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What it takes to rejuvenate a brand

For the past year Maxim’s MX, the fast food branch of the Maxim’s enterprise, has been on a mission to rejuvenate its brand.

Aimed to grab a share of younger audience from its Chinese fast food restaurant competitors as well as to stand out from traditional family members under the Maxim’s Group, which include the likes of Jade Garden, Jasmine Garden, 8 Happiness and Maxim’s Palace, Maxim’s MX has launched a push for its chicken pot, followed by a campaign for Chiu Chow food featuring Cantonese pop group, Mister.

Last Friday, the fast food restaurant saw a new campaign for its Korean stone rice that alludes to the well-loved Korean dramas.

Matthew Cheng, group account director for Grey Group – the creative agency in charge of the rebranding, said the strategy lies in three Ps: pop culture, product and persistence.

SEE THE TVCs below

Pop culture

“You need a point of communication with your target audience. Korea is famous for romantic dramas, so we alluded to that to bring out our dual Korean stone pot offerings,” said Cheng.

In the past, the chicken pot push was paired with popular mobile game, Fruit Ninja; while the Chiu Chow cuisine campaign saw an appearance by a Cantonese band.

“Although we don’t have a demographic in customers, we want to focus our communication on the 20-plus years-old age group because Maxim’s MX wants to drive more younger consumers.”

Linda Chan, head of marketing at Maxim’s Group quick service restaurant and catering services, food production centre, added that the energy is essential for rejuvenation.

“We’ve been in the industry for so long: we need something new. So it’s crucial that we make our communication appear younger so we have the energy to serve all our customers, whether young or old.”

“In the competitive market now, traditional ways of communication will not appeal even to the mass; we have to make ourselves unique,” she said.

Product

“Product is where every conversation begins: it’s the backbone of our mantra of Maxim’s MX being an innovative platform, whether in product or communication. So what you see are offerings that you’ve never seen before, such as chicken pots and Chiu Chow food; and though we’ve seen Korean stone rice, having fish rather than red meats is the first.”

Chan agreed, adding that her biggest challenge is conveying food quality to consumers.

“Food is food: it’s relatively good everywhere, so by coming up with innovative products and gimmicks to market these products is what we’re most concerned with. In our Chiu Chow cuisine push, for example, we stuck a wall-sized sticker of a typical Chiu Chow food stall at some of our outlets.”

Persistence

To fully replace one brand image with another, Cheng said the silver bullet to success is persistence and consistency. His solution? The appearances of “MX Studio” and the chefs of Maxim’s MX.

Crafted as the inspiration centre for the chefs at Maxim’s MX, MX Studio acts as the bridge between mainstream culture and the man in white hats in every TVC.

In both the chicken pot and the Chiu Chow cuisine pushes, for example, the customer is seen eating inside a MX Studio when the gastronomic flavours hit them; in the recent stone pot push, moreover, the chefs are seen watching a dramatic ending to a Korean show for inspiration prior to coming up with the new menu.

“The chefs are our core communication platform – that’s the most distinctive element in our communication. Through the concept of MX Studio, we want to convey to our audience that we’re constantly inspired by what they like and that our food and people are really the best.”

“We want consumers to think we’re innovative: and MX Studio and our chefs do just that,” added Chan. “Fast food has always been thought to be a functional thing, sort of like a sweatshop operation. But we don’t want that, so the humane side of our chefs is our symbol for consumers to remember.”

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