“Design in China” e33 – Chicecream钟薛高 – The Hermès of Ice Cream

China’s ice cream sector has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hampered the movement of raw materials. However, exhibitors and purchasers recounted their triumphs at the largest industry expo in Asia, Ice Cream China 2020, in Tianjin, North China. Despite the hurdles posed by the pandemic, Chicecream has completely redefined ice cream in China. Zhong Xue Gao, a mashup of three common Chinese surnames, is Chicecream’s Chinese name. They have gained popularity due to their tile-shaped design and distinctive flavors. The brand debuted in March 2018 and had 592 stores as of July 2020, which has grown significantly throughout China. Chicecream is regarded as “the Hermès of ice cream,” with one serving costing about 20 RMB. Nevertheless, despite its high price, it has become more well-known thanks to its distinctive brand identity, originality, and creative integration of offline and internet marketing.

It has appealed to the “guochao” trend, in which consumers choose home brands as part of a patriotic surge in order to achieve its goal of becoming the leading Chinese ice cream brand. In fact, Chicecream, the product’s name in English, is an acronym for “Chinese ice cream,” highlighting its Chinese heritage once more. Chicecream’s ice creams are shaped like traditional Chinese roof tiles, demonstrating that the brand was created with “guochao” in mind. The distinctive brand name and product design of Chicecream have contributed to building brand equity and a following among Chinese consumers. Furthermore, to make sure that Chicecream is not merely thought of as a summer pleasure, it actively promotes its products all year long and makes use of significant festivals. For instance, the brand positioned sharing ice cream with loved ones as a romantic gesture in a Christmas campaign. 

To increase its audience, Chicecream has combined its offline and internet marketing. It has accounts on Bilibili, Douyin, JD, Tmall, WeChat, Weibo, Xiaohongshu, and other e-commerce and social media platforms. It also operates pop-up stores and has an extensive physical presence offline. Just two months after its debut, Chicecream opened a pop-up shop in Shanghai’s hip K11 art district in May 2018. Customers could get ice cream for free if they visited the business and uploaded a photo on WeChat. Social recommendations, particularly on RED, are significantly responsible for Chicecream’s marketing success. Over 10,000 product evaluations were created on RED due to sharing and recommendations from genuine users, increasing the brand’s exposure to its target market and boosting conversion rates.

To represent its idea that its ice creams are natural and don’t use any sugar or additives, the brand encircled the store with 5,200 sunflowers. Many young Chinese were drawn to the sunflowers by this ingenious marketing strategy and thus increased their internet prominence. After Chicecream’s introduction, the widely shared campaign brought in a lot of new customers and raised brand awareness. Chicecream has transformed from an internet hit to a dependable business by subpplying items with real value through creative product options.

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