Resilient brands: Tongrentang

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I remember hearing how few companies | brands listed on the Dow Jones over the past 50 years are still going, so I was surprised to find out Tongrentang which has been successfully in business for almost four centuries.

Tong Ren Tang

The Chinese medicine company enjoyed a royal warrant from the Qing dynasty until their overthrow in 1911 and has operated out of the same premises in Beijing for over three centuries.

The company survived the world war, civil war and the cultural revolution to become arguably the pre-eminent brand for the supply of Chinese medicine products. Over the past decade Li Ka-shing better known for his pioneering investment in Orange and 3 invested in Tongrentang to become its largest shareholder.

The company survived by sticking to what it did well, being true to itself and providing for a need that is timeless: that is the desire for good health. They also knew when to move with them times, with a recent move into wellness, international outlets and even a website (love the cheesy communist design cues, not so keen on the language button that doesn’t work properly.