Last night, llaollao Singapore posted a lengthy statement on its Facebook page, to reveal its impending return to the country, much to the fanfare of customers. In the statement, llaollao Singapore said that it “deeply regret[s] the discomfort” generated for customers following the closure of its 29 outlets. It also emphasised that it has “absolutely nothing to do with Yolé Frozen Yogurt”, adding:
It is a totally new brand in the frozen yogurt market that does not exist in Europe, even though it has been advertised as such.
Furthermore, the statement clarified that the products served in Yolé outlets since 7 December 2017 has nothing to do with the llaollao brand, its official network of suppliers and quality systems. It added that some of the new Yolé outlets might still have available stock of some llaollao product but do not have and will not be able to have the frozen yogurt and the rest of llaollao products.
“We want to let you know that we are far from finished in Singapore. On the contrary, we are working to keep llaollao in the country and to guarantee that the brand continues to be a leader in the frozen yogurt market, as we achieved thanks to you,” the statement said.
Read the full statement here:
Marketing has reached out to both llaollao Singapore and D+1 Holdings for comment.
In a conversation with Marketing, Andrew Crombie, founder of branding firm crombie.design, said that this was the right move by Llaollao, as their brand had previously established brand equity with Singapore consumers. For now, D+1 has the distribution in place but no brand equity in Yolé, he said.
People buy brands not places, so until Yolé is established emotionally, llaollao has a strong chance to get back in to the market.
“No matter what happens, unless llaollao changes something in their offer, it will struggle to regain their previous share,” Crombie explained.
Also weighing in was Luke Lim, CEO of A.S. Louken, who said that when llaollao makes its return, it would be about brand retention and maintaining brand equity. This is because laollao has been around for years, cementing its position as a key player in the yogurt industry in the minds of customers. As such moving forward, llaollao should be focusing on regaining a foothold in all the strong locations in Singapore.
“Around 70% to 80% of yogurt sales and consumption is based on impulse buying, as such, visibility and a good location strategy is crucial for success. llaollao also needs to constantly keep in mind what its strengths are which excites customers and make it even more exciting,” Lim said.
Will this impact Yolé’s efforts to establish itself?
For the case of Yolé, as it is building from scratch a new brand in Singapore, it would take some time to fill up the same level of brand equity. According to Lim, this includes customer trust, relationships and engagement.
“It has already won half the battle with good locations and will be able to win customers who are not as brand-focussed, as long as the visibility is there,” Lim said.
What it has to do is go through the typical brand process and focus on bolstering its quality standards and customer store experiences to build the overall experience for consumers.
While it claims to have a wider menu offering as opposed to llaollao, where or not this takes off is for customers to judge.
Meanwhile, Crombie said that llaollao’s successful attempt to re-penetrate the market will also depend on how fast and smart it acts.
“Judging by various product reviews, Yolé is a more-than-passable alternative for llaollao and so speed is essential before llaollao loyalists add Yolé to their brand repertoire,” Crombie explained.
As it will take some time for llaollao to re-establish a strong physical presence in Singapore, Crombie added that llaollao should be looking at strategies to maintain top-of-mind awareness. This is to keep brand equity high whilst it re-establishes its retail presence. As such, looking at pop-ups or other mobile distribution, as well as other marketing programmes to maintain a connection with the brand will be critical.
The past two weeks has been a whirlwind one for llaollao, with its abrupt exit in Singapore last week, and quick replacement by yogurt brand Yolé. In a statement to Marketing, a D+1 Holdings spokesperson said at the time that the company felt the llaollao menu was “exhausted after three years” of being in the business.
“Objectively, we believe Yole is a better product and has a wider menu. We also firmly believe that Yolé will suit the Singapore market with exciting flavour innovations and well-known toppings from Spain and Italy,” the spokesperson said to Marketing at the time.