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It all started with a surprise invitation from our friends at Alibaba’s HQ in Hangzhou. We were in disbelief when told that Hegen was selected as one of 40 international brands to participate in Tmall’s Feng Kuang Boss, a key highlight of the 11.11 Singles’ Day event.
Shortly after, in a press release on the Feng Kuang Boss event covered by China Daily, Alibaba announced that Hegen, along with 40 other international brands is a “Must Buy” brand for Singles Day. As a revolutionary express-store-feed system built upon the principles of being aesthetically pleasing yet inherently functional, Hegen was the only brand in the Baby Feeding category to be singled out by Tmall.
This led to us being featured in a popular TV variety show called “Mars Intelligence Agency” (Huo Xing Qin Bao Ju) featuring top celebrities like variety show host Yang Di, popular artists Liu Genghong and Liu Wei competing in a milk bottle preparation contest with our Hegen bottles.
Imagine our surprise when Liu Genghong, aka father of Little Puff praised Hegen for its uniqueness and state of the art features. The segment was both comical and entertaining with Liu Genghong eventually giving Liu Wei lessons in the art of bottle preparation and was even drinking from it! Amidst the audience was yet another familiar TV Host Tao Jing Ying who could be seen laughing and applauding; clearly engaged and impressed with the Hegen experience.
We kickstarted the 11.11 weekend by doing a pre-event livestream with our founder Yvon Bock and the ever-trendy Chee Tor sharing their parenting experiences on our own Tmall Flagship store. It was time to unveil new products and tips and tricks on how to best optimize our modular express-store-feed system. As this was mainly targeted at our own Hegen fans, the 1.5-hour stream generated great interaction with our very own Founder answering live questions on Hegen, our products and sharing her breastfeeding journey. She was clearly an inspiration to all working mums out there.
The live stream went on till midnight and was specifically done to usher in the online shopping extravaganza. At the stroke of midnight, the crazy shopping sale began. Within seconds, we could see our Tmall store orders rolling in and in such quick fashion that our Founder and team were beyond belief. It was the first time that our brand had experienced such a high volume of orders within a single hour. And this was only the beginning!
With little sleep and sheer excitement in the air, we began the day at 6am preparing for the big event. “This is as exciting as when we got married…” were the first thoughts that came to the mind of our founder and rightly so since the morning event was literally walking down the red-carpet aisle!
While our preparations were underway, we had a series of Social Media influencers with the likes of An An Miqi, a popular mommy blogger who hosted a live stream on her own blog on how Hegen had made such an impact on her parenting journey. She shared with her fans on how she was a Hegen user and how much it benefitted her and her baby in the last 6 months. Her honest and sincere sharing garnered a boost in our fan base and helped raised further awareness for our brand.
Meanwhile, decked in an award-winning Singapore designer Alfie Leong’s dress, our founder Yvon Bock was ready to bedazzle the crowd in her walk down the red-carpet. This Crazy Boss event consisted of 40 big international brands specifically selected for their rising status within the Chinese market. Representatives comprising of brands from China, United States, Japan, Italy, Spain, Sweden and of course, our beloved Singapore were given the opportunity to introduce themselves and the brand during the 5-minute red carpet walk-in. We were proud to understand from the producers that Hegen was chosen due to its innovativeness, brand philosophy and our rapid rise within the Chinese market. It was truly an honor to be the only Singapore brand present and equally fulfilling to be amongst the brand giants of the world. Aside from our brand introduction, we were asked to reveal a secret passphrase which would be used during the product presentation event for consumers to receive lucky draw prizes. Our passphrase was appropriately “The Singapore Milk Bottle!”
After a brief couple of hours rest, it was back to preparation of the big evening event which was basically split into 3 segments - the entertainment, the product showcase and the closing battle of bosses. First up was a magic performance with a famous local magician, Erica Shao Mei Lin showcasing our range of Hegen products and magically converting them without even touching it. Assisted by our beautiful founder, she casually switched between our breast pump, storage containers and a feeding bottle, all in a matter of seconds! With over 10 million viewers watching, she then demonstrated the ease in which Hegen’s multi-functionality could be achieved with or without magic! It soon dawned upon the audience that the real magic was in the product and anyone using a Hegen could just as easily achieve this.
Next up was the product presentation which promised lots of interaction. Each functional detail and well thought out design was carefully introduced in a lively 3-way conversation between the two hosts and our founder Yvon. From the bottle and teat design to our PPSU material selection, Yvon explained how and why our system was designed to help mothers enhance their breastfeeding journey and babies obtain the best nutrients that only nature can give. On stage and to demonstrate how easy it is to use Hegen products, Yvon was given a challenge to assemble the manual breast pump, breast milk storage container and feeding bottle with ONLY one hand and within a time of 9 seconds, a feat that was almost impossible with any other bottle brand. In full view of the now growing 11 million viewers, she successfully completed the challenge thus proving Hegen’s easy functionality.
Yvon also interacted with fans live by answering questions about the product during a separate live stream interview with famous wellness influencer Abby Mu Xue Er. Yvon and Abby decided to focus their attention on the Hegen gift sets as it had become a clear fan favorite and a top seller within Tmall’s Mother and Baby category.
The last segment of the 12-hour live show ended with all the participating bosses coming together for a game and giving out gifts to fans viewing the show. Despite being our first time in this show, the producers selected Hegen and in particular Yvon to be in the show’s finale and exclusive air-time was given for her to further interact with the audience, encouraging the audience to make their final purchases. It was literally an eleventh-hour rush as the clocked continued ticking away, edging ever closer to midnight, attracting more than 12.5 million viewers by that time.
The event ended with a bang as Alibaba announced that it had surpassed last year’s 11.11 numbers by over 40% and thanked everyone for making this event a success!
Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined the results for the day. In the span of 24 hours, Hegen’s Flagship store at Tmall was able to achieve the following:
In the span of a single day, Hegen’s Tmall flagship store had increased its sales by more than 100 times the daily average over the last 3 months. In addition, with all the media exposure, we had more than doubled our fan base and followers. In line with our strategy of increasing consumer purchases, our average transactional value per customer increased by almost 25% which meant that customers were buying our higher valued giftsets rather than just bottles and teats. Within the mother and baby category, we were ranked by Tmall in the top 7 flagship stores and the Fastest Growing Brand on Singles Day 2017!
Hegen’s excellent results in our first ever singles’ day is a testament to the hard work that our China team has put in, both online and off. We are thankful for the media coverage and participation opportunities that Tmall had given us and even more so for the continued faith that our fans and customers have in us. This result
will only spur us to continue innovating and bringing feeding solutions to parents all over the world.