Case Number: 5-108-008, Year Published: 2008
HBS Number: KEL386
Segmentation, Marketing Research, Positioning, Targeting, Cross-Tabs, International Marketing
The Joyoung brand was launched in 1994 when a group of recent college graduates invented the world’s first automatic hot soymilk-maker home appliance. After some ups and downs, the Joyoung manufacturer founded the Shandong Joyoung Electric Appliances Co., Ltd. in 2002. It was further reorganized to the current Joyoung Company Limited in September 2007. Joyoung’s sales grew rapidly from RMB 6 million in 1994 to 120 million in 1999, and this trend has continued into the new century. By the first quarter in 2006, the signature product of Joyoung—the soymilk makers—alone have already surpassed the sales by Philips Home Appliances in the Chinese market.
Contrary to its current success, however, Joyoung Soymilk Maker’s launch did not go smoothly. When the first model of the automatic soymilk maker was introducted in 1994, people had no idea what this new creature was supposed to do. The first 2,000 units of Joyoung products remained stacked in storage for months. Joyoung then decided to conduct some marketing research.
Joyoung’s repositioning strategies and new product developments based on their marketing research have been evidently successful, and they have defined a new product category in China and in the world.
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