M&G Stationery is always creative!
The super symbol themed with “writing down your creative ideas” is one of the masterpieces under H&H Methodology “Super symbols are super innovation”. H&H was M&G’s full-case strategy consulting company from 2004 to 2009. Over the 5 years, M&G established 28 branches, 32,000 demo shops and 150,000 sales terminals across China. It sold over 1.6 billion pens every year and became the No. 1 brand in China’s pen-making industry.
All efforts should be one integrated endeavor.
H&H’s services for M&G Stationery include the following:
I. Enterprise strategy development
II. Brand strategy management
III. Product structure planning
IV. Proposal on the development of new products
V. Channeling improvement
VI. Communication strategy
I. Enterprise Strategy Development
1. Becoming a stationery brand far leading in the Chinese market.
2. Integrating the global upstream and downstream industry chain with the world-class product design creativity and quality, and building “M&G Stationery” into a global brand and become a leader in the global market.
II. Brand Strategy Management
Shaping the brand value with “writing down your creative ideas” through the evolution from a tool, an appliance, and a prop to a toy.
When Karl Marx was writing Capital in ink with a goose feather, what was in his hand was a “writing tool”.
After the invention the pen, the pen, as an industrial product with a number of parts, became a “writing tool”.
Later, the pen became an important member of the luxuries. When people wanted to use a Montblanc pen, what they purchased was a “writing prop” expressing their taste and status.
With the birth of the ballpen and the gel pen, colorful and creative cheap pens became the favorite things of people, in particular children. This time, the pen became a “writing toy”.
With the pen becoming from a tool, an appliance and a prop to a toy, the pen-making industry has been changed from the manufacturing industry to “the creative industry”, and pen-making enterprises have been changed from labor-intensive enterprises to “creativity-intensive enterprises”.
This is why M&G aims to make the world’s most creative and most fashionable pens, secure its unique positioning to “write down your creative ideas” and take this positioning as the core value of the whole brand. M&G helps us expect the future of the whole industry.
M&G produces intelligent and interesting writing tools. H&H’s core value is to inject creative design force, so that M&G’s products are not just “writing tools”, but also can provide the source of pleasure and enjoyment, and stimulate writers’ creativity.
Guided under this brand strategy, M&G:
1. reintegrated the new international brand image with “M&G 晨光” as the principal part;
2. proposed the brand slogan “M&G Stationery is always creative”;
3. redesign the whole CI and the package system;
4. established the symbol system representing the brand and product value; and
5. established the global interactive creation studio with China, Japan and South Korea at the core, and the global studio is expanding to Milan in Europe.
III. Product Structure Planning
Designing the product structure with “writing down your creative ideas” as the core value.
With “writing down your creative ideas” as the core product value and based on the concept of “all-round factory”, H&H has helped M&G establish the world’s unique production and R&D capability, and based on the “Asian aesthetics”, the products have been renovated and diverse products have been developed to form the product structure covering students and office workers. M&G’s basic products are automatically produced in a large scale, and the themed and creative products are semi-automatically, flexibly and quickly produced in a small scale.
IV. Proposal on the Development of New Products
H&H proposed creative ideas to M&G on diverse product development centering on the core value.
Seven Types of Office Pens:
M&G’s seven types of office pens are made up of office writing pens, accounting pens, business signing pens, meeting pens, whiteboard pens, fluorescent pens and smiling service desk pens. For the first time, M&G defined the categories of “office pens”, won the right of interpretation and successfully built the brand image for M&G’s successful access to the office market. “seven types of office pens” is a new expression in the stationery industry. It communicates strong information and involves the purchase reminder. It is the “purchase guide” and “purchase list” for administrative staff, the “purchase guide’ for dealers, and the “promotion basis” for OA365 salespersons.
Comfortable and flexible nibs, designed specially for meeting records. Flagship products in the office series, and pens designated for Boao Forum for Asia. M&G’s brand image is introduced to the office market through meeting pens so as to boost the sales of the whole office series.
M&G’s exam pens blessed in the Confucian temple:
Since M&G introduced the concept “exam pen” in 2004, there have been stable demands for exam pens in the stationery market. M&G has made adjustments to meet the new demands based on strong old demands, and upgraded the previous “pens helping you rank on the list” to the exam pens blessed in the Confucian temple. Through the blessing activity held for M&G exam pens in the Confucian Temple in Qufu City of China’s eastern Shandong Province, the traditional Chinese culture has been integrated with M&G’s products, and the interaction between products and consumers has been strengthened through the dissemination of the profound Chinese culture.
Peach core love series:
This series is developed specially for girl students. The peach core is the core element in the creation of the whole series, and the product design concept for cosmetics is transplanted to the stationery. This series is a masterpiece of the “writing toy”. This series was extremely popular in the whole Chinese stationery market in 2006, and it was imitated by M&G’s many peers.
