Is it crazy to make instant coffee for three and a half meals?

In the face of this Red Sea market, let’s not talk about Starbucks, Luckin, and even coffee, even McDonald’s and KFC in the fast food camp, 7-Eleven in the convenience store camp, FamilyMart, and even Zhong Xuegao, who sells ice cream, and Sinopec, who sells gasoline. They all joined the coffee track one after another.

Driven by them, freshly ground coffee has become the mainstream trend. Instant coffee represented by Nestlé and Maxwell is gradually being dismissed. Everyone seems to have forgotten the era of “drinking a cup of instant coffee and being complacent.”

With the advent of the third coffee wave, if anyone dared to make instant coffee now, there is a high probability that they will be asked “Is it crazy?” But “three and a half meals” broke this calm.

The dark horse of the coffee industry
In our cognition, instant and boutique are two incompatible antonyms. The Sandton brand combines the two together, positioning itself as a “premium instant coffee.” In their own words, the LABS (Non-Destructive Flavor Extraction System) technology they participated in the research and development can retain the coffee flavor to the greatest extent and achieve 3 seconds of instant dissolution.

When more and more retail brands are laying out coffee tracks and building up consumers’ coffee drinking habits and dependence on coffee, they just give three and a half more room for growth. After all, they still want to drink a cup of coffee that tastes good. The coffee is not drunk.

According to the report of 36Kr Pro: In the “Double 11” in 2018, Santon and a half became the second place in the whole coffee category (the first place was Nestlé). In the “Double 11” in 2019, the turnover of three and a half meals was ten times that of the “Double 11” in 2018, and the sales on that day exceeded the whole year of 2018. During the “Double 11” period in 2020, the transaction volume exceeded 100 million, becoming the TOP1 brewing category and the TOP1 coffee category on Tmall.

On the crowded coffee track, Santon succeeded in finding his place. As a niche brand, Sandunban also has a good set of user operations.

Three and a half meals “fishing with a net”
To most consumers, Sandun is like an Internet celebrity brand that has suddenly emerged, but in fact, this specialty coffee brand, established in 2015, has always had the potential of Internet celebrity.

It abandons the traditional plastic bag packaging of instant coffee and uses a highly recognizable “cup” to create a super symbol of the brand. Many users also like to leave the cups behind to grow plants or make other decorations.

This memorable small cup is not only the packaging, but also the point of interaction between the brand and the user, making consumers reluctant to throw it away. It is said that making a brand is like falling in love with users, so how do three and a half meals “cast a net for fishing”?

1. Cold start in the “down kitchen” and find a batch of seed users

Three and a half meals became popular in the “Xia Kitchen APP”. This app is believed to be known to foodies. There are a large number of food lovers gathered here, and they have more discerning taste buds than ordinary users.

Three and a half meals were sent to some users to test product samples. After their feedback, the three and a half early products were continuously optimized, improved, and polished, and even attracted the attention of the official team of Xia Kitchen and gave traffic support. Until the product was mature, the three and a half times moved to the Taobao store, and the seed users of Xia Kitchen successfully “turned into fans”.

2. Set up a mysterious navigator, “tap water” drainage

Many brands have their own “hidden rules”, such as Hermès’ mysterious “distribution rules”, Michelin restaurant’s very secret unannounced selection mechanism… and Sandton has also designed a mysterious ” “Navigator” role. It’s not that you can buy a lot and you can become a member. Instead, you will arrange for three and a half meals to pay attention to the brand-related UGC content in various channels. After the team predicts that there is a “navigator potential”, the product will be sent to the other party. Maintain communication and keep abreast of the other party’s experience and ideas about the product.

It is said that the three and a half navigators have now grown to more than 500 people. When dozens of navigators make the same suggestion, it will definitely change the improvement of the product. According to them, the navigator is “the person who points the way and the direction to the product”, in plain terms it is the “tester”, and if you use the marketing circle to interpret it, the action of three and a half meals is to excavate and cultivate KOC.

From the information on its official website, it can be seen that these navigators are not necessarily big Vs in a certain field, but more amateurs, and most of them are full of literary temperament, such as photographers, illustrators, dessert chefs, etc., in line with the brand tone , Many product pictures circulating on the Internet are contributed by this group of “navigators”.

3. “Be careful of the machine” makes you a repeat customer

In addition to finding seed users and cultivating KOCs, whether users can repurchase after trying new products depends largely on product strength, but in addition, Sandton also has a “chic” user retention plan: “Return to Air” “Plan” means an empty can recycling plan.

The brand cooperates with some offline spaces such as bookstores and shopping malls to set up points. Users can make an online appointment to go to the “homeward point”. The empty cans provided can be used to save “energy” to exchange for coffee or other peripherals. This wave of operations will again Make you feel good about the brand.

In Japan, there is a takeaway brand called “Yuziwu”. Its tableware is not disposable. Instead, it sends people to customers to recycle bento boxes every afternoon. Although it is time-consuming and laborious, it not only alleviates the environmental damage and waste of resources caused by disposable tableware, but also adds points to the positive image of its own brand. This alone has attracted a lot of fans.

Why Sandunban can become a brand that “makes people fall in love at a glance” is largely because every step of its development is to “build an intimate relationship with users.”

What marketing tricks did you use for three and a half coffees?
First, small-scale trial and error, close communication with seed users. In the matter of cultivating seed users, many brands only stay at the level of “finding” and lack the action of “continuous communication” later.

Xiaomi’s entrepreneurial story is talked about, because it attracted many digital enthusiasts and mobile phone enthusiasts in the Xiaomi community to give feedback on the products, and the brand continued to communicate closely with users and pay attention to users’ voices, and this group of seed users Become the earliest “supporter” of Xiaomi. Until now, Xiaomi still writes “Because of rice noodles, so Xiaomi” on every sales receipt.

When the traffic becomes more expensive, the trial and error cost of the brand becomes higher and higher. After three and a half meals, Xiaomi products showed “restraint” in marketing in the early stage, instead of pushing immature products to the market quickly. Of course, there must be cost constraints, but in the process of users participating in product polishing, it not only strengthens the communication between the brand and fans, and cultivates loyalty, it is also a small-scale trial and error process that allows the value of the product to be continuously verified. , Improve the success rate and reduce risks on the road of “making the brand bigger”.

Second, instead of catching people from the vast sea, it is better to start from a tributary to cultivate loyal fans. Before going on the market, Zhong Xuegao, who sells ice cream, took a fancy to the Xiaohongshu platform with the highest matching degree. However, Zhong Xuegao did not regard Xiaohongshu as a channel for distribution, but from the perspective of brand cooperation, he hoped to obtain more support and resources from Xiaohongshu. To this end, Zhong Xuegao tried every means to get every staff member of Xiaohongshu to try Zhong Xuegao’s products to impress them, and finally got the support and training of Xiaohongshu. It only took more than three months to achieve No. 1 in the number of notes and topics in Xiaohongshu.

For product launches, we are easiest to think of top traffic platforms such as WeChat and Douyin. Sandun chose the vertical platform for launching, which is more accurate and sticky. It is also easier to get support from the platform and get more. The traffic support and content feedback help start-up brands optimize their products and promote them on large platforms after the finished products are mature, with a higher success rate.