7 Dec 2004
In Fine Shape(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 12,2004)
Sinomax (Holding) Group Ltd
"The Group comprises three entities: Tung Ah Chinese Holdings Group, Luen Tai Group and Tong Tai Group," explains marketing manager Queenie Yue. "Our most popular lines include Tung Ah high-quality cushioned furniture, the Sinomax president bed series and mattresses, Qianyuju health furniture, houseware and As-Seen-On-TV products."
Locally, Sinomax may be best known for its polyester memory-foam pillows and mattresses that retain the impression and shape of the user. "We pioneered the introduction of these materials in Hong Kong," says Yue. "The materials reshape according to the profile, weight and/or body temperature applied."
Although memory-foam materials are not individually patented, their use in production demands familiarity with complex formulae and processes. "It is this expertise that we bring to market," claims Yue.
In its early days, Sinomax gained experience through manufacturing products from man-made sponge. "In 2000, management decided that it was time to develop our own brand. We had the expertise as we had worked extensively on many ODM and OEM projects and we felt that Hong Kong's retail market would be ideal. We also wanted to develop our export business and made plans to penetrate the mainland market."
Yue says starting out was quite hard. "We had a new name and a new product as far as the consumer was concerned, and we had to put a lot of effort into educating the consumer in the concept of memory foam."
Today, she adds, there are even memory-foam materials that release fragrant aromas. "More effort goes into designing different pillow shapes to suit a range of body sizes these days," says Yue. "There are models for infants right through to the elderly, while research shows that women have different needs from men. We have also launched a special face pillow so that sleeping on one side does not create wrinkles."
According to Yue, competition is growing. "To stay ahead, we keep changing our marketing strategy. We are using a new TV commercial this year, one that strongly pushes the concept of Sinomax's professionalism," she says.
On the marketing front, Yue says it is useful to win endorsements from professional associations. "Sinomax did this with CDAHK (Chiropractic Doctors' Association of Hong Kong).
Endorsements not only give customers more confidence in the products but also prepare the way for other business. While our core products today are pillows and mattresses, as we become better known for healthcare products we can develop other lines."
Yue says selling branded products is quite different from selling on OEM or ODM terms. "Outside of product design, it is important to provide good customer service in addition to quality products that fully endorse the perceived brand image. At the same time, any associated sales and marketing campaigns must both project and protect the reputation of the manufacturer."
According to Yue, the Sinomax Group is financially strong. "We have six factories strategically located on the Chinese mainland, all equipped with imported production lines worth more than US$12m," she says.
"Apart from local sales, we provide prompt delivery anywhere in the world. We have our own offices in Hong Kong, on the mainland and in the US, and OEM and ODM orders are welcome."
WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON
Sinomax (Holding) Group Ltd