How do Chaozhou people of different ages distinguish the same kind? The answer is the ankle.
Barefoot wearing board shoes has been in the post-90s fashion dictionary, leaving a heavy ink. Ten years ago, the Chaozhou people would never allow a pair of crumpled socks under their pants. As time goes by, today's fashionable socks, red or green, or striped or splashed with ink, contain the fashionable "self-esteem" that fashion people should show with their legs up.
"Socks don't work. Why buy them?" Socks, which used to be used to separate feet from shoes, and mainly used to absorb sweat, deodorant or keep warm, have been moving from a consumable item to a fashion item. Socks are becoming more and more popular. Although taote, pinduoduo and other e-commerce platforms still use 60 black-and-white socks of 1.99 yuan as drainage, in the eyes of fashion people, socks are an indispensable finishing touch in daily wearing.
There are 2.12 million notes searched for the key word "sock" in the little red books which are crowded by Chaozhou people, nearly four times as many as "belt" and twice as many as "Sunglasses".
In Europe and the United States, "flower socks" is also being given more meaning. There is a "Friday socks" activity on Wall Street in the United States. On this day, financial men may still wear suits, but they will wear bright socks to go to work, which represents the end of the week and the coming of a beautiful weekend. In Silicon Valley, socks are a "social symbol" between technical men.
Changes in consumer demand often set off a new wave of Commerce. They are also fashion conscious and fashion conscious. In October last year, Yang Chaochao launched BABT, a trendy brand. Half a year later, BABT's tmall flagship store has nearly half the share of sports trendy socks. This year's "taomai socks" will be transformed into a star of its own.
The emerging tide socks Market
"Ten years ago, the domestic market of tide socks brand was almost blank." Haitao, the founder of isku, witnessed the rise of the industry step by step. At that time, the brand channel was almost firmly controlled by tutuanna, happy socks, stage and other European and American countries.
Throughout China, although we have a mature production supply chain, socks are still in the state of "large categories, few brands". Some domestic brands familiar to domestic consumers, such as Lonza and Antarctica, mainly push silk stockings, or regular ones with simple styles and patterns. When choosing socks, consumers also pay more attention to the functional characteristics of "material, warmth, air permeability, wear resistance", and pay attention to the cost performance of socks. Most consumers are not familiar with the fashionable socks which pay attention to "design" and "style".
According to 36 krypton data, in 2015, Japan's per capita consumption of socks reached 37.3 US dollars, that of European and American countries was 20 US dollars, while that of China was only 15.1 US dollars. This also means that domestic sock consumption has a lot of room for growth. "In fact, China has a very mature production supply chain and is the world's largest exporter of socks." In Haitao's view, it is only a matter of time before the socks "wake up".
In the summer of 2016, a wave of sandals and stockings swept the streets. Socks are finally no longer curled up under the pants legs, standing on the absolute C position of this fashion trend. White monotonous, black boring, bold color matching, innovative design of tide socks suddenly appear in the public vision.
Chen Cai, the post-90s entrepreneur, also felt the change of wind direction. After graduation, he has been as a channel business, operating a sock selling C shop on Taobao. "Previously, the consumption outbreak period of socks was mostly in autumn and winter, but the purchase volume of socks in that year's spring and summer season increased significantly."
The demand for entrepreneurship has also triggered a chain reaction. Zhong Yaodong officially launched isku in 2016. In 2017, Chen Cai also transformed from a channel provider to the founder of primeet, a fashion socks brand. According to the data of the establishment of the cat industry in 2015, the number of enterprises entering the cat industry increased by 11% compared with that of the first time in 2015.
Feel the stone and cross the river
Even though there have been obvious changes in the consumer side, the challenge for the sock brands is not easy.
First of all, different from the clothing with changeable materials, rich styles and obvious seasonality, the sock style is single and the playing space is extremely limited. Secondly, the sock manufacturing process is simple, coupled with the impact of the price war, the market price is not high.
"Our initial price was 59 yuan and 5 pairs," Chen told the world online business. Five years ago, such a price had little advantage in the market. The socks in offline stores are mostly 10 yuan a pair. On Taobao, there are 3 pairs or even 5 pairs of socks with 10 yuan. Taote and pinduoduo also use 60 black and white socks of 1.99 yuan as drainage.
