A mat­ter of im­age

With its strong em­pha­sis on com­pany brand­ing, wool and tex­tile gi­ant Hengyuanx­i­ang has man­aged to achieve sig­nif­i­cant growth through the years

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By WANG YING in Shang­hai

wang_y­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Es­tab­lished in 1927, Hengyuanx­i­ang first started out as a hum­ble shop lo­cated along what is to­day known as East Jin­ling Road, be­fore open­ing its first fac­tory to pro­duce woolen goods for a va­ri­ety of brands in 1935.

While the com­pany to­day is still fa­mous for be­ing the lead­ing pro­ducer of tex­tiles and wool prod­ucts, it has also earned it­self a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing one of the most rec­og­nized Chi­nese brands in the global arena, thanks to its unique brand­ing strat­egy.

Hengyuanx­i­ang has for many years aligned it­self with nu­mer­ous causes, in­clud­ing sports, char­ity, health and safety, as well as the arts and cul­ture scene. A re­cent ex­am­ple of how this Chi­nese brand has been reach­ing au­di­ences be­yond China’s bor­ders can be seen in the Jews in Shang­hai stage pro­duc­tion that is sched­uled to make its North Amer­i­can de­but this Septem­ber at New York Univer­sity.

Based on the sto­ries of Jewish refugees liv­ing in 1940s Shang­hai, this bilin­gual mu­si­cal is the brain­child of sev­eral of China’s top writ­ers.

Xu Jun, gen­eral man­ager of the Shang­hai Hengyuanx­i­ang Drama De­vel­op­ment Co Ltd, said that more projects are al­ready in the pipe­line. snow­balled from 100 mil­lion yuan to 1.5 bil­lion yuan, and it now ac­counts for 30 per­cent of the group’s to­tal sales.

“The de­vel­op­ment of a com­pany is no dif­fer­ent to a per­son grow­ing up. Each will face many chal­lenges in the process, but there will be a great num­ber of op­por­tu­ni­ties at the same time as well,” said Chen, who had worked at three multi-na­tional com­pa­nies be­fore join­ing Hengyuanx­i­ang in 1998.

With re­gard to the fu­ture, Chen be­lieves that Hengyuanx­i­ang will be able to achieve a dou­ble-digit an­nual growth rate in the next five years, and that the group’s sec­ondary in­dus­tries will be play­ing a greater role in its de­vel­op­ment. He ex­pects as much as 30 per­cent of the group’s rev­enue to come from in­dus­tries be­sides the wool mar­ket. In ad­di­tion, more than half of Hengyuanx­i­ang’s rev­enue is ex­pected to come from its sec­ondary busi­nesses af­ter 2030.

The com­pany is also on the look­out for op­por­tu­ni­ties to co­op­er­ate with in­ter­na­tional part­ners in other sec­tors such as food and con­sumer prod­ucts.

“Quite a few com­pa­nies home and abroad have shown their in­ter­est in work­ing with us, and through co­op­er­a­tion, Hengyuanx­i­ang is ex­pect­ing to en­ter th­ese in­dus­tries in the fu­ture,” Chen said.

CHINA DAILY PRO­VIDED TO

Hengyuanx­i­ang Gen­eral Man­ager Chen Zhongwei says that good brand­ing is an im­por­tant fac­tor in a com­pany's longevity.

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