23 Dec 2020
Putting IP to bed
Experiential marketing has become a hot topic among sales and marketing professionals. Sleep might seem an unusual experience to sell but one well-established and widely known Hong Kong brand specialises in providing the equipment for a good night’s shut-eye.
Many consumer goods producers in Hong Kong follow the traditional made in Mainland China and exported to overseas markets through Hong Kong model, which was the city’s original purpose. The mainland market is the world’s fastest-growing large-scale economy, however, and the mainland government has established the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, increasing integration between the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and its neighbours and making this market even more attractive and accessible.
David Hui, Chairman of A-Fontane, an innovative bedding developer, entered the Guangdong market as early as in the 1980s. The region has proved a thriving market for sleep products.
He shares his experiences on the brand and products he established, explaining why intellectual property protection is important.
“Innovating and inventing constantly have long been the core values of A-Fontane,” Mr Hui said. “By producing high-quality products with outstanding designs and technologies, we have attracted a crowd of loyal customers.
“Goodwill does not come easily however; it must be legally protected. Trademark registration is essential in developing and reinforcing the brand.”
Since the 1980s, A-Fontane has been protecting its intellectual property and expanded its sales network into the mainland part of the Pearl River Delta.
“Trademark protection is territorial,” Mr Hui said. “As we have market share in both Hong Kong and Mainland China we have our trademarks registered in both places.”
The brand has a long history in both markets.
“We applied for our first trademark in Hong Kong in 1985 and in Mainland China in 1990. We now have more than 80 trademarks registered in both places respectively,” he said.
“With the development of the Greater Bay Area in recent years we leveraged the advantages of each city [ in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area], established a distribution centre in Huizhou and a sales service centre in Shenzhen.”
Development and design
“Hong Kong is primarily responsible for product development and design. Our sales channels are now all over the Greater Bay Area with around 250 sales outlets in total.”