Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Chinese Brand: How Does Sexy Salad Use O2O Win The Market?

Diet lifestyle is becoming popular in the Chinese market, especially among the young generation group. In recent year, more and more young Chinese people are aware the importance of being healthy. They start to exercise in the gym regularly and eat low-calories food.
Eating salad becomes one of the most popular diet trends right now. Sexy Salad is a very successful salad brand in China.
From Google Image
Obviously, the main menu that Sexy Salad offers is the salad. Its major target customers are gym guys who want to reduce fat as well as grow muscles. Currently, Sexy Salad creates over 100 salad varieties to meet customer diet needs.
From Google Image
Even though Sexy Salad runs less than two years, the annual revenue has reached ¥60 million. The company has completed the fourth round of financing, and final round of financing is invested by Baifu Holdings which is the Chinese largest PE institution.
How does Sexy Salad have so outstanding performance in such short term?

  • Offline Promotion: Focus On The Right Target Customers
Start With Testing:
When Sexy Salad launched the new salad for the first time on 2015, they built a focus group with 20 highly target customers (gym guys) to test the new salad in a coffee shop.
Share In The Wechat App Friend Circle:
After those gym guys tried the new salad, they felt very satisfied with the taste of the salad. Then, they took pictures and shared them on the friend circle. Surprisingly, more than 30 fitness centers asked for the partnership with Sexy Salad in the following week.
Concentrate On Fitness Centers:
Since Sexy Salad mainly focuses on gym guys, it highly concentrated on promoting the brand in local fitness centers. The company spent six months to visit more than 200 local fitness centers at Shenzhen, China. They spent the whole week to promote their salad in each fitness center. As the result, they quickly reached 1000 daily orders at that time. Now the daily orders are over 5000. The monthly income stabilized at around ¥400,000.
  • Online Promotion: Mobile-Friendly Learning Experience Leads to Sales
For the online promotion, Sexy salad uses Wechat App as their primary online promotion channel. In order to build mobile-friendly learning experience, they write creative and relevant content on their official Wechat page. People who love diet food like to follow them, read their content, and share it. Therefore, more and more people can learn the science and art of their salad.
From Google Image
Sexy Salad also runs ad promotion and spread coupons via Wechat App. This way can attract potential customers to visit their local store and try their salad. If customers like it, they are more likely to post the salad pictures on their friend circle. Then, Sexy Salad can grow more potential customers.
From Google Image
According to the DMR report, there are about 963 million monthly Wechat users in China. Wechat is not only a primary message tool for users but also a popular promotion channel for business.
Sexy Salad knows who are their primary target customer group–gym guys who pursue a healthy lifestyle as well as build muscle. Therefore, it creates special salads to satisfy their nutrition needs. Concentrating on the right customers helps Sexy Salad build brand awareness effectively.
Nowadays, we are hard to survive without Smartphone. DMR reported that 50% of Wechat users spend at least 90 minutes per day.  Using Wechat App as primary promotion channel definitely helps Sexy Salad reach potential customers sustainably.
Reference Links:

Monday, September 25, 2017

What’s to Expect: Two Limited McDonald’s Signature Crafted Burgers Are Just Launched in China

Recently, McDonald’s teamed up with superstar Nicholas Tse and star chef Ramón Freire to launch limited signature crafted burgers in China. Each star created one special burger and named after himself.
This time, McDonald’s brings  “Nicholas Cool Spicy Chicken Burger” and “Ramón Crispy Beef Burger”.
Nicholas Cool Spicy Chicken Burger From the McDonald Chinese Official Website
Ramón Crispy Beef Burger From the McDonald Chinese Official Website

In addition, McDonald’s adds limited “Honey Mustard Fries” and “Nicholas Cookies Bubble Tea” as afternoon tea choices.

Honey Mustard Fries From the McDonald. CN
Cookie Bubble Tea from McDonalds.cn
This is not the first time for McDonald’s to team up with superstars to launch signature crafted burgers. Last year, McDonald’s teamed up with star chef Ramón Freire to create two premium burgers: “Mexico BBQ Chicken Burger” and ” Egg Beef Burger with Creamy Nut Sauce”.

From Sohu News
According to the SoHu News, McDonald’s made 3,495,944 sales miracles in only 21 days last year! Will they create a new miracle record this year?
How Does McDonald’s  Promote Their New Premium Burgers?
  • “Card” Advertising in the Friend’s circle
This is the first time for McDonald’s to choose “card” advertising in the circle of friends. By offering “Star Flavor” or “Dark Cuisine” choices, users can choose whatever they like. Users are more actively immersed in the interaction with the brand. It also increases the brand popularity.
From Social Beta
  • Social Media Promotion
Weibo is one of the most popular and largest social media sites in China. McDonald’s posted premium burgers ads on their timeline by updating the new profile picture and slides to grab fan’s attention.
When you click on the slide, it will directly link to the McDonald’s online order page. It not only increases the click-through rate but also promotes potential sales.
From Weibo
  • Spread New Combo Coupons
People love coupons! McDonald’s offers several new premium combo coupons to increase customer’s motivation and desire to try new burgers. Customers can easily redeem the coupon by showing the QR code to cashiers. This mobile-friendly way can bring more mobile users to interact with the brand.

From Weibo

Unfortunately, the limited premium burgers are only available at McDonald’s local stores in China until the end of this October.
Reference Links:
McDonald’s Chinese Offical Website: https://www.mcdonalds.com.cn/news/New-Premium-Burger
McDonald’s official Weibo: http://weibo.com/mcdonaldsworlds?is_hot=1

Monday, March 6, 2017

Chipotle Love Story-A Fresh Way to Brand Itself but......

