9 wise sayings that fashion entrepreneurs cannot miss: a review from the InnoBrand 2018

December 7,2018

The InnoBrand Competition was founded in 2015 by Luxe.CO and has been held for four consecutive years. It is the only entrepreneurial competition in China focusing on fashion and lifestyle. On November 30th 2018, the “InnoBrand 2018” final was held in Shanghai, 15 Chinese and overseas fashion and lifestyle entrepreneurial teams staged to present the brand's design concepts, features, business models and team, facing the questions from the jury, composed by the top professionals in investment and fashion industry.

After the competition, the jury made a throughout comment, based on their practice and reflection of venture investment, drew out the latest insights into the entrepreneurial innovation in fashion and lifestyle, and candidly proposed valuable advice for the young fashion entrepreneurs.

What is indeed brand innovation? What is the greatest challenge facing ahead as a brand founder? For entrepreneurs in the fashion and lifestyle, what is essential to building a brand above superb products? Luxe.CO has hereby mapped out 9 wise sayings, to inspire and enlighten the future direction and shifting.

“Many times we don’t know where the road is, then don’t even bother thinking about it. It’s more important to do it than to figure it out. Getting things done is excessively critical than to make a plan. Today is more important than tomorrow, opportunities are not made by presupposed but by engaged.

Most people prefer to talk about themselves and akin to emphasise who they are, instead of making it clear what are their values for others. I hope that everyone can think about this from the bottom of hearts. Today, we are not making products for the sake of simply making it, but for making them practical and useful. Entrepreneurs should be devoted to being compassion, creating products and building the brand by heart, by conscience. ”

——Xiaohong Cui, the Founder of Mariedalgar

“In China, I hope to see more brand innovations with Chinese elements, rather than duplicating foreign names and components, so that there will be stronger differentiation.

From our experience in investing, I am more convinced that the brand is generated from the product, and the product is generated with elaborate endeavour and complete concentration. Supply chain, design, pricing and many other details constitute the product. When a successful product is conceived, the brand can be finally developed. ”

——Juncong Zheng, the Management Partner of Vertex Ventures China

“Entrepreneurs need to reckon: What are you trying to pass to everyone? What are the nature and inner value of your product? What is your sensibility? What are you bringing to your customers? What is your competitive potentials, is it the patent, is it the IP, or is it the R&D capability? The inherent and essence of the product, as well as its patent, is the core that eventually supports the product and the brand.”

-- Shunchang Qiao, the Management Director & Co-President of Coastal Capital, Secretary-General of China Young Angel Investor Leader Association

“Entrepreneurs in the consumer goods industry must be down-to-earth, which evidenced in the product, business operation and brand values. The deeper understanding of culture an entrepreneur has, the more accurate insight of humanity an entrepreneur has, the more promising that a leader can be created, instead of another follower.

Each company naturally has a scale deviation. However, nowadays, the focus is not on the size of it, but on the values a company maintain. Entrepreneurship in the consumer goods industry should be vision-oriented rather than digital-driven. Returning to the original intention and ambition is the key for entrepreneurs to surely survive in the next few years. ”

——Guoxing Wei, the Partner of Tiantu Capital

“In consumer goods business, survive effectively is the first priority. The evaluation to entrepreneurs in this industry is precisely extensive but also reasonable. The so-called 'barrel effect' is more clearly exemplified here, that is, the shortboard determines the success.

But I don’t think this is the hardest part. Now consumers are overwhelmed by numerous products and information, therefore, entrepreneurs must cultivate innovative proposition in each category, be extreme, precise and creative. The creativity in proposition will lead to the uniqueness of marketing and branding. Consequently, if you want to perform in an average way, you may not survive anymore. ”

——Ping Ping, the Managing Director of Chengwei Capital

“Cultivating a brand is a long-term matter. For a brand, when it is the right timing for investing and financing, and whom to look for is an incredibly crucial consideration. In many cases, financing is not necessarily the best option.

Now probably is the best time for entrepreneurship. In this era, the criteria for a successful founder is much more increased regarding the comprehensive ability, compared with one or two decades ago. Creating one rewarding product is not an extraordinary accomplishment anymore, you need to have the ability to continuously make this happen. Simultaneously, it is also an evaluation for investors, for their patience and vision. I hope that everyone in the industry can still stay hungry, stay foolish, and keep developing powerful Chinese fashion brands."

- Lanchun Duan, the Management Partner of Cathay Capital

“If we look back at the entire history of branding, it is not difficult to see that the emergence of a new brand often took a long time, yet the cycle of brand replacement has accelerated significantly in recent years. Today's competition is absolutely exciting, I am fortunate enough to see so many entrepreneurs, started from their own segmentation and found the innovation. 15 projects have included various forms of innovation, such as branding, design, and marketing -- innovation has been seamlessly integrated. At the same time, I am very delighted to find that the segmentation you are engaged in aligned with the interest of investors. I believe that you all can achieve impressive success and improve the entire industry.”

—— Zheng Tu, the Partner of QF Capital

“I am very optimistic about the Chinese market, even in heavily traditional sections. Through innovation and being creative, there are still countless opportunities for the younger generation to explore. The Chinese market is immense, focusing on the segmentation is the inevitable trend for the future. Therefore, I encourage everyone to be brave enough of being innovative and staring a business.

Of course, the brand is still the very core for everything, it is not only a product but also an expressing with gene and psyche. I believe it can be really a long and robust journey to establish a long-running Chinese brand. So, the revolution is not yet done, may us all strive on the hard working.”

- Yan Chen, the Managing Director of Fosun

“Brand founders usually face a very blunt and straightforward question:’ What is your market positioning?’

The Matthew effect on branding is not potent, more often we see too many brands appearing in the same field. I believe that there is a massive space in this market for all kinds of brands to be discovered. As a startup, your positioning, your characteristics, and how you face the existing competition is the key matter that everyone will care about. ”

- Minman Gu, the Managing Director & Head of East China of ZhenFund


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