As a new brand, primeet's user profile is not clear. How to find consumers willing to pay is the first problem Chen Cai faces.
"At the beginning, we used the scattered bullet mode to store the quantity, tested the consumer's preference through a large number of SKUs (minimum inventory units) and frequent updating." Most of the time, the design team can produce nearly 200 drafts a month. The production cycle of socks is short. It only takes 15-20 days for a pair of socks from design draft to mass production; The life cycle of a pair of popular models can be as long as 2-3 years. Through a variety of styles and colors of socks to attract customers, primeet launched the first year, shop fans reached 500000.
Almost all of the seed users are young consumers after 1995. "Primeet has also built a basic style positioning in this way. It is mainly divided into four categories: the first is fashion commuting; the second is avant-garde sports; the third is sweet and cool; the fourth is healing fun.
Like Chen Cai, Zhong Yaodong has been constantly clarifying the audience of isku in the process of starting a business. "They are about 23-32 years old, like to dress up, have a certain fashion taste and aesthetic, and have a certain economic foundation. In terms of consumption habits, they often buy clothes, fashion accessories, color makeup, etc
They are more interested in the "beauty" and "beauty" of the products rather than the "beauty" of the products.
This also means that brands can reach a higher pricing space and increase their own premium ability from the direction of design concept and IP co branding. Isku and smiley jointly launched the smiley face socks series, and as soon as it came into the market, there was a popular product with a sales volume of 100000 +.
After years of operation, the brand of "zhangyonggeng" was launched in 2020. Brand design to explore Chinese culture as the starting point, the original price of 99 yuan a pair. In the domestic tide socks brand, this price band is almost a no man's land. Even the Swedish sock brand happy socks, which represents the high price area, is only about 60-70 yuan per pair.
When you open the official flagship store of Yinyan tmall, all products have the attributes of cultural stories, such as Dunhuang series, Shanhaijing series and intangible cultural heritage series. Quickly establish brand mind, catch the eyes of target users, and implicitly decide to take channel as the starting point. On June 6, 2021, Yinyan's first new product appeared in Li Jiaqi's live studio. "We only tested 1000 pieces in stock and sold out in seconds."
What's the next watershed?
Zhong Yaodong, Chen CAI and Zhang Yongjie all mentioned one point to "world online business": upgrade brand SKU and create matrix categories.
The so-called "building matrix" is to try to develop other categories besides socks, such as household clothes. The two tracks seem to be unrelated, but in fact have very similar growth logic. From the point of view of the user, home clothes and socks are functional products at the beginning, and they do not have fashion attributes.
Now, home clothes and socks, are given more interpretation. A Disneyland co branded household clothing hides a childlike heart, and a silk home dress with smooth fabric and high quality is the embodiment of identity and taste. In this regard, Zhang Yongjie put forward the concept of "three kilometers". "I hope that in addition to the comfort, the home clothes that we will mass produce in the future will be as storytelling and fashionable as socks, and be able to move freely within three kilometers from home." In his view, socks are more like a brand to attract core audience, to the market out of an anchor.
In addition to home furnishing, isku will also try to develop men's and women's underwear, fashionable clothes, accessories and other products this year. On the other hand, it can also provide value-added services for old customers.
If it is said that creating matrix categories is the extension of the antennae of the tide socks brands, then the detailed consumption scene is to make the roots deep.
Take the sports scene as an example, influenced by NBA players, the previous fashion socks brands paid more attention to the style of basketball shoes. For example, in the context of "Daily" and "girly", the theme of "rippling" and "girly" is in the "interesting" part of "gyms" and "gyms". At primeet's official flagship store, we also saw the five fingered socks for Yoga scenes.
According to the "analysis report on the market demand prospect and investment planning of China's sock industry" released by the prospective industry research institute, the market scale of China's sock industry is expected to reach 357.1 billion yuan in 2022. The humble socks have become a 100 billion scale "star track".
Under the strong demand, there is no benchmarking brand like happy socks in China. For China's socks, the ceiling of the market, there is still a lot of imagination.