Established at Qingdao, China in 1984, Haier Group is a world-leading best home appliances manufacturer in China, a world-leading provider of solutions to better life. In the process of sustainable innovation and entrepreneurship, Haier always upholds the principle of “prioritizing people’s value”. Mr. Zhang Ruimin, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Haier Group, systematically illustrated the Rendanheyi Model in September 2005, whose contemporary features, universality and social characteristics have achieved trans-industry and trans-culture fusion and replication.
On May 10, 2018, China Brand Day, Zhang proposed the concept “ecosystem brand” for the first time, seen as another iteration and innovation to the brand connotation following the product brand and platform brand. It is the world’s first definite proposal on building an ecosystem brand in the age of the IoT. At the ceremony for observing the 35th anniversary of Haier Group and publishing the strategic themes of the sixth development stage and the fourth-generation enterprise culture dated December 26, 2019, Zhang announced the beginning of the sixth strategic development stage – Ecosystem Brand Stage with two other co-founders: Yang Mianmian, former Vice Chairman of the Board and President, and Wu Kesong, former Vice Chairmen of the Board.
Focusing on user experience and keeping abreast of the times, Haier has experienced six strategic stages: brand building strategy, diversification strategy, internationalization strategy, global branding strategy, networking strategy and ecosystem brand strategy, growing from the once collectively owned small factory on the verge of bankruptcy into an ecosystem that leads the IoT era. As the world’s first and only IoT ecosystem brand, Haier has been included on the list of BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands for two consecutive years. Haier offers services for over 1 billion families in 160 countries or regions around the world. To date, Haier has successfully incubated four listed companies (Haier Smart Home, Haier Electronics, Haier Biomedical, INKON Life), five unicorn companies and 23 gazelle companies. Moreover, Haier has established 10+N open innovation systems, 25 industrial parks, 122 manufacturing centers, 108 marketing centers and 143,330 sales networks globally. It owns a number of ecosystem brands and new species, including Haier, Casarte, Leader, GE Appliances from the U.S., Fisher & Paykel from New Zealand, AQUA from Japan, Candy from Italy, COSMOPlat, Ririshun, Yingkang Life, Haier Biomedical, Haina Cloud, HCH, Haier Brothers, etc.
Haier has topped Global Major Appliances Brand Rankings by Euromonitor International for 11 consecutive years. Its subsidiary Haier Smart Home is among the list of Global 500 and the World’s Most Admired Companies of Fortune and the World’s 2,000 Largest Public Companies of Forbes. Its new species COSMOPlat industrial Internet platform leads the top ten trans-industry and -field industrial Internet platforms of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and named a leader in Forrester’s Industrial IoT Platform and designated by the three international standard organizations, including ISO, IEEE and IEC to lead the drafting of international standards for mass customization models…In the era of IoT, Haier’s ecosystem brand is leading the world.
Upholding the vision of “creating new engines to growth in the era of IoT with Rendanheyi Model”, Haier is committed to working with its world-class ecosystem partners to continuously build scenario brand and ecosystem brand, and to set up IoT ecosystems in clothing, food, accommodation, travel, health, elderly care, biomedicine and education, and to tailor personalized smart life for users around the globe.
An analysis of the historical background: The development of the first generation of the Haier Spirit was closely related to the distinct characteristics of the times. In 1984, Zhang Ruimin and other founders were faced with a difficult situation“none of the glasses in the workshop was intact; most of the workers defecated indiscriminately; the factory had a huge deficit of 1.47 million CNY and was on the brink of bankruptcy; no funds for workers’ salary; three predecessors were appointed to manage the factory in only one year’s time, but to no avail”. It is under such harsh conditions that Haier Ren (people) embarked on the journey of entrepreneurship. Without the support of capital, technology and talents, Zhang Ruimin and other founders devoted themselves fully to the transformation of the factory and seized the opportunities brought by the Reform and Opening-Up. After setting higher standards and the introduction of the Brand Building Strategy, they have achieved fast growth that lasted for nearly twenty years.
Haier Corporate Culture
In contrast with other contemporary enterprises, Haier has, from the very beginning, developed a customer-oriented corporate strategy and culture, which is the focal point of organizational excellency. Within Haier, highly efficient procedures that align with the creation of customer values were established; the“customer is always right”principle was enforced to the fullest extent; an innovative daily clear management method was developed which later evolved to Overall Every Control and Clear (OEC) Management ideology.
Externally, Haier puts emphasis on“the customer is always right”and “customers’ problems are the targets of our innovation”.
Internally, Haier highlights “quality products made by quality people” and “every employee can be a talent; every employee can race to the number one position”, which have activated the potential of employees to the maximum.
Zhang Ruimin and other entrepreneurs have earnestly practiced the spirit of “Selfless Devotion, Nonstop Excellency” in a “Fast Response, Quick Action” style. Their exemplary performance has turned the spirit and style into the core values of Haier. Influenced by such a corporate culture, each employee enriched these values with their own practice and experience.
At the same time, a world-class management model was developed in the U.S. with reinforced customer satisfaction, innovation and business excellency as the core.
In 1997, Haier, as China’s number one home appliance brand, entered its internationalization stage. In this context, in order to increase the morale of employees and aim higher, Haier made a minor change to Haier Spirit from “Selfless Devotion” to “Patriotic Dedication”.
During this period of time, Haier went through three strategic stages, namely the Brand Building Stage, the Diversification Stage and the Internationalization Stage. Haier started with nothing, grew from a small factory to a large enterprise and expanded from China to the world markets. Throughout the whole process, all decisions made, including management, research & development and operations, were centered around the development of China. Therefore, that period of time was defined as the age of “Haier – Made in China”.
The most vivid and popular narrative about the first generation of the Haier Spirit is the story of smashing fridges. The Haier Spirit “do our best or don’t do it at all” still stimulates each Haier people who is not satisfied with the status quo and brave enough to challenge themselves.