The campaign was implemented in 2011 to promote Australian Merino in Hong Kong. It comes off the back of a successful 2010 fall/winter campaign with major Hong Kong brands Bossini and Chicks, which recorded a record 166 per cent increase in its sales, and plans are already in motion for a third campaign for the upcoming winter season.
Through intense marketing, retailer training and product development the Push & Pull campaign worked together with five popular brands to promote Merino knitwear, home textile products and their benefits to the Hong Kong and mainland China consumers. The promotion highlighted both ends of the production pipeline – from the beginning of the supply chain right through to the finished product being marketed and sold to consumers.
The Woolmark Company Hong Kong worked for more than one year with major supply chain partners in Hong Kong and South China to develop Merino products which suited the region’s market trend. Researching and developing innovations in fog yarn, luxury blending wool with cashmere, sculpture yarn, super lightweight yarn and vintage affects, Woolmark Hong Kong product marketing manager Daniel Chan said he and his team worked alongside spinners Novetex, UPW, Nam Fai and Xinao Group and dye house Yee Fat.
“Every season our development team has been working very closely with the major supply chains here along with our Sydney development teams,” Mr Chan said. “The supply chains are happy to work together with the development teams and appreciate our marketing works to push the innovative products to the market.”
The brands involved in the Pull part of the campaign were Chicks, Byford, Camela and Crocodile along with the Australian-owned home textile company Woolstar. A breakdown of brand-by-brand details is as follows:
One of the major underwear brands in Hong Kong, with Merino knitwear being a core item this Woolmark licensee’s winter range. Point of sales and window displays with Merino benefits were shown across 17 of the Hong Kong stores. Training about the benefits of Merino was also provided to the frontline staff of Chicks, to help channel the Merino and The Woolmark Company’s messages to consumers in Hong Kong. In 2010 Chicks ordered 120,000 Woolmark tickets and labels. This figure rose to 317,000 in 2011.
Another high-quality underwear brand, Byford also specialises in Merino for the winter season. Point of sales and window displays with Merino benefits were shown in all 200 stores in Hong Kong and China as well as fibre training to all frontline staff of Byford.
Luxury womenswear brand Camela made Merino knitwear its signature winter item. This Woolmark licensee had window and points of sales displays in 22 of its Hong Kong stores and also had Merino training provided to its frontline staff. In 2010 120,000 tickets and labels were ordered, with the same amount ordered in 2011.
One of the major urban brands in Hong Kong, Crocodile ordered 91,000 sets of Woolmark tickets and labels in 2011, up from 14,761 in 2010. Point of sales and window displays were shown in 25 stores and Crocodile products were sold in 300 stores across China, with Merino knitwear being one of the brand’s major items for winter.
This 100 per cent Australian-owned home textiles brand sells Merino quilts in the Hong Kong department store Wing On. Point of sales and window displays with Merino benefits were being used in the four Wing On stores throughout Hong Kong.
In addition to in-store promotions, The Woolmark Company Hong Kong also launched a promotion of the Push & Pull campaign at local trade exhibitions which helped industry stakeholders better understand the benefits of various brands’ products. The products, innovations and marketing events were showcased at Interstoff 2011 as well as the 2012 Hong Kong Fashion Week and according to Mr Chan successfully increased the awareness of Australian Merino to all the visitors.
“More than 6700 buyers visited the Interstoff exhibition,” Mr Chan said. “People have shown a lot of interest towards the five brands’ Merino products as well as the innovations from the five suppliers.
“At Hong Kong Fashion Week Fall/Winter – which is Hong Kong’s major trade textiles exhibition – we once again showcased the five brands’ Merino products and the innovative Merino product development. In addition to this, our Education and Training senior manager, Linus Wu, was speaker at a free seminar about how The Woolmark Company Hong Kong can help businesses benefit from using Australian Merino.
“The campaign successfully increased the awareness of Australian Merino and helped stimulate the market to use more wool for fashion garments and interior textile products.”