• Pedestrians walk outside Tsingtao Brewery in Qingdao Beer Street in the town of Qingdao, Shandong Province.

Pedestrians walk outside Tsingtao Brewery in Qingdao Beer Street in the town of Qingdao, Shandong Province. (Photo : Getty Images)

According to a beer mogul, "Time-honored" brands should innovate in order to stay young in the modern market while sticking to their traditional values.

Sun Mingo, the chairman of Tsingtao Brewery, said that old brands should make new changes to meet the changing demands of the market.

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Sun is also a deputy to the National People's Congress and made the remark on the sidelines of the two annual sessions of China's top legislative and political advisory bodies.

The flagship beverage of the brewery is Tsingtao Beer, which is based in Qingdao, a beach-lined city located on China's east coast. It was founded over 100 years ago when the Germans set up an Anglo-Germany brewery in the country.

Tsingtao Beer has remained one of the most beloved drinks among Chinese people despite how the ownership of the company changed throughout the years. According to a brand value assessment report last year, Tsingtao Beer is the Number 1 time-honored brand, having a total value of $5.18 billion.

Sun backed this up and said: "The secret to its long-standing popularity lies in the company's constant innovation and commitment to quality and craftsmanship."

"Time-honored brand" is a designation that is granted to a brand with a long history. Only 20 percent to 30 percent of over 1,100 time-honored brands accredited by the Ministry of Commerce have fared well. A lot of them are currently facing challenges, struggling to survive in the modern market.

Tsingtao Brewery explored various types of drinks to address the different segments of the market. They explored dark beer, green beer, pilsner, draft beer and fruit beer. In an attempt to woo a larger customer base across the world, they also launched special limited edition packs for major world sports events, celebratory events and popular movies.

Sun also called for protecting the intellectual property rights, mergers and acquisitions of time-honored brands. In his opinion, the government should allow these brands to apply for protective registration in order to avoid copycats.