Case Detail

Case Summary

Joyoung Soymilk Maker: Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning

Case Number: 5-108-008, Year Published: 2008

HBS Number: KEL386

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Authors: Yi Qian

Key Concepts

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 introduced 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.

Learning Objectives

  • Teach students how to use cross-tabs and other marketing research tools to identify segmentation descriptors;
  • Teach students how to analyze data and interpret results;
  • Teach students how these research results could guide new product development and positioning strategies in order to effectively target relevant customer segments.
  • Number of Pages: 4

    Extended Case Information

    Teaching Areas: Entrepreneurship, Management, Marketing, Statistical Methods, Strategy

    Geographic: China

    Industry: Home Electronic Appliance

    Organization Name: Joyoung Company Limited

    Organization Department: Marketing

    Organization Size: Medium

    Decision Maker Position: CMO

    Decision Maker Gender: Male

    Year of Case: 2007