Google Image
Chipotle is one of the most popular Mexican-style fast food chain restaurants. They sell taco, burrito, bowls, salads and corn chips. The ingredients are fresh and healthy, and people can watch how their food are really cooked from the transparent window. I always order the chicken bowl and burrito when I visit there.

Google Image
Recently I saw a lovely Chipotle animated ad was named “A Love Story”. One of my friends shared it on the Facebook. The ad talks about a little boy runs an orange juice stand, but many people are waiting for the fresh lemonade which is from a lemonade stand owned by a little girl across the street.

The little boy wants to date with this little girl, but he has no money. The only way to make his dream come true is to raise the money. Thus, he starts to post orange juice ad fliers in the neighborhood. Later on, he gets more business come in, but it hurts the girl’s business. The girl gets angry and starts to compete with the boy all the time until their small juice stands turn into fancy fast food restaurants.

Both of them look success, but they are not happy at all. When they drink their juices, they taste awful. Then, they check their factories and see all the burgers and foods are produced by the machine. They have not tasted fresh anymore. This is not what they want to sell, so they try to stop the machine. However, the machine throws them out to the trash.

These poor man and woman meet again on the street with dirty clothes. They found their old promotion fliers which were made when they were kids. It reminds them their original intention. The boy wants to date with this girl, and they want to sell fresh juice! That’s all they want! At the end, they are fall in love and start their small business to make fresh meals.



This ad is a lovely and happy ending story. From the ad, we can see the main selling point of Chipotle is freshness. Their food is unlike other fast food like burgers which are tasted greasy.
After I watch this ad, my biggest question is: Are burger businesses really the direct competitors with Chipotle?
From the food freshness point, burger businesses could be competitors with Chipotle. Most people perceive burgers are not healthy food. Chipotle offers fresh ingredients which are healthy and nutritious.
However, I never think Chipotle’s major competitors are burger businesses such as McDonald or Burger King. The reasons are:
  • Their businesses are totally in different styles.
McDonald is the classic American-style restaurant, but Chipotle is the Mexican-style restaurant. Their businesses are not the same kind of style, so they should not compare with each other.
  • Their food is totally different.
McDonald offers all kinds of burgers and potato fries. The hamburgers are round which contains bread, beef patties, lettuces, onions, cheese and special sauce. However, Chipotle offers all kinds of Mexico food such as tacos, burrito, corn chips and rice bowl. They are made in different shapes. And, their main ingredients are rice, beans, lettuces, peppers, steaks, and chicken. Thus, I don’t think they are selling the same kind of food at all.
Google Image
  • Their major target customers may be different.
Even though both McDonald and Chipotle are targeting everyone, their major target customers still have some differences. According to McDonald’s website, they said they seek to appeal to a wide range of people, from families who love our Happy Meal to workers grabbing breakfast on-the-go or eating in to enjoy our freshly ground coffee and free WiFi.
According to the Chipotle target audience research, Chipotle has targeted millennial who are people between the ages of 23 to 36 for its primary customer segment. This target customer group tends to pursue a healthy lifestyle, so they are more likely to choose fresh food.
McDonald can be one of the substitutes of Chipotle, but it should not be the major competitor of Chipotle. The direct competitors of Chipotle should be Taco Bell, Fields Good Chicken, and other Mexican-style fast food restaurants which produce similar food.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Two Main Concerns on Mobile Shopping

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When I shop online, I never shop through Mobile. I feel it is funny that even though mobile has become an important part of my life, I still prefer buying on my desktop instead of buying on mobile.

Mobile-commerce shopping trends show that the main reason that people don't choose mobile shopping is poor user experience. According to the research, users get so frustrated when trying to shop on their phones that they far more often than not abandon the process. In the second quarter of 2015, U.S. adults spent 59% of their time on mobile and 41% on desktop, but just 15% of their dollars on mobile and a staggering 85% of their dollars on the desktop. 

When I read this statistic, I feel interesting but not surprise. Because of mobile device limitation, it is true that users are difficult to get great shopping experience on mobile. Statista study also summarized that users prefer shopping on PC because they could get a larger and clear image of the product as well as a detail product information.
Data Point: Why Shoppers Prefer Buying on PCs over Mobile Device
Personally, I don't have a mobile shopping habit because I have two serious concerns about mobile shopping:

If I lose my phone...

No matter shopping online or on the mobile, they require us to enter our credit card and bank information on the checkout page. For shopping convenience, many businesses recommend users to save the credit card information on the commerce site or to link the mobile app to a bank account directly. 

Google Image
When I shop online, I feel more control of my privacy. For example, I don't have to link my credit card to any e-commerce sites if I don't want to.Most e-commerce sites also offer many different payment options to complete the transactions. I can always choose a secure way to make a purchase.

However, I would never enter any credit card information on the mobile shopping app especially when it requires to link my bank account in order to access the app. For me, when I sign in a mobile app, I usually don't like to sign out when I leave. I am afraid that if I lose my phone by accident, all of my privacy information such as bank information, contacts, and social media will be exposed to high risk because everyone can access my apps. I will totally lose control of my privacy and feel insecure. 

If I get fraud payment...

One of my friends is living in the UK now. Two months ago, she told me that her Fiverr App was charged $300 on a taxi, but she has not used that app for over one year. She was totally freaking out because she couldn't access her account without a valid U.S. phone number. It was a very bad experience to fix the problem and get her money back.

I feel unbelievable and also very sorry to hear her experience. In order to avoid fraud payment, I never install any app which requires linking either my phone number or bank account. I don't want this kind experience to happen. And I hate to waste my time to deal with fraud payment especially when it is always useless.

At the end:

Even though many mobile shopping apps provide better UX design, many users still don't choose to shop on Mobile because of privacy and security concerns. In the other words, if we don't trust mobile shopping, so we don't buying on mobile.