COO, Little Star Brands Group
With over 20 years of experience in operations and an affinity for building businesses, I chose to join Little Star Brands Group as COO to oversee the Company’s sales, merchandising and retail operations for all the brands including Yeehoo, Peekaboo and Soho Baby. Having served as COO in companies including Wal-Mart, Gome, Orient Home and Lilanz, I have a clear understanding of what it takes to scale and remain at the top.
The Chinese consumer will likely tell you that the baby goods market is relatively underdeveloped compared with other industries in China. We expect this to change with the development of the new Chinese economy, where average wages continue to grow, consumers become more conscious about product brand and quality, and government policy stimulates household consumption. In addition, the Chinese government has progressively lifted restrictions on the one-child policy, and the babywear industry has experienced rapid growth of 25% to 30% CAGR. This high growth has attracted growing competition from both domestic and foreign brands. To address this competition and — more importantly — the shifting demands of the Chinese consumer, Little Star focuses on lifestyle solutions for child-centric families, through a holistic integration of products, brands, recreation activities and education services.
Early on, we have targeted our focus on brand building and operational improvements aimed to achieve our goals through key initiatives:
1) Improve and strengthen the brand’s reach,
2) Enhance merchandising management tools and rationalize product catalogue,
3) Upgrade the support systems and strengthen execution processes,
4) Improve supply chain efficiency, and
5) Optimize channel integration, market segmentation, and resource allocation.
History and heritage are the essence to any brand and it takes time and patience for a company to establish its philosophy and product ideology into a symbol that can last for decades or even centuries. With that said, brand building can also be very technical. For instance, brand positioning and price controls are necessary elements in building a successful brand. As price is usually associated with consumers’ perception of quality, positioning and brand equity, frequently changing pricing strategies will easily confuse consumers and may confuse the brand image. Consistent service quality at retail locations is another crucial element to brand building, as the connection between brand and consumer, is usually mediated through a sales person, who delivers an intangible message.
Chinese baby and kidswear market is undergoing a historic transformation. We are very fortunate to be a leader in providing high quality lifestyle solutions for child-centric families and to be building a solid foundation for our children’s future.