International Packaging Positioning [Chinese – Case History]

When I thought to the project of Packaging in Italy, I thought to an international agency which could develop itself in a global market, absolutely not just Italian or European, but an agency that could collaborate with customers from all over the world.

Actually when I thought to this project (agency of packaging) I was over 40 years old, I have been an entrepreneur for more than 15 years, and I was extremely sure about my skills and the success of my ideas, the only thing I didn’t know was how long it would take to realize my dream.
Today, that the Packaging in Italy is a reality absolutely known on the market, I want to tell you about the first international case study of Packaging Positioning for the Chinese market.



CaoJingHua last step_3


An international case study [China – Packaging Positioning]

China is not exactly around the corner, many Italian companies working with western Asia, but most of them go there to product and buy products and then resell them in Italy. The real difficulty is doing exactly the opposite: exporting a product or service and selling it in China.


Cartina Milano-Zhongshan


It has been several years that the customers have been coming to the agency through the lead generation or PR, but when these come from Zhongshan in deep China, you understand three things:

  1. You understand that the limit of work boundaries are just into our mind, that customers target exist also in the other part of the moon, customers who are not able to speak your language, with different cultures from ours, with a different story from ours, but who need to know the marketing and to take advantage of the power of Packaging Positioning and the design Made in Italy.
  2. You understand the really power of Positioning, you understand there are no limits anymore, you understand that the positioning which you studied, thought and developed until today to your reality, the dream, the initial project works and finally your dream came true and you will not have limits.
  3. Last but not least, the energy and the new ideas bring you to know new cultures, new markets, new way to do business, open your mind.





What is their name? Who is and what does our chinese customer do?

Our customer is Cao Jing Hua, in Chinese is written “曹景华 ”, just these three words in Chinese have wider meanings than Western countries. The concepts indicated in the Brand Naming as from translation are literally:

1) Cao = Derived from natural herbs

2) Jing = Connected from fruit/ result of science and technology innovation

3) Hua = It inherited the essence of culture of the Chinese medicine




We have to know that the brand Cao Jing Hua is part of a group of 1300 employees, it is in traditional Chinese medicine segment and the group has got more than 300 chemists owned, where the products of Cao Jing Hua are sold.

The first consideration we had to do it was that to become aware that the culture and the market segment were completely new and different for us. The appropriate category of our customer is the traditional Chinese medicine, many people talk about it but few of them know what it really is; summarizing the most the concept of this old culture and tradition, we can say that it is a discipline that is between our medicine and homeopathy.

The range of products of Cao Jing Hua is composed from 24 references, of which 9 considered also food as well as medicines/curative and all 24 have got healthy purposes of various types, from treatment of sore throat to the digestion passing through painkiller etc.
These 24 references have got a little differentiating packaging. The request of our customer was to launch a new image of brand Cao Jing Hua, for a younger target, sold out of traditional pharmaceutical channel and just for an online business on a cooler target than that current one.


An initial analysis of the existing packaging

Analysis existing packaging

  1. Brand Naming of product that says : derived from natural herbs, united from fruit/result of science and technological innovation it has inherited the essence of culture of the Chinese medicine, concepts that are not easy to understand and we can find some of them inside other wordings which are reported on the front of the pack.
  2. Herbs with broken cell wall explains the positioning but not in a clear way to B2C world.
  3. The reference of product, for example American Ginseng. This packaging with this reference can’t be confused with all other references, we have to find a coordination of Brand but with a differentiation with all the other references.
  4. The last wording means “broken cell wall (traditional Chinese medicine)”. It is the official name granted from the government, which has to be visualized on the pack. Anyway, the use of this name is limited inside of a professional circle (government, industry, regulator) and in part already repeated in previous wordings.

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A product with unique characteristics compared to the competitors.

We have understood before leaving to China, that the product of Cao Jing Hua had opened a new segment in the market. Before, inside the traditional Chinese medicine existed two kind of products:

  1. La Raw Material
  2. The soluble products in packet (like Nescafé)


Raw material e soluble products


In the first case is very easy to understand the usage, you can buy the Raw Material at the chemist’s, let it boil until the water takes the properties of the product and finally consuming the herbal tea.

