‘Let young people fall in love with Chinese fashion products’
Exclusive interview of Yuhai, founder of ZombiesCat, with BH, as he delves into Intellectual Property, its enhancement and its future
IP has become an important melting pot of cultural and creative industries, and has been a topic of discussion among people. As lot of questions regarding what exactly is an IP, how to recognise its value and how to handle it arise, Mr Yuhai, founder of ZombiesCat, gives insights on the same.
His venture ZombiesCat has been commercially licensed in more than 100 categories such as clothing, digital 3C, home furnishing, bags and suitcases, tea, fast consumer goods, dolls, among many other categories. ZombiesCat has IP authorisation cooperation which includes Huawei, Skyworth, Dell (USA), Zippo (USA) and other domestic and foreign brands. The first independent clothing chain of ‘ZombiesCat’ was opened in Wuhan in 2017. By 2020, it has opened more than 70 stores, and its first overseas store was officially unveiled in Mexico in October 2019.
He says super IP must have three attributes at the same time – unique cultural penetration ability, strong cross-border cooperation ability and continuous realisation product ability. The more it is used, the more valuable it will be. IPs that do not conform to these three attributes tend to fall into self-satisfaction and become invalid IPs.
Yuhai says it is not important to be a brand that everyone likes, but it is about being focused and creating a cool label with a unique proposition.
He throws light on the fact that globally, it takes a generation or more to build a super IP, with an average of 18-20 years to blossom. “The first five years of investment were spent on Monster Cat, and the library needed tens of thousands of hours for research and development.”
He says, “There are a lot of IPs in China that imitate American and Japanese IPs, but behind them are American and Japanese cultural genes, and the underlying logic cannot be copied, so it is difficult for many content IPs to achieve long-term success in the past, and many of them are short-term behaviours.”
He walks down memory lane as to how he suffered many blows during the beginning of his business, and it affected him deeply. “After more than a year of adjusting myself, I finally met a stronger me”.
BH : As a creator, how did you get into the animation and IP field?
Yuhai: My cousin has been a well-known cartoonist in China. He has won the award for Top Ten People in the Industry. I have always been inspired to create good works like him. I learnt that using animation as IP can be applied to thousands of industries, and it can be more efficient to empower more enterprises.
BH : How did the ZombiesCat become the image of the venture’s IP?
Yuhai: Actually, I like dogs more, but the creation of this image is emotional. I found striking a cool tide direction with the expression of the cat as most accurate. The word ‘devil’ may be repelled against or hated by many people. However, bad experiences can often become the wealth of life experiences. When we face difficulties, we can accept them and overcome them, so that we can attain growth.
BH: Creating an original IP is a hard job, from your experience, what kind of mind course has it taken?
Yuhai: The early days of the IP were extremely difficult. You spent a lot of effort but it didn’t work out. The more one invests, the more scared and disappointed he or she became. One thing I would suggest is persistence and that the original intention remains unchanged.
Business projects are mostly to meet the needs of others, while cultural projects are based on your own inner needs. If your inner needs can resonate with others, you will be closer to success.
BH: ‘Going global’ has become an important trend and layout strategy in the development of many industries in China.
Yuhai: What we need to do now is to use ten years as the basic unit to develop our roots and deepen the root, do a good job in the domestic market, practice internal skills well, and then wait for the right opportunity and cooperation resources to follow the trend.
BH: The BH: ZombiesCat IP Trend Art exhibition has a wide range of exhibits. What do you think of holding your own exhibition showcasing works?
Yuhai:. I want to make a pure art exhibition to showcase, so that everyone can understand and realise the history and value of ZombiesCat IP. I have been working in this industry for 10 years, but in the field of contemporary art, China still lacks international IP and artists, especially in the field of fashion. I want to contribute some experimental results and exploration ideas to the industry. This art exhibition is also the beginning of my personal transformation from an entrepreneur to an artist.
BH: As the treasure of China’s cultural creation, how do you think it should be combined with IP?
Yuhai: As someone from China, I carry these elements and genes naturally in my bones. My aim is to create a kind of internal and external connection between the country and the nation through this IP.
Trend IP itself is very inclusive. The works in this art exhibition have the styles of modern, future, ancient and science fiction. I hope that it will not be limited by time, space and theme, and create cool and fashionable works at will, so as to entertain the readers.
BH : What do you think is the future development trend of IP in China?
Yuhai: IP will be localised, extensive and specialised in the future. Only when the country’s own cultural confidence is strong until a certain stage can the foundation and base of IP development be stable and the soil will be more fertile. All walks of life have the trend of IP.