Xiaohongshu debuts WILL Awards to recognize extraordinary up-and-coming Chinese brands

Founders of YuanqiSenlin, POP Mart, Perfect Diary and Chayan Yuese come together for the first time in conversation with Xiaohongshu co-founder Miranda Qu

SHANGHAI, Sept. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Xiaohongshu held its very first WILL Awards today to recognize promising young Chinese brands that resonate with consumers and represent the future of consumption in China. As a leading lifestyle platform, Xiaohongshu has incubated the rise of new consumer trends and witnessed the growth of emerging brands. Leveraging this influence, Xiaohongshu hopes that WILL Awards will inspire the industry to honor new brands doing great things.

In total, 320 brands were shortlisted for the 11 awards up for grabs. It took close to three months to wrap up the entire judging process carried out by nearly 70 judges including well-known investors, media, industry experts, etc. Eventually, 19 brands including HEYTEA, To Summer, Chayan Yuese, COCO100, HowBottle and more stood out for their product design, innovation, creativity and values, with HEYTEA taking top honors for "Brand of the Future 2021".

The growth of private consumption in China has become a force that cannot be ignored in the business world. According to statistics collated by Chinese business media outlet "New Consumption Daily", there were more than 500 deals in this sector from 2020 to June 2021, of which 333 deals were completed in the first half of 2021 with a combined value of over 50 billion yuan. This reflects the vibrancy in China’s consumption sector.

Against this background, WILL Awards struck a conversation around what kind of brands are equipped for the future by inviting founders from four outstanding Chinese brands to join a panel hosted by Xiaohongshu co-founder Miranda Qu. YuanqiSenlin, POP Mart, Perfect Diary and Chayan Yuese are undoubtedly poster brands for the new era of consumption in China by creating new trends or redefining tradition, becoming leading players in the lifestyles of Gen Z and millennial consumers.

During the panel, the four founders each expressed their ideas about what a "brand of the future" means to them. Themes that were frequently mentioned include being user-centric, growing together with your users, having a long-term outlook, and ensuring high quality products. They also came to a consensus that a "brand of the future" is one that can adapt to the flow of time — it is able to continuously meet the needs of its target consumer groups at different stages, iterate quickly, and make improvements.

"To me, a brand of the future is coherent, open and different. Being coherent means having its own complete set of beliefs and values, being open means it is constantly innovating and iterating, while being different means standing out amongst the crowd," Miranda Qu said.


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