This series is a masterpiece of the integration of the global creative resources. M&G and the world’s most successful cartoon image formed the brand alliance and developed the authorized products through the expansion of M&G’s brand communication via multiple brands.
Ming Xiaoxi series
M&G has obtained the authorization of Ming Xiaoxi, a writer most popular among Chinese middle school students to transplant the characters in Ming’s best-selling novels into M&G’s products, so as to publicize the M&G brand through cultural communication.
For the first time, the pen has been installed with the super energy bamboo charcoal health particles developed by Zhang Qisheng, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
Embarrassed pen and non-mainstream pen series:
By the end of 2009, the number of Chinese netizens had increased to 384 million. Such a huge number of netizens is the solid basis for M&G’s development of embarrassed pens. Embarrassed pens were born in the online popular culture, and the huge number of netizens are the target consumers and communicators of embarrassed pens.
M&G’s Technologically Innovative Product Series:
M&G produces intelligent and interesting writing tools, and applies the integrated the globally cutting-edge technological results to its products, so as to meet consumers’ various writing needs.
V. Improvement of the Sales Channels
H&H has helped M&G establish all-new channel systems under the concept “M&G’s nationwide partnership shops“.
The brand value and the marketing network are an enterprise’s two most critical assets, while an enterprise’s biggest advantages lie in strategy and resources for the building of the structural growth power.
“M&G’s nationwide partnership shops” is an important concept in M&G’s business model. M&G sticks to the establishment of organizations among clients, so that each customer can use M&G’s powerful resource platform, and each customer’s resources become M&G’s shared resources. Thanks to such an interdependent partnership, M&G has become a powerful “mutual organization”. “M&G’s nationwide partnership shops” is mainly formed by two trump cards:
Trump card one: M&G’s demo shops
M&H has rapidly established 32,000 “M&G demo shops”, the number of such stores is continuously on the increase every day, and such stores have become M&G’s powerful marketing resources.
“demo shops” are the “partnership shops” of M&G, dealers and retailers. As for M&G, such “demo shops” mean the front of images, products and promotion; as for stores, such stores mean the support of the brand, best-selling products, marketing activities and operation philosophy.
M&G’s opening demo shops is a ground-breaking action in the industry. The improvement of this industry will completely marginalize competitors. However, the demo shop project only expanded M&G’s presence in Chinese cities.
Trump card two: M&G caravan
In 2006, M&G decided to comprehensively enter the rural market, which is not only the undertaking of M&G Stationery, but also the support and improvement of M&G’s all strategic partners. “M&G Caravan Plan” was launched in this context to assist channel partners’ in-depth distribution in the rural market.
This was the first such a large-scale nationwide ground promotion by a Chinese stationery enterprise. So far, M&G Caravans have been promoting in the county and town markets 150 times a month, and the channel partners have responded to this campaign. In this way, M&G has gradually achieved the expansion of its presence from cities to rural areas.
VI. Communication Strategy
H&H has implemented the “all-round media publicity” in M&G’s every communication process and carried out the implementation campaign throughout the whole sales channel. “M&G Stationery is always creative” and “M&G’s new arrival on each Monday” are presented in M&G’s posters, TV advertisements and other advertising materials, thereby firmly grasping the core brand value of “writing down your creative ideas”.
In terms of the communication channels, the massive advertising or circulation mode was not adopted, the basis was to change the whole circulation channel into M&G’s brand communication platform and front, carry out the positional warfare, and establish overwhelming brand advantages. The concrete representations are as follows:
1. Throughout China, M&G has 32,000 outdoor advertising boards directly targeted at target consumers.
The storefront of M&G’s each demo store is the outdoor advertising board directly owned by M&G. It can be found everywhere in cities, and it is directly targeted at target consumers and established in the premises where purchases take place. In other words, consumers have been informed of M&G brand before they purchase, and no rent is charged for our “outdoor advertising boards”.
2. Products speaking for themselves, “M&G’s new arrival on each Monday”
The brand communication concept of “products speaking for themselves” has been implemented throughout product development. M&G’s each product on the shelf becomes M&G’s most powerful brand communication carrier at the sales terminal through the design of the product and package symbol system and the development of themed series of products.
Each pen is an advertisement at the terminal, and each product package is an advertising board at the terminal.
Through the storefront, the product themselves, the on-site promotional items and the posters, M&G has built a three-dimensional brand communication front, so that consumers can develop the consumption awareness and habits of “M&G’s new arrival on each Monday”. This strategy can not only arouse consumers’ attention and provide the terminal with vigorous brand support, but also directly enhanced consumers’ loyalty to M&G brand through the enhancement of consumers’ consumption awareness.