The 3rd COA Outdoor China Summit 2017 Opened in Nanjing
From:Asia Outdoor Pub date:2017-06-28
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On June 28, one day before the opening of Asia Outdoor Trade Show 2017, the 3rd COA Outdoor China Summit themed on "Innovation & Cooperation" opened in Nanjing International Exhibition Conference Center. Themed on "Innovation & Cooperation", the 3rd COA Outdoor China Summit was hosted by Cai Yingyuan, general manager of LeTV Outdoor, and invited industry leaders to share their opinions on hot topics. Zhang Jida, secretary general of COA, and Li Hao, project director of Asia Outdoor Trade Show attended the summit as guests.

The COA Outdoor China Summit began with the topic on "The Development of Chinese Outdoor Brands" delivered by Sheng Faqiang, founder and chairman of Toread Holdings Group Co., Ltd. Based on detailed and accurate data both at home and abroad plus the realities of Chinese outdoor industry development in recent years, Mr. Sheng analyzed the challenges faced by Chinese outdoor brands after drawing operating experience from Toread.

Mr. Sheng Faqiang, Founder & Chairman of Toread Holdings Group Co., Ltd.

Speaking of challenges faced by the outdoor industry, Mr. Sheng made a conclusion. He referred to many industry difficulties, for example, the outdoor industry has entered the first periodic adjustment period; the Internet marketing has a pull effect on the unit price; high growth of the industry has led to overstock; the e-commerce is entering a period of stagnation. Besides, the external factors such as the intensified competition among related industries also exert bad effects.

For unavoidable problems faced by the brands, Mr. Sheng thinks that different brand positioning is a permanent topic, which means a brand can take up a certain feature and also a certain category, meanwhile, it should actively explore the ignored category and create new types. Taking Toread as an example, combined with other brands such as Discovery, it is integrated with the concept of “pan-outdoor”. Extremely well-made products are the key to the success of a company. The company should focus on products and meet the requirement for quality. That’s why Toread has made innovations to its product center and developed more excellent products with sense of science and technology and strong technology strength. What’s more, several products of Toread have won the Asia Outdoor Industry Award.

In terms of sales model, Mr. Sheng pointed out that New Retail is to face users through multiple dimensions which will make it more difficult for companies. Only with better service, can a company excel in the industry. Toread has actively created its own competition IP, built up its own team to take part in the trail running competitions and made market promotion with the media.

Me. Sheng also shared the experience of COA members’ visit to Japan. Taking Mont-bell as an example, he believes the survival philosophy of brands in a low-consumption era is that the self-operated store is the main focus. The stability of quality plus convenience and experience of one-stop purchase provide a model for domestic and foreign outdoor brands. Hence, domestic enterprises should follow no set form in terms of development model.

Mr. Sheng also expressed that China’s outdoor industry has broad prospects. With the concepts of comprehensive sports and health becoming a lifestyle, the development of outdoor sports is in a boom. Olympic Winter Games 2022 also provide great opportunities for the domestic and foreign outdoor industry. Meanwhile, according to COA’s data projections, Chinese outdoor industry will experience a gradual growth in 2017 and show a sound development momentum in 2019.

Finally, Mr. Sheng summarized the recent achievements made by COA members, showing the positive energy of “Made-in-China”. He also hopes that more brands will join COA to help establish industrial standards and remove barriers, thus forming a sound and standardized outdoor industry system.

The second session was about the topic of " Outdoor Brands Incubating IP & Marketing Innovation ", shared by guests including Zhong Chengzhan, Founder of KAILAS, Zeng Hua, Founder of SCALER, and Wang Baoshun, General Manager of Neil Outdoor, who all had much experience in outdoor sports.

