It all started 9 years ago when FAMA took its first steps in the Chinese market embarking on a new adventure that has led to the opening of 15 FamaLiving showrooms across the country, including the 3 showrooms in Beijing and the other 12 in main cities, such as Shandong, Hohhot, Chengdu, Zhengzhou, Qingdao, Jinan, Taiyuan, Tianjin, Shenyang…
The local collaborator that has helped FAMA develop its strategy to enter the Chinese market and make the brand more recognizable is none other than one of the major key players of the furniture and interior design industry: Blue Morning, FAMA’s distributors and one of the most exclusive suppliers in China of high-end furniture from international top brands (Fendi Casa, Ligne Roset, Baxter, Giorgio Collection, Smania, Zanaboni, Kartell, Moissonnier, Provasi, just to name a few). Blue Morning, in turn, has a close business partnership with another big name of the furnishing sector, Easy Home, China’s second-biggest household product and furniture chain operator.
Fama and its Chinese partners
Since the beginning they have relied on FAMA as a brand with great potential for the Chinese market and its emerging middle class. According to a recent survey conducted by Blue Morning, in parallel with urbanisation and the increasing purchasing power of consumers that are driving furniture market growth, there is a rising demand in China for a type of furniture that fills the gap between luxury Italian, French and German brands and Chinese high-quality furniture brands. With its versatile, stylish seating solutions, FAMA matches this demand perfectly, catching up with trends for new living concepts focused on comfort, great personalization and an excellent consumer experience.
The new medium-term China Project
Of course, it hasn’t been difficult for FAMA to capture the attention of new FamaLovers in China, as they call their fans. The attractive designs, comfortable solutions, eye-catching, colourful fabrics, the refined neutral palette and the creative patterns have won the hearts of Chinese consumers who, year by year, have been increasing in number, more engaged than ever with the brand and its values.
The new, successful phase has led FAMA and its local partners to refocus their business strategy and consider a new medium-term plan aimed at potentiating the brand and making it more recognisable to Chinese consumers nationwide.
Step Number One: the new concept stores
As a first step, Blue Morning has separated FAMA from their other brands and transformed one of the Beijing FamaLiving showrooms into a new FAMA concept store entirely dedicated to FAMA’s products. The new 600 sqm flagship store is characterised by discovery and lifestyle. It showcases all the latest sofas, armchairs, occasional furniture and loveseats of the brand, putting a special emphasis on customer experience and interaction.
The interior design is spectacular with elements and materials that accentuate the contemporary mood of the space and provide a mesmerising setting for FAMA’s collections.
The concrete used for walls and floors, the pillars covered with a warm combination of seven different noble woods, the space dividers made of river stone and cactus planters, the ceiling lamps with their pleasant lighting and the sensory music contribute to creating a welcoming space that conveys dynamism, positive energy and creativity: the DNA of the brand, to put in a word.
This new format will soon be applied to the other FamaLiving showrooms that will be redesigned according to the new concept. The company intends to strengthen its expansion in China by increasing the number of showrooms in other main cities to 100 over the next five years. All the new showrooms will occupy privileged locations in major furniture megastore next to other international leading brands.
Following-up: a new production plant
New challenges often require the biggest investments to reinforce the production capacity and meet the increasing turnover of the brand that, even during the economic crisis, has grown at an average of 10% per year.
FAMA, which was founded in 1970, has become one of the most technologically advanced sofa manufacturing companies in Europe. The complete production process is carried out in an area of more than 60.000 m2, where technology, design and craftsmanship interrelate perfectly. As its manufacturing facilities have reached maximum capacity, the company has now planned an expansion of the current production plant.
Growing the brand awareness around…
To support the inauguration of the new Beijing flagship store and potentiate the brand awareness, FAMA, in collaboration with its partners, has developed a powerful plan of promotional activities which started with the participation of the brand at the last edition of the BIFF show, which was held in Beijing from the 14th to the 17th of June.
In its second edition, the Beijing International Furnishing Fair & Smart Lifestyle Festival, known as BIFF, hosted the best brands of the German and Italian furniture industry as well as the Chinese top brands. FAMA enjoyed of an unparalleled location just at the entrance of the fair with a stand of 220 m2 where the company exhibited the newly-launched SEVENTIES collection and its bestseller models: the MOON loveseat, the PACIFIC sofa, the ARIANNE modular seating system, the HELSINKI collection and many others.
Curiously enough, FAMA’s bestsellers are the same in China as in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Israel or Turkey. This means that the company has achieved to create balanced, high-quality products with their own identity; which is why they don’t need to adapt much to every market enabling them to achieve economies of scale through a standardised global marketing strategy.
Félix López Gil, owner and designer at FAMA, was invited to give a speech at the inauguration by the organizers and he was also selected to represent foreign exhibitors at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. These events, as well as the Seventies Collection’s presentation, which counted on the presence of the Spanish Ambassador and the Commercial Attaché, and the press conference were each a good occasion to promote the brand, its products and its presence in China. Moreover, they were also a great opportunity to boost the Spanish furniture industry, the country itself and the Marca España (Brand Spain).
“We are very excited about this great project, not only on the economic side or just because it will expect an increase in our turnover”, says Felix. “Entering the Chinese market is an honour for us; it’s the recognition of the effort and work of our entire team, from the export manager, to the team that loads the containers, to all the employees of the company. Conquering a market as demanding as the Chinese is not that easy, we are competing with Italian and German companies which are real monsters in volume compared to our company. But this also teaches us that the work done with enthusiasm, passion and honesty, can bear fruit”.
A new web page in Mandarin and a new We Chat application support the Chinese Project bringing the brand closer to local consumers while creating interaction and engagement. “We need to be focused and potentiate our brand on the platforms and sources where our target is most active”, explains Maria Angeles Ferrero, Export Manager at FAMA. WeChat is a great tool for Chinese market entry, it’s a strong launchpad for quality content with its 877 million active daily users. “This is a consumer led society and international products are often a byword for quality. We need to carve our niche as a quality, empathic brand and be open and adapt to complexity”, adds Maria Angeles. “Fortunately, we can rely on our Chinese partners that can help us tackle difficult issues more easily and increase the chances of our success.”
The dice are thrown. China possesses huge opportunities for those company that are ready to at ‘China scale’ and ‘China speed’, as people in the scene put it very well. We are confident that FAMA will pave the way for a new, stronger presence of Spanish companies and products in the Country of the Dragon.
More about the brand: www.fama.es