2019 WISE Super Evolutionists Conference hosted by 36kr in Beijing and Shanghai simultaneously on July 9-10, 2019. The event has seven venues, focusing on the path of enterprise development and change, the direction of industry, the development and transformation of retail industry, the rise of trillion enterprise service market, opportunities for industrial innovation, globalization trends and differentiated needs. More than 100 industry leaders were invited to focus on the rise of super-evolutionaries who led industry change.
In an industry where consumer electronics technology is still in its infancy, RELX has set itself a mission from the start of its business to promote a healthier, happier and undisturbed lifestyle for the world’s 1 billion smokers. However, in the process of overseas branding, they should not only keep their original intention, but also accommodate and adapt to the local competition in overseas markets. Faced with the global trend of the second peak and the change of the existing corporate brand in the ascendant period, how will RELX promote their brand story in the context of cultural diversity?
Following is the content of RELX’s speech by Wang Ying, which has been sorted out by 36 kr:
Hello, everyone. I’m Wang Ying from RELX. We are a brand that only started for one and a half years and only branded overseas for six months. But today I still want to share what happened and what we did during the six months of RELX’s voyage with you. It can regarded as a resume: what I am anxious about standing here today, what I worry about, and what I see in the future.
Regarding RELX’s overseas branding, the company attaches great importance to two aspects: the first is product design and development; the second is to establish brand-based and product-based emotional connection with users. The main part of the product is very similar to the electronic devices, and the left part is like the coffee capsule. This product system is based on the extraction technology of RELX. This extraction and release technology has the function of heating the liquid component of an extract into gaseous state by electronic device and transferring it to users when they vape. The application of this technology in products is pod system. At the same time, RELX also pays attention to the appearance of the product and whether the function of the product is the best. Therefore, we spent a year developing RELX Alpha, which means “Leading Big Brother”. Although RELX is a new company, the first product we hope to present a product has reached the world-class level from aesthetics to function, from user experience to the establishment of user emotional connection. In addition, what is more interesting is that RELX has made a flavor more in line with Chinese habits, such as Lai Chi Ice, Lvdou Popsicle, Yang Zhi Manlu and so on. We hope that when we brand overseas, we will first find the Chinese scattered around the world and establish a deep-seated user emotional connection with them, such as the global Chinese memory. This is very important.
Next, I will briefly introduce the results of RELX’s one-and-a-half year of establishment and six months’sea voyage. In six months, RELX participated in six major international tobacco exhibitions. Monthly sales in overseas markets have been doubling, and RELX has become the number one in Malaysia market in three months. Due to the growth of globalization and localization in China, RELX products have a total of 2.5 million users in 43 countries around the world. This series of figures show that RELX has not only been recognized by users, but also by the capital market. It is also an important reason why RELX has become the second largest independent electronic cigarette brand in the world.
But that’s not enough. These achievements are not enough when RELX is no longer in a beach test, RELX is ready to swim into the deep ocean of globalization. But it must be admitted that RELX has done three things right in the past to achieve what it is now. First, a good product is the base of a good brand. Whether it is to grasp the customer need or to do a good job of user interaction, the essential reason for bringing low cost and fission growth to the brand is that users have a good reputation after purchasing products and service experience.
In the first six months of starting a business, when there was a shortage of funds, RELX invested heavily in the laboratory, which most start-up teams in the electronic cigarette industry would not do. RELX has purchased many of the most advanced and expensive equipment abroad to improve the research and development, quality, testing and optimization of the liquid part of the product, while positioning the company to make the best integrated hardware solutions in the whole industry. These two aspects are very simple, but when combined, it is very complicated to make a coffee capsule machine. This is the first thing we do right.
The second thing is to attach importance to safety. Many products have a good sense of experience focused only on the previous use, and then a series of things will occur, which is a quality problem. But there are still some products whose safety can not be confirmed by users after they use them. Since RELX is a product that users will vape in mouth, it attaches great importance to user safety. How did that happen? RELX has begun to use higher safety standards abroad to strictly require itself before going abroad, so as to be able to be worthy of its users.
Service is the third important and effective thing RELX does. The electronic cigarette industry is still at a relatively elementary stage of manufacturing. Although there is no guarantee that all products sold are the same standard, RELX has decided from the beginning that no matter what problems the users have in using, the company will refund or exchange. This decision is simple, but it also reflects RELX’s determination to make the service effective. So these three things are important reasons to help RELX achieve its current achievements today.
When RELX opened up overseas markets, it also found many opportunities. RELX products are popular with overseas users because users actively interact with RELX brand and product information on social media such as Instagram and YouTube. At the same time, RELX sees more challenges. This challenge comes from a deeper level, reflecting on how to adapt to cross-cultural markets in the context of global diversification.
