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After 25 years of development, it is still waving a hoe to the new land.
The prototype of homophonic stem “Yali mountain” comes from Alexander, king of Macedonia in the 3rd century BC. He is the first of the four greatest military commanders in European history, and later became the figure pattern of plum blossom K in playing cards.
After more than 20 centuries, this poker pattern has become the logo of a coffee brand in Eastern countries, which is called lucky coffee.
As a coffee brand of Michelle ice city, lucky coffee currently has more than 1300 stores. From 500 to 1000, it took only six months.
After the layout of milk tea stores was almost saturated, Michelle ice city aimed at the coffee market. What remained unchanged was that the product pricing was still very “people-friendly”. The sinking market of coffee gradually ushers in more competition. Can lucky coffee who cries out “high-quality and affordable” still fight a path like the snow ice city in those days?
In 2017, Michelle ice city celebrated its 20th anniversary, but there are only a thousand stores. However, such a grass-roots brand quietly made two actions in this year:
The first is to incubate a coffee brand lucky coffee; The second is to invest in a high-end ice cream brand that is still unfamiliar to the outside world – polar chart.
In the two years before lucky coffee started, its development speed was significantly lower than that of honey snow ice city in the same period. Limited by products, pricing, channels, promotion and so on, lucky coffee has only about 20 stores for a long time.
Until 2019, lucky coffee ushered in a period of rapid development, led by Zhang Hongfu, the younger brother of Zhang Hongchao, the founder of Michelle ice city, and the general manager of Michelle ice city.
The next year, Zhang Hongfu said in an open letter that it would take five years to replicate a Michelle ice city in the field of affordable coffee.
How to copy? Low price is obviously the first item to be copied. The product price of lucky coffee is generally set at 5 ~ 12 yuan, which is similar to the price band of honey snow ice city.
Zhang brothers have also tried to take a higher price band. According to reports, Zhang Hongfu tried high-end milk tea shops in Zhengzhou in 2009, but ended up making only 6100 yuan in two and a half years.
Since then, Michelle ice city has adhered to the low price line. Even the high-end ice cream brand extreme Latu, which it invests in, also significantly lowered the product pricing in April this year, for example, the double ball ice cream was reduced from 26 yuan to 11 yuan.
The second is that lucky coffee has also copied the joining mode of Michelle ice city.
In April, 2020, lucky coffee officially opened to join. Then lucky coffee entered the stage of attacking cities and territories, so that at present, you can see the phone number of the store on the order page of lucky coffee wechat applet.
Similar to miyue ice city, which is located on campus, streets and shopping malls, lucky coffee’s location is also officially divided into schools, shopping malls and shopping malls. There are also many stores that simply and rudely put them next to Ruixing coffee, and lengbuding stole the flow of people from the latter.
While competing with coffee shop rivals in the market, many franchisees of lucky coffee are also worried about the diversion of customers in the nearby miyue ice city. After all, the coffee products left in the Michelle Ice City store are also consciously or unconsciously cultivating the coffee drinking habits of young people in the town.
It is not difficult to see that there is an inextricable love between lucky coffee and Michelle ice city.
In the entrepreneurial stage of Michelle ice city, Zhang Hongfu once played the role of new product research and development, brand alliance, product publicity, etc. beside his brother. In the absence of funds, Zhang Hongfu even taught himself CorelDRAW and Photoshop software to design posters by himself.
After Zhang Hongfu led the lucky coffee team, he also did not forget to quickly upgrade the brand image and menu. Lucky coffee soon shared the advertising design cooperation company China and China of Michelle ice city.
At present, the brand image of lucky coffee has been changed from the original small blue cup to the king of poker plum blossom K. The King has a crown on his head, wears sunglasses, and his curly beard reveals a full style of a big brand.
After improving the brand image, lucky coffee has entered the stage of rapid expansion. From one store to 1000 stores, it took 17 years for Michelle ice city, but this number is only 5 years for lucky coffee.
And play the “honest” card
“Real people are sincere about real products. Don’t take shortcuts or cheat.” On the company’s official website, lucky coffee posted the core values of the enterprise. This core value is very simple, like a promise made by an old farmer selling tofu to the villagers who buy tofu.