In the second case everything is easier and faster, pour the soluble powder of the medicinal product in a worm/hot cup of water, mixing it we can obtain the desired infusion.

Cao Jing Hua developed a process where, going closer to the soluble product, it maintains the proprieties of the raw product almost at 95%, having also the benefit of longer expiration than Raw Materials, therefore the consumption in faster, cleaner, with a greater benefit than the second choice of soluble material. Well done!


This is the testimony of Mister Lai’s – CEO Zhongzhi Pharmaceutical

CaoJingHua Testimonianza


It is precisely because of the professionalism of the members of the Italian Packaging Company project team, who ensured that each detail of the product has been optimized to meet the demand of the market, that the series of products have successfully landed, which provides a solid foundation for the products to seize market share.

Read the full testimony


What have we exaclty done for our customer Cao Jing Hua?

The first thing was to take the plane and flying to China. We did there a very detailed inspection of almost 3 weeks. Before developing the Positioning, you are not allowed to underestimate anything, we started very humble and curious to understand everything we needed to make such an important project in a new market for us.



The first thing was to take the plane and flying to China. We did there a very detailed inspection of almost 3 weeks. Before developing the Positioning, you are not allowed to underestimate anything, we started very humble and curious to understand everything we needed to make such an important project in a new market for us.
Initially we visited the most important factories of the group, were they give birth to the buds in laboratory, just the strongest plants and those that pass a very careful selection end up to be grown.
Later we went to verify where some of these products born, in the heart of Kanton countryside and how they are cultivated. Some of them in Europe are not even present, I myself didn’t even know the existence of them, for example, the first reference on which we developed the Positioning has been “Siraitia Grosvenorii” (also called Monk Fruit o Luo Han Guo), it is a perennial herbaceous shoot of the family of pumpkin, Cucurbitaceae, originally from southern China and northern Thailand. The plant is grown just in order of the collection of its fruits, whose extract is almost 300 time sweeter than sugar and is often used in China as low-calorie sweetener to refresh the drinks and it is used also in the Traditional Chinese Medicine.

We spent the following days in some stores of the group, in some pharmacies owned, in meeting room to understand the business, production, distribution, commercial and marketing strategies, carried out until that moment. Finally we wanted to understand the possibilities of machining option and the machinability of the product.



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The development of the Packaging Positioning of Cao Jing Hua

I have written several times that the Packaging Positioning is born and follows all the Brand Positioning’s rules, putting them on the packaging. Therefore one of the basic rules, together with the simplicity of the communication’s message, is the differentiation of the communication itself.
Once identified our differentiation that is the right Positioning, we had to report our communication on the packaging, also this last had to be inserted in a different way than our competitors, other fundamental passage of the Packaging Positioning, and functional to the sales of the product.

What we have understood after coming back from our inspection in China have been three basic steps to the result of Cao Jing Hua’s Packaging Positioning, considering that our customer in the final meeting in China has specified that didn’t want to give us any kind of limits neither communication nor creativity nor structural design finalized to machinability of the product.





Taking into consideration the customer target and the purpose already told previously, we had to obtain a young, cool and sold online product.  In the practice we have done this:

a) The first key big step has been to individuate a logotype with very clear characteristics:

  1. A visual of originality, prestigious further young/luxury
  2. An Asian visual, but recognized also in Western world
  3. A visual which would communicate the benefit and the positioning

b) We have found a different structural design from all the others on this market / category and also in those which are close. Therefore we thought to a TinBox different than others which are on the market.

c) Another important and essential step has been to create an institutional color code differentiating than other players on the market, so that the color in that category directly linked back the customer and all professionals to our Brand. Not least a color which blinked to a young target and that could strengthen our positioning.


Logo CaoJingHua






Developing all that subliminal elements, emphasizing the transfer of sensation of these non verbal messages on the packaging to our Brand Positioning, we are now perceived as different, leaders, unique and recognizable on the market. So we have positioned ourselves in a clear and distinctive way definitely raising the threshold of entrance towards hypothetical competitors.

Subsequently our first presentation we achieved an excellent result than the initial one, which could be the project of a following step for the right conclusion of this Chinese Packaging Positioning.

CaoJingHua last step 2

CaoJingHua last step


If you have more specific questions and you want to know in the details all the steps that brought us to create an efficient packaging, contact us.

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