The latest global brand footprint report issued by Kantar Worldpanel shows that Guangzhou Liby Group Co., Ltd., which was founded in 1994, ranked 9th among FMCG brands winning the consumers’ preference as the only daily chemical brand. With the sales volume of detergent ranked first nationwide and fourth worldwide, Liby is a veritable “leader” of domestic and even global cleaning product industries and becomes a pioneer of the national daily chemical industry.
Start from scratch and strike back
When judged by the growth rate of Internet enterprises today, Liby, an enterprise growing up for nearly 23 years, may be pale. When measured against the 1980s and 1990s, Liby, an enterprise born when feudal lords fought for the throne in the Chinese daily chemical industry, has precious experience in brand development.
At that time, two giants of the global daily chemical industry “Unilever” and “P&G” had ranked among world top 500 enterprises. Ostentatious Unilever entered Shanghai in 1986 and P&G entered Guangzhou in 1988. After that, daily chemical enterprises from Japan and Germany invested and built factories in China and brand competition among daily chemical enterprises became increasingly fierce. Only a few Chinese brands were “hidden” by transnational corporations through acquisition and merger or surpassed in the brutal price war. A group of rising Chinese daily chemical enterprises faded out of the view of Chinese consumers without exception.
Chen Kaixuan from Chaoshan of Guangdong joined the battlefield with flesh and blood flying in all direction just them.
At the beginning of its establishment, Liby was poor and blank and had no technology, strength and factory. However, Guangdong was the most competitive market of detergents. The head office of P&G in Greater China and Lonkey, a popular Japanese daily chemical enterprise, were located in Guangzhou.
In accordance with usual practice of the domestic daily chemical industry, the right way was to build factories and then sell products. To find a way out, Chen Kaixuan broke the routine first: He asked state-owned enterprises to produce products and then pasted labels and promoted products in the market, which pioneered OEM mode of the cleaning product industry. With limited capital, Liby directly joined brand competition instead of building factories and has given top priority to brand building since its establishment.
At that time, the market faced the problems of serious product homogeneity and simplex marketing mode, which created opportunities for unknown Liby. According to policy of Liby, “get out of main road and occupy both sides”-start from rural markets in Chaoshan, take part in “a guerrilla war” and avoid a head-on confrontation with “giants”. Meanwhile, Liby changed “shopkeeper” of the daily chemical industry and requested dealers to move out of the wholesale market and provide home delivery service.
Liby grows to a giant based on such a seemingly common strategy. Liby generates a sale of washing powder that ranks first in Guangdong within three years and first in China within 10 years and grows from an unknown brand to a leader of the cleaning product industry.
Data of internationally authoritative AC Nielsen shows that Liby generates a sale of washing powder and dishwashing liquid that leads the industry in the country for 10 consecutive years and the sale of liquid detergent for fabrics ranked first nationwide in 2016.
Supply opens a way and guides a consumption wave
“While promoting supply-side structural reform, Liby has a keen insight into consumer demand and conforms to the trend of consumption upgrading”. In “Liby sample” top summit of “Retrospect and prospect of the first anniversary of supply-side structural reform”, Chen Kaixuan, President of Liby Group, shared how to provide effective supply for the market.
An advertisement was played over and over again in the summit: Police stop a “drug-carrying” criminal suspect in the airport. After opening the bag, they find a bag of Liby washing powder. The criminal suspect says, “It is Liby washing powder, my wife asks me to take it to America”, he points at police’s collar, “it can be used to clean clothes and is free of harm to hands”.
“Free of harm to hands” is a function consistent with consumer demand. People get used to wash large clothes using washing machine and small clothes or close-fitting clothes by hands. “Free of harm to hands” fits Chinese consumers’ living habit well.
“The reason why Liby can develop into a leader of the daily chemical industry is that it can develop new products according to change of consumer demand.” said Xu Xiaodong, Vice-president of Liby Group, “Liby Group provides effective supply mainly through scientific and technological innovation. Our researchers keep long-term deep contact with consumers and integrate the most accurate consumer demand into product R&D. It is effective supply of the market.”
“Consumption habit is changing and enterprises must keep pace with it. For example, people did not care whether dishwashing liquid was free of harm to hands before. But now more and more people consider whether there are chemical residues. Therefore, we develop Liby dishwashing liquid for food, which not only meets the highest requirements of National Food Safety Standard for dishwashing liquid, but also is first launched in the industry. As a result, Liby becomes the first developer of dishwashing liquid for food in China.” said Doctor Zhang Liping, Chief Scientist of Liby Group.
Keep innovating and make national brands stronger
“Why Liby can swim against the stream is because of quality. It is through scientific and technological innovation that Liby can constantly satisfy new consumer demands.” said Chen Kaixuan, “any good brand must be backed by R&D. Liby upgrades product formula every two years and launches new products every year. It is the power of innovation.”
Indeed, a group of scientific researchers are “crazy” about cleaning in Liby. Not only are they immersed in the laboratory, but they often collect different washing water, soil and dirt and clothing materials everywhere in order to master different product demands. Improvement and innovation of traditional products and reserve of advanced technologies have become a new power for development and progress of Liby. Just as what Chen Kaixuan said, it is the “lifeblood” of Liby.
Liby has always remained highly sensitive to the latest trend of scientific and technological innovation of the global daily chemical industry. The new washing solution using bio-enzyme technology is a core technology of Liby. Scientific researcher told reporter, low activity and poor stability of bio-enzyme in liquid detergent have been a technical problem of the industry. For this reason, the research team of Liby has carried out researches since 2012. On May 21, 2015, Liby and Novozymes Biotechnology, a world famous enterprise of enzymic preparations, jointly launched the first enzyme-containing laundry detergent- Liby enzyme-containing laundry detergent for clothes care. This product adopts core technologies of Liby and major enzymic preparations of Novozymes Biotechnolog and can stably develop good catalysis of enzymic preparations at low temperature, in hard water and in other special environments. Besides, it has strong cleaning power against protein and other stains and dirt removing power double of national standard. Other than enzyme-containing laundry detergent, Liby has launched the first enzyme-containing washing powder of the industry and the first enzyme-containing particle soap of the world successively. On account of this technology, Liby is also the first enterprise with the patent for enzyme-containing particle soap technology.
In fact, Liby has cooperated with international giants since 2005 and has made many breakthroughs of formula and raw material of traditional cleaning technology together with BASF, Dow Chemical, Dupont and Novozymes Biotechnology. “We continuously promote sustainable innovation of core R&D ability and product through cooperation.” said Zhang Liping.
According to statistics, Liby now has 401 full-time researchers, among which 61% have master degree and doctor degree or above. Besides, Liby owns two national “high-tech enterprises”, one “postdoctoral scientific research station” and the only “academician enterprise station” of the Chinese daily chemical industry. In July last year, “Liby green life research institute” was established which specializes in solving difficulties in R&D of green and healthy products and relevant technologies. Liby has had patents for invention topping the list in China for consecutive years. It is the contributor of 17 national and industrial standards and is participating in the development 21 national and industrial standards. Moreover, the analysis and test center of Liby has been approved by the laboratory of China National Accreditation (CNAS) and is technically capable of carrying out detection according to relevant international standards. The center engages in 79 projects of 11 categories of daily chemical products ahead of the domestic daily chemical enterprises such as P&G and Unilever. Recognized by 65 organizations of 50 countries/regions, the test report truly achieves the effect of one-off test and international mutual recognition.
“Liby surpasses foreign brands and competes against international brands on the same stage. Liby strives to make the national daily chemical industry bigger, more professional and stronger and win honor of the country and the nation.” said Chen Kaixuan.