RELX stands in this position now, enjoying the efforts of predecessors and undertaking some legacies left by predecessors. Especially in the industry where the technology of electronic consumer goods is still at a very early stage, it faces many challenges. The aspects just mentioned are mainly from individual consumers and micro and medium-sized consumer groups. In overseas operations, the bigger challenges RELX faces are the same for other enterprises as laws and regulations, regulatory environment, economic environment, media and public opinion. What are these? It is content we’re unfamiliar with, it comes from diversity. As a Chinese enterprise, a Chinese entrepreneur or professional manager, RELX inherits a single cultural awareness, technology, economy and politics. When RELX goes out, we naturally do not know what it is, or even what it is. We are not familiar with the politics, economy, regulations, government, change of office, public attitude, economic environment and economic fluctuations of different countries. So this kind of diversification is the complexity of branding overseas itself. These complexities are the real ones RELXRELX is really ready to face after moving from the shoal to the deep sea after 6 months of overseas marketing.
RELX has ambitious plans for globalization in 2019 and 2020. We hope to enter 100 countries from 43 countries in 2019. We hope that we can have the courage to fulfill our mission and vision when we run our business in 2020. We hope that we can make RELX products serve users all over the world. This is the time for the real resumption. I have just said so many challenges. Now I will look back and see why the three things we thought we were doing right were not necessarily right after that, and they were not enough.
At the beginning of the business, whether in China or overseas Chinese market, RELX describes what we are doing to users, hoping to let users see happy moments. Our vision is that good smokers are happy, but this statement is not applicable in the United States and Europe, which is also the problem we found. In China, it is a normal etiquette for people to send their elders a cigarette to their friends on New Year’s Day, but not in the United States. Young people in the United States feel that smoking is not something they should do. Indeed, in American social perception, only people with relatively low educational level and relatively low economic income will smoke. This is a completely different social environment and perception. There are many reasons why there are such different perceptions, such as public health concerns, and many previous studies on the harm of tobacco to human beings. In the United States, this has been a profound understanding of two generations of people.
Unlike in Europe, the whole of Europe attaches great importance to environmental protection, for example, they believe that cigarette butts are an important source of marine pollution. These are not the social environment we are facing and familiar with in China, so when we say this, it is wrong in many foreign markets. When we talk about our brand attitude in China, we say no interruption, which is a new social etiquette. More and more young people wear masks when they have a cold in the office and don’t want to interrupt others. We see more and more young people, who know taking care of others’ feelings in the public environment. Do not speak loudly on the bus at the airport, and try to speak in a low voice in the dining room. We see this change, and because it is a more desirable etiquette to be embraced by young people, we advocate it. But apparently in many countries they do not agree, for example in developed countries, this has been tacitly accepted and not worth becoming an attitude. In some less developed areas, this attitude of not disturbing is too early. So, when we start to build emotional connections with our brand in China, these contents are not applicable in many overseas markets. When we say that the overseas branding is also the export of cultural values, such as our Litchi Ice, it tastes delicious, but a Canadian customer said that this thing called litchi has never been seen before. This idea is wrong when you really go to overseas markets with respect and embrace.
RELX has positioned itself as a new generation of global enterprises. Simple user-centered, not really user-centered enough, in fact, the need to bear is as a product, an enterprise, a brand to bring a broader problem to society, so only you really embrace to understand or even become them, you can follow the trend in that market. Why do we do this? Every country is different. People in every place have different attitudes towards Chinese brands. Why do we do this? Why not just do it well in familiar places in China? As the Chinese market is so big, every enterprise tells itself to have a bigger mission. It has nothing to do with which market you are in. It is your duty when an enterprise only serves its users well, but if an enterprise can’t pay attention to the broader influence besides the users brought by your products and brands, you will encounter many problems in the process of growing up. Only when you recognize that the mission of an enterprise is beyond your service to users, can you have a more calm mind to face some of the problems you encounter.
The mission of RELX is to promote the transformation of 1 billion smokers to a healthier, happier and undisturbed lifestyle. We hope that the technology of RELX will bring pleasure to the global users. Then we will have to undertake those larger missions and face environmental problems in Europe. Faced with the problem of minors using electronic cigarettes in the United States, these are all our things. Only by doing these things well can we be qualified to serve local users in these different cultural markets. The average age of the RELX team is 27 years old. We tell the team that we are young and very world-wide, because the world is not flat, far more than that. The countries in the world are unequal in politics, economy, culture and technology. Our generation of young Chinese people stand in such a position to enjoy the efforts of the previous generation. In the era of the efforts of the previous generation of entrepreneurs, we stand in the position of development opportunities mentioned today, so we have the ability and willingness to do something meaningful for the Chinese brand for the whole world, which is what we can do and are willing to do. In such an era of so much care and beauty, RELX has such a strong heart that it can face the challenges known and unknown. Looking ahead, we feel that there is a long way to go. We believe that all expectations will not be too far in your efforts. We just have to ride the wind and break the waves to land successfully. Thank you.