Mar 04 2012
First of all, let me confess I’m not familiar with the market of instant noodles. I’m not a regular consumer of instant mee and I don’t how many such brands or types of noodles in the market.
But a discussion yesterday and today inspired me to think about how to compete in the instant noodles market.
Let’s say you have a brand new XYZ mee to sell, how would you compete against giant brands in the market, say Maggi Mee or Cintan Mee?
Are you thinking of new flavors? You want to introduce new tastes currently not offered by Maggi and Cintan? Do you think they can’t do the same and do it better than you?
How about lowering your price and sell cheaper than them? If they charge RM4 per pack (I don’t know how much), then how about you sell at RM3.50? You think they can’t just lower some of their prices and immediately kill you off?
How about competing by promotion? Good if you have more money and better resources than Maggi and Cintan. What if you don’t have? Even if you have, why waste so much money doing the same things as they do?
Build a better brand? You know how many years it took Maggi and Cintan to imprint their brand into our minds? Will you do a better job and do it faster than them in branding?
How about these ideas?
- Focus on cup noodles - Don’t stretch yourself too thin. Just focus on cup noodles.
- Sell the cups - Shift your focus from the noodles to the cups. Sell the cups instead of noodles.
- More than just noodle cups – Make the cups green and friendly to the environment. Make it versatile that it can be used to fill water and other stuff too. Make it attractive with varieties like iPhone covers that people will admire you for carrying the cups.
- Give away the noodles - For those who come to buy noodles with their cup, sell the noodles at dirt cheap price. I’m thinking of 20 cents per cup or even free!
- Build community - Build a community of fans who are proud to carry the noodle cups around and show off to their friends. Make good use of Internet and social media to build a strong following.
Do you think Maggi and Cintan can do the same? Sure they can try. But somehow this is a whole new rule of game and it’s not easy for them to change their business model overnight. Doing so might just harm and cannibalize