It can be seen that lucky coffee intends to create an “honest man” design. Zhang Hongchao said, “just sell your best price honestly. You can’t pack it or carry it. It’s convenient for consumers to make decisions.”
The material of “honest people” cannot be empty.
When introducing the products, lucky coffee said that its coffee beans are Arabica beans from Colombia, Brazil and other places, and the thick coconut milk of fino brand used in coconut latte is very similar to those of Starbucks, Ruixing and other brands.
But a cup of coconut latte is priced at 10 yuan, a cup of cappuccino is 8 yuan, and a cup of light milk latte is only 5 yuan.
The key to maintaining such a low price without losing money is that lucky coffee can take advantage of the mature R & D, production, logistics and warehousing industrial chain of Michelle ice city.
Henan Daka Food Co., Ltd. and Shangdao smart supply chain Co., Ltd., affiliated companies of miyue ice city, are also serving lucky coffee at the same time. Through the bulk purchase of two brands to reduce the cost of coffee beans, lucky coffee has the core competitiveness of keeping prices down.
Under the appearance of “honest people”, Michelle ice city also has a good marketing plan.
Last year, a song “Honey snow ice city sweet honey” relied on brainwashing lyrics and tunes to circle, which fully brushed the sense of existence; In the summer of this year, the marketing of “dark snow city”, which turns the logo “Snow King” into black, has attracted hundreds of millions of attention.
With the minimum cost and maximum attention, the marketing of Michelle ice city is enough to crush many Internet companies with innovative labels.
It is undeniable that lucky coffee has not received the high-profile attention like honey snow ice city since it was launched five years ago. But I believe that under Zhang Hongfu’s operation, lucky coffee’s version of “song of snow ice city” or “blackening” should not be far away.
Is sinking coffee a good market?
Many milk tea brands such as Xicha, Naixue’s tea and shuyishaoxiancao have successively laid out the coffee market. It is not surprising that milk tea enterprises develop the coffee market.
For Michelle ice city, it may be more necessary to find a second track besides milk tea. At present, Michelle ice city has more than 20000 stores nationwide, covering tier one, two, three, four and five cities, and the market is close to saturation.
If we further increase the store density of Michelle ice city, we can only disperse the passenger flow, resulting in lower single store revenue. As a result, the coffee market outside milk tea has become the next battlefield that must be considered by Michelle ice city.
But for Zhang Hongfu, coffee products are no stranger. As early as 2009, he used sugar, ground fat and coffee powder to make an original coffee drink, which sold well at the price of one yuan per cup, even though customers at that time didn’t even know what the real “cappuccino” was like.
Although Michelle ice city said that the lucky coffee market will not distinguish between the sinking market and the high-end market, the low price of lucky coffee has been properly divided into the sinking market by the outside world.
The report released by Ping An Securities at the end of 2021 pointed out that the coffee penetration rate in the first and second tier cities has reached 67%, and the coffee shops are becoming saturated. Entering the sinking market has become the only way to achieve high growth.
According to the “2022 report on the development of China’s locally made coffee category” released by meituan, the number of coffee takeout orders in the third tier cities in 2021 increased nearly twice year-on-year in 2020, and the number of coffee takeout orders in the sinking market increased by more than 250% year-on-year, which seems to have become a blue ocean market.
However, low-cost coffee is not the unique advantage of lucky coffee. Convenience stores such as family, Rosen, 7-Eleven and fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s and KFC also have coffee with a unit price as low as single digits. Whether lucky coffee can compete with these competitors while maintaining considerable quality is also a problem that lucky coffee needs to consider.
Besides lucky coffee, Michelle ice city has bigger ideas. In July 2021, Michelle ice city announced the construction of its Asian headquarters in Qingbaijiang District of Chengdu, which is expected to be completed and put into operation in 2023. In the same year, Michelle ice city has begun to receive listing guidance, which is close to IPO.
As the most famous and youngest military genius in world history, Alexander was only 20 years old when he completed the great cause of reunification. Coincidentally, Zhang Hongchao was also 20 years old when he opened his first milk tea shop in Zhengzhou in 1997.
Today, after 25 years of development, Michelle ice city is still waving a hoe to the new land.