You pay the market research firms large amounts of money and you don’t know where the money was spent. However, our own marketing people are our market research staff since we are always collecting information about the market, and we make decisions based on their understanding of the market. Though in his late 50s, Zong worked long hours and still traveled more than 200 days every year “to keep a finger on the pulse of the market. ” He hosted most of the marketing meetings at Wahaha and participated in every product launch and marketing planning activity.

Wahaha’s Marketing Marketing, research and development (R&D) and logistics management were centralized at headquarters, while the subsidiaries were engaged in production. Wahaha’s marketing was clearly homegrown. Wahaha’s Advertising A typical new product launch followed a pattern established early on in Wahaha’s history. In an early launch of Wahaha Natrient Beverage, Zong signed advertising deals worth several hundred thousand RMB with local television stations, exceeding even the company’s cash reserves at the time.

In its advertisement, Wahaha highlighted data from research reports about children’s malnutrition and endorsements from experts about Wahaha Natrient Beverage’s nutritional benefits for children. On the strength of the advertising, Wahaha would convince the local government-controlled distribution companies to carry the product. If distributors hesitated, Wahaha’s marketing staff would call every retailer and smaller distributor in the local yellow pages to inquire if they carried Wahaha Natrient Beverage. This created a buzz that usually resulted in the product being listed with the distribution companies.