The Miniso logo
The Uniqlo logo
The Miniso Japan logo
The Daiso Japan logo
Products Miniso Sells
China is known as the land of blatant copies and dubious quality. Although things are slowly changing. If you are in mainland china check out the Mo Bikes, a smart bike sharing system. It’s very innovative and is a great example of Chinese innovation. Unfortunately, this kind of innovation hasn’t reached the traditional retail sector. Where copying foreign brands is fast way to get ahead. After all the Chinese don’t even want to purchase chinese good.
Let’s look at Miniso the Japanese copy brand, which is really Chinese. Their logo looks like that of Uniqlo. With the simple red box, with sans-serif text. However Miniso adds a small handle, to make it appear as a bag.
From their website in regards to the origin of the brand, “With the unprecedented prosperity of world economy, luxury brands from western countries are blindly chased by consumers, while low-quality counterfeits are all over the market, which results in people’s two extreme consumption patterns. As a reflection and criticism of this situation, MINISO was born!” There’s so much irony in this statement coming from a brand that itself is a counterfeit Japanese.
The retailer has over 1600 stores and has seen incredible growth. It’s now expanded to Hong Kong, Australia, Mongolia, Singapore, Dubai, Malaysia, Vietnam and many more. The brand represents itself as Japanese, with an international design team. The reality is that all the products at Miniso are private label. This means that the goods are sourced from Chinese factories, and the packaging and labels are changed to reflect the Miniso brand. They have no products that are designed by themselves. The staff wear neat uniforms with simple name badges.
Brandzaar challenges you Mr. Ye Guo Fu to create a truly global Chinese brand that is authentic and respected.
What Miniso has done is what a lot of Chinese companies do. They are willing to make a lower profit margin in a sector. They recognize that Japanese design is trusted globally. That brands like Muji and Uniqlo are fantastic brands and offer great products. They’re branding is spot on, the layout of their stores and product selection is professional.
Miniso has managed to copy this same aesthetic, but giving consumers what they want at a much lower price taking advantage of the all the product that Mainland china makes cheaply. They’ve simply organised these products, chosen ones that appeal to their buyers (mainly woman).
The Miniso stores have a clean layout and design. Nice metal racks with wooden bench tops.
Perhaps the most innovative part of the Miniso business model, is in the way they constantly change product inventory. This leaves customers always coming back to see what’s new. They very quickly analyse what sells and what doesn’t; optimizing every last inch of their retail stores. This fast supply chain, tightly linked to their factories have given them the ability to out innovate their competition. Muji by contrast, design all their products and have them manufactured. This means they have to sell their products for longer to recoup the development cost and to make a profit from said products. This is another reason why Muji products are more expensive than Miniso. By contrast Miniso has no development cost. No molds to pay for, no product designers they just have to pay for their retail and packaging design team. If you look at their packaging it’s obvious they hardly even do that. So much of the packaging looks like it came standard from the factory and they just swapped out the brand names.(Insert photo showing packaging that looks like it came straight from the factory)
Of course like everything in China, if someone’s sees your business being successful, there will be copy cats. Check out this list.
Would Miniso have had the same success if they branded themselves as Chinese? We doubt it, but it’s a shame to see a country like China, not being able to have the confidence to build an international brand in the retail sector. DJI and Huawai have managed to do this in the tech sector.
Looking at the recent media in regards to Miniso it seems there has been less focus on the Japanese side. The truth is the business is Chinese, though they have at least one Japanese employee, Miyake Jyunya. Obviously the real founder Ye Guo Fu is the brains behind the business success of Miniso. It would have been more difficult for him to build the brand as Chinese as consumers prefer foreign brands. Hopefully in the future he can build a Chinese brand and make it global. Helping China to move up the value chain and being able to compete at an equal or greater level then the likes of H&M, Muji and Zara. Brandzaar challenges you Mr. Ye Guo Fu to create a truly global Chinese brand that is authentic and respected.
The success of Miniso across China has spawned a slew of copy cats
This is the most hilarious copy we could find. DaHeSo, they’ve copied everything from the name, logo and website. Doing there best to confuse the customer.
2358JM, copying Miniso, but this time claiming to be Korean. Are there any Korean reader that have heard of this brand ?
Mumuso seems to be the best quality copy of the copies, focusing instead on being a fake Korean brand. Probably a better bet in China given the waves of political tension between China and Japan.
Their website for one seems to be much more professional. Although a trade mark search will reveal that Miniso has registered this brand’s name in many countries. Like always, capitalism is agressive with Chinese companies.
Come on Miniso, 1000’s of stores and you can’t even have a professional website?
Are there any Koreans here that can comment of the quality of their translation work?
Domesky, this time the Malaysian’s have copied the Chinese who copied the Japanese, but are copying the Koreans.
Confusing as their true origins may be, the store seems a like a quality copy.
XiMi Vaue 熙美诚品
XiMi Vaue seems like a poor copy of a copy. The logo and the name are almost exactly the same as Miniso.
YuBiSo, this one is an exact copy of Miniso, absolute failure to innovate on any part. The exact same store layout, and almost exactly the same products.
Unyso is another copy of Miniso, but this time claiming to be Korean. Interestingly enough this copy of a copy is in Chatswood, Sydney Australia.
There are probably more copy Miniso stores than in this list. The fact that they have so many copies, proves that this brand is popular. After all people only copy you if you are successful.
The fact is, Miniso is a fantastic brand, and although they did copy some ideas from Japan. Their products are genuinely good quality and very competitively priced. They’ve managed to find a place in between Daiso and Muji. They’ve had incredible growth. They have the buying power and innovation that their copies don’t have. There’s still many countries where the brand hasn’t expanded to yet. Most notably in South America and Italy. Cheap well designed and good quality products, they have been a hit with Chinese consumers. If you don’t have Miniso in your country yet, you are truly missing out.
Would you be interested in an insiders guide to getting the franchise rights to Miniso for your country?
Covering such topics as, how to deal with the Chinese culture, how to not get screwed in your contract and how to get the sole agents rights when there’s a lot of competition.
If so, let me know in the comments.