In 2015, Marie Dalgar launched lipstick vending machines nationwide. These offer consumers fun experiences, such as playing games, to buy lipsticks. Every day 400 to 500 consumers make purchases from these machines.
In 2017, the brand also teamed up with global fast-food franchise KFC for joint campaigns and advertising activities, which generated 1.4 million visits to Marie Dalgar's e-store on business-to-consumer online retail site Tmall, and 12 million yuan in sales.
Cui said, "The most competitive aspect for the brand lies in how to always keep up with young consumers, whose aesthetic standards, cultural and growth backgrounds are quite different from those of the older generation."
Chen, from Roland Berger, said Chinese brands' ability to quickly respond to changes in the market and their flexibility in decision-making also gives them a clear edge over many multinationals.
Zoe Chih, senior marketing director of beverage brand Weichuan Daily C, said that after facing stagnant sales in 2014, it had outpaced many competitors and achieved annual sales growth of 20 percent through a combination of innovative packaging and creative social media promotions.
"Weichuan Daily C has used the younger generation's language to encourage consumers to drink fresh pure juice and pursue happy, healthy lifestyles. This has attracted many new consumers," she said.
The brand had put "witty, encouraging and considerate phrases" on the labels of its juice, such as "Not a vegetable lover? Please drink some juice", and also promoted them on social media to encourage interaction with consumers, Chih said.
In the snack food category, Chinese brands have competed in launching new products to appeal to consumers. For the most recent Nov 11 Singles Day shopping festival, 11 types of new products from Three Squirrels saw sales revenue that exceeded 50 million yuan.
Zhang Liaoyuan, founder of the brand, said that this year it will ensure that all products that consumers buy from it have been made in the past 20 days.
Yu, from Kantar Worldpanel, said most insurgent brands, instead of spending a lot on establishing offline distribution relationships, mainly focus on high-traffic online platforms. They largely use a variety of nontraditional distribution and marketing channels to introduce their products, including social media platform WeChat and music video platform Douyin, known as TikTok outside of China. They have also made many innovations in marketing.
Saky's product placement in the TV show Gentlemen brought it huge sales success last year. As the leading man, played by actor Jin Dong, was a dentist, Saky became deeply connected with the show. Jin's clinic in the show was named the Saky Clinic, which provided the brand's products for characters to use. The popular show was broadcast both on TV and on video websites.
Lan, from Guangzhou Weimeizi Industrial, said: "The TV show offered audiences scenes in which Saky products were used. In the first week after it was aired, the brand's sales reached an amount that usually takes three to four months to make. Many people came to us and asked for the exact type of products that were used in the show, and many of these sold out quickly."
The fast-moving consumer goods sector remains highly promising, offering opportunities for both domestic and multinational brands.