At the beginning of Session 2, Zhong Chengzhan shared his experience in the sponsorship of sporting events. After making an introduction of competitions held by Neil Outdoor, Mr. Wang also shared his opinion on sponsoring sporting events. He believed that when it came to the sponsoring of sporting events, the brand should continuously sponsor those sporting events which agree well with the brand culture. The sporting events do not merely serve as the means of promotion but also a pivot for profits. Only when they regard the events as their own products, can they realize win-win cooperation. Zeng Hua said, “To sponsor a sporting event, the sponsor should get involved in person. Obvious achievements can be made only when users’ needs are understood and satisfied ”.

Zhong Chengzhan, Founder of KAILAS

On the topic of “the relationship between sponsoring sporting events and holding sporting events”, Zhong Chengzhan expressed his idea that good IP sporting events should be developed along with the growth of the brand. KAILAS and VAUDE have developed their own sporting events IP -- Tibet Challenge. Some people might think that it was unworthy of making enormous investment in an event, but Zhong Chengzhan thought that with enough resources and good capability, it is more worthwhile for the brand to develop its own IP. He said, “There should be a great competition on a road of greatness--paying tribute to the road of greatness with excellent sporting events IP". Zeng Hua believed that every brand was eager to have its own sporting events IP. Though SCALER has not created its own IP, the SCALER outdoor club is still on operation. Wang Baoshun held that when the brand carried out cooperation with sporting events, seeking common ground was important for establishing long-term cooperation.

Zeng Hua, Founder of SCALER

At the end of this session, a discussion on marketing innovation was made. Zhong Chengzhan held that products are the core for both innovation and marketing. Outdoor brands need to pay more attention to the product itself when using new promotion channels. Agreeing with the idea proposed by Zhong Chengzhan, Zeng Hua also put forward that people adopting the way of intensive cultivation and outdoor brands adhering to industry ethics were in great need in the outdoor industry.

Wang Baoshun, General Manager of Neil Outdoor

The afternoon started by the Session 3 of the COA Outdoor China Summit , which was about "The Outlet of Chinese Outdoor Products: The COA Standard System of Outdoor Product Quality & China Creation". Huang Geng, Chairman of Nanjing B.C. Sports Products Co., Ltd., Tang Zhongbo, Business Director in Footwear/ Accessories of GORE-TEX(R) Greater China, Lv Qiding, General Manger of FIRE-MAPLE, BLACK-DEER and GREEN-HERMIT, and Zhang Kai, Founder of UTO, participated in this session as speakers.

In the beginning, Huang Geng elaborated on the principles as well as the reasons for COA to establish quality standards of down products last year. During the year of 2017, COA made a discussion and conducted the opinion collection on the establishment of COA standard system of outdoor product quality. The final result will be announced in the first half of 2018.

Huang Geng expressed that against the backdrop of Industry 4.0, how to transform China from a manufacturer of quantity to one of quality is a big issue that worth thinking about for the whole industry. Based on multi-dimension data analysis, the year of 2017 and 2018 will become the turning point of the outdoor industry. Besides, the brand and manufacturing will be the main force of the outdoor market. However, the voyage of transforming and upgrading will be not a smooth sailing. And there are several feasible ways to complete the transformation: informatization of big data, high-end custom, large-scale smart manufacturing replacing man-made manufacturing, capability of design and innovation, the ideal of “small innovation & big manufacturing” and the accomplishment of overtaking by new technology.

Huang Geng, Chairman of Nanjing B.C. Sports Products Co., Ltd.

After the statement of Huang Geng, there was a discussion between Tang Zhongbo, Lv Qiding and Zhang Kai. Tang Zhongbo first expressed his opinion that GORE-TEX(R) would always provide newly-developed fabric for domestic brands and share experience with domestic manufacturing brands in cooperating with international brands in order to promote the development of domestic brands. Taking an Italian shoe-making manufacturer as an example, he also put forward that the domestic manufacturing industry should learn from its foreign counterpart the work ethic -- adhering to the company’s own principle to make a guide for consumers and brands.

