WITH(Episode 2) / Nov. 16, 2022

Finite and Infinite, Data with Foundation, Apply What You Learn

Zhang Jiacheng
Founding Partner / Strategy Principal

Very often, we believe that the process of sorting out and establishing strategies for brands is a process of establishing beliefs together with the brand manager, as well as a process of controlling and releasing beliefs in a conscious, intentional and interesting way. This process is often not based on solution, nor on methodology, but on judgment, through different dimensions of diagnosis and research, finding a more suitable power point for the brand at the moment. Few things that about our practice can be described as finite and infinite, data with foundation, apply what you learn.

Finite and Infinite

At the beginning of 2022, Pocca came to the northern city at 39 degrees north latitude, worked with the cool dish brand that was the first listed company after the opening of the Beijing Stock Exchange to study the transformation of thinking path from the B-end to the C-end. As a food giant established more than 20 years ago and deeply involved in the B-end market, the company is rich in capability, resources and experience, showing infinite possibilities everywhere. Yet it is the infinite possibilities that limit the possibilities.

Because of rich capabilities, it is easier for the brand to expand the product without limit, reaching unnecessary touchpoint. Because of rich resources, it is more necessary to find the right way to power them while focusing on capabilities, so that the resources can be turned into energy. Because of rich experience, it is necessary to adjust the mindset from being well-known in the industry to less well-known in the retail market.

Facing infinity, Pocca proposed a strategy of targeting on user to gather product value and brand value together. We redefined the brand and product lines, proposing to guide audiences’ perception about cool dish, finally located in the brand position of the first listed brand of cool dish, developing layered scenes from down-to-earth to high-end with several product lines. Through our work, a unique competitiveness for the brand was established, helping it to win the BSE50 and Top 10 of Beijing Stock Exchange and to generate a pleasing 39.57% year-on-year revenue growth in the 2022 epidemic environment.

Data with Foundation

What does it mean to observe? Observation is not looking, or seeing with eyes, but feeling with heart, again and again.

For example, we collected a large amount of data in our macro research for a tax-free commercial property project in Sanya this year, including statistical yearbooks from the National Bureau of Statistics, local statistical bureaus and National Tourism Administration, relevant media reports and other public information for the last 10 years. While most brand researchers would immediately extract the data into analysis tools to determine results and trends, we chose to first look into the sampling logic behind these data elements.

In some cases, once every item of data for the 10 years had been classified and listed, manually comparing the stated year-on-year growth in each article with the actual reported numbers in previous year, some subtle misalignments were found and needed require recalculation. And some other data had to be disenchanted and needed to be compared with the annual reports, financial reports and brokerage research analysis of the same year to reconcile a relatively reasonable range of values to make a comprehensive judgement.

Data would not lie, and it often reflects the subjective feelings and judgements of the person releasing it. Real value can be revealed by digging through the intent and reasons behind the data.

Apply What You Learn

Knowledge needs to be applied, otherwise, what you have learned is in vain. Learning and applying at the same time, complementing each other.

It has been more than 15 months since CIRCUNOW was founded. While in operation, Pocca has also been deeply practising as an accompany in the field, because we believe that the brand's strategy will only be realistic and tangible by involving in the actual business environment.

Let's start with what CIRCUNOW can do: quantitative smart recycling, experimental material modification, carbon-valued recycled products and branding decarbonisation empowerment. In the simplest words, "We pick up bottles, change them, make products from them and do all these with lots of interesting and good companies."

It's called branding decarbonisation empowerment because we believe that decarbonisation needs to start from the brand perspective in the beginning. As in the collaboration project with CITIC Bank last September when CIRCUNOW firstly founded, we started with the bank's brand strategy, extended the value of happiness and wealth, then proposed a unique insight about low-carbon wealth. Through an in-depth research of the concepts and scenarios of low-carbon living among the new wealthy, the first debit card made of eco-friendly materials was designed and issued, turning values and strategies into visible objects. Then gradually more than 10,000 low-carbon recycled products were created from empty bottles, passing the concept of low-carbon values to users and making the low-carbon cycle reachable.

Valuation is to let the value be seen and awakened. After this year's operation, we have basically realised the carbonisation of recycled products. Not only do we allow recycled materials to be produced at scale through our GRS certified production lines, but we also calculate the carbon reduction and carbon value of each recycled product. Just like the schoolbags we donated to Jiangbin Primary School in Qingyuan County at the beginning of this semester, one of which was made from 18 empty bottles. These carbon-valued schoolbags not just showed the students that environmental protection can truly make a difference to our lives, also awakened more enthusiastic partners to join our recycling journey.

We know that only material modification experiments can provide the opportunity to enhance the range and applicability of recycled products and thus extend the cycle lifeline. For example, this year we have achieved a multi-stage recycling process by recycling empty bottles into suitcases, then recycling used suitcases into 14-inch suitcases, and finally converting the scraps of the smaller suitcases into small bags.

Meanwhile, through the smart recycling machine, we collect empty disposable bottles from the source and connect to a digital system to calculate points, establishing a low-carbon connection with users from the start of recycling and using digital methods to allow the value of the carbon chain to form a closed loop. This year we have deployed eight smart recycling machines at Alibaba's Xixi headquarters in Hangzhou and as of this week have completed the quantitative recycling of 408 empty disposable bottles in a single month, collecting approximately 6,936 grams of CO2 emissions.

Having been learning so much is in fact also applying ourselves into actual practice. CIRCUNOW has gradually consolidated its position as a practitioner of circular lifestyles through the coordination and creation of one cycle after another. We encourage CIRCUNOW (circulate now) to create a truly sustainable ecology through recycling.

And Pocca is also opening up perspective and thinking among being a brand strategy consultant, designer and brand co-creator, gaining insight into interesting dreams from actual market data, focusing on the enduring strength from the infinite commercial tensions, and realising more possibilities in practice.

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