundry detergent market has swelled quickly.
It is noteworthy that Blue Moon has also been promoting the “concentrated laundry detergent” market since 2015 and has achieved significant success: many consumers have mastered Blue Moon’s scientific “[One Coating, One Pump]” method, which makes doing laundry easier and more effective. Positive comments, such as “good/effective” and “buy many times”, can easily be found when on refers to Blue Moon’s TMall and JD.com flagship stores. As for its business performance, according to the Frost & Sullivan Report, Blue Moon prided the largest share in the concentrated liquid laundry detergent sector for three consecutive years between 2017 and 2019.
The Frost & Sullivan report also estimated that the concentrated liquid laundry detergent market in China will worth RMB5.49 billion by 2024 and the penetration rate of concentrated liquid laundry detergent will reach 10.7%. There is therefore vast room for growth of the market in the future. For Blue Moon, which has already completed deployment for its concentrated products in the market, it clearly is well-poised to benefit from growth of the industry.
Omni-channel network promises consumers convenient experience
The drive to innovate and mounting knowledge-based marketing are both evidence of Blue Moon’s “consumer-centric” development approach. To optimize consumers’ shopping experience and ensure the delivery of products and methods to every consumer, Blue Moon has established a nationwide omni-channel sales and distribution network that covers its online and offline businesses. In a nutshell, Blue Moon delivers its products to wherever the consumers are.
As one of the first manufacturers of daily chemical product production company, Blue Moon has early on developed online channels, hence it enjoys first-mover advantages, such as platform and resources, enabling it to reap strong benefit from the thriving online channels. Moreover, as online marketing matrix continues to growth, Blue Moon has actively expanded its reach to emerging e-commerce channels such as social e-commerce, to keep increasing product exposure and brand influence.
According to Blue Moon’s annual results, while reinforcing its advantage on mainstream online e-commerce platforms, Blue Moon will continue to extend its reach to more emerging e-commerce platforms and adopt new models, and develop differentiated product mixes according to the preference of users on the different platforms in the future, so as to explore potential markets that promises handsome room for growth.
At the same time, Blue Moon has continued to strengthen cooperation offline with retailers with country-wide presence and in regions, and has also increased its offline retail coverage to include new retail outlets, such as pharmacies and cosmetics stores. Its aim is to grasp the opportunities in cities of different levels and tiers across China, to continuously bolster product penetration as well as provide consumers with better and more comprehensive user experience.
Against the new development landscape in the country with internal circulation as the pillar, complemented by foreign and domestic dual circulation, domestic demand and consumption are set to climb to new high. According to the Sullivan & Frost report, total retail amount of home cleaning and care products in China had increased from RMB90 billion in 2015 to RMB110.8 billion in 2019, at a CAGR of 5.3%, which was far higher than the 2.5% of the global amount. The total retail amount in China is expected to reach RMB167.7 billion in 2024, translating into a CAGR of 8.7% between 2019 and 2024, which will be a third higher than the sales growth of the global home cleaning and care industry in the same period. Therefore, China is expected to become one of the markets with the strongest development potentials in the global home cleaning and care industry.
Zhu Dan Peng, Senior Researcher from China Brand Institute, stated, benefiting from rising public and individual health and hygiene awareness, plus increasing demand and consumption, and consumer preference for convenient cleaning solutions, demand for home cleaning and care products, as daily necessities, are set to rise and keep rising. So, Blue Moon as a leading brand in the industry, will be able to seize business opportunities with its hardcore brand and high market recognition, and let its resilient brand and dynamic business shine.