Tang Zhongbo, Business Director in Footwear/ Accessories of GORE-TEX(R) Greater China

The brands FIRE-MAPLE, BLACK-DEER and GREEN-HERMIT serve as a typical example of introducing themselves to the world while inviting foreign designers. Lv Qiding put forward that the company should pay attention to its own products and know well about its counterpart. The company should make sure whether its products meet the demands of the international market or its products are distinctive enough to stick out. Besides, the company should follow advice on domestic brands from foreign friends. Once again he emphasized that the company should attach great importance to its products, make a sub-category achieve the ultimate and maintain the spirit of originality at the same time.

Lv Qiding, General Manger of FIRE-MAPLE, BLACK-DEER and GREEN-HERMIT

On “personalized customization”, Lv Qiding expressed that it was important to establish the supply chain in the future with the increase of personalized consumption and changes of manufacturing and marketing environment. Zhang Kai told that the personalized customization of fabric had already emerged and UTO was willing to make great efforts in technology, design and purchase of materials. Besides, a combination of feedback from the market and consumers will be more meaningful. Tang Zhongbo held that for the domestic outdoor industry the main focus was to develop its own products with the combination of its own technology and equipment.

Zhang Kai, Founder of UTO

The fourth session was about "Diversified Development Direction of Outdoor Retail". Zhang Heng, Founder & Chairman of SANFO, as an representative for China’s outdoor leading enterprises, Li Zhenglong, Expert Consultant On Retailing Data-Driven Operation, and Chen Yumei, Co-Founder of OUTFIT, on behalf of the new force of the industry, made an in-depth discussion on this topic of outdoor retail.

Zhang Heng, Founder & Chairman of SANFO

Zhang Heng held that e-commerce was still a big challenge for him. But he believed that offline retail would remain the main force of the outdoor retail industry in a short time. In recent years, SANFO has developed many distribution channels including sporting events and family outings. People who take part in those activities have already become a member of SANFO Outdoor. Li Zhenglong pointed out that the quantification of operating goals and retailing through data-driven operation was the nature of business. The common operating principle is to meet the demands of consumers. Through the member system, the enterprise should make in-depth analysis to grasp core users’ attention and master the law of data-driven operation, which is conductive to the enterprise’s efficient operation.

Li Zhenglong, Expert Consultant On Retailing Data-Driven Operation

When it comes to the member system, Mr. Zhang told that SANFO would focus on improving the member system in the future so that customers would get more benefits through the system. Chen Yumei expressed that the data-driven operation of OUTFIT’s member system was achieved through APP and more functions were still under development. At the same time, he pointed out that the biggest advantage for retailing through APP was that more customers could be attracted with low cost.

Chen Yumei, Co-Founder of OUTFIT

The final session of the 3rd COA Outdoor China Summit was about “Localization of International Brands” shared by Kong Weihong, president of UTC.

Kong Weihong, President of UTC

UTC acted as an agent for more than 30 foreign brands, among which TIMBUK2 and Guess were the most typical. On how to integrate with foreign brands, Kong Weihong thought that several measures could be taken, for example, making full use of advantages of the international brand market and the way of development to develop products more suitable for Chinese people, enhancing the supply chain and responding quickly to the market changes, distinct personalized customization, perfect combination of creativity, technology and design, paying great attention to every production process to ensure quality.

Kong Weihong expressed that the reason why foreign brands could not agree with the domestic market was that consumers did not know enough about the foreign brands. The company should be confident with foreign brands and carry out in-depth cooperation with them so that they will know better about Chinese market. About the question of how to win the trust of a new foreign brand and be granted with the dealership, Kong Weihong expressed that in addition to making product analysis of the brand, the company should have a global perspective.

Li Hao, Projector Director of Asia Outdoor Trade Show

The annual COA Outdoor China Summit was closed with bursts of applause. Participants were satisfied with the overall organization, the topics and the speaking, and were looking forward for the next summit in 2018. For more information, please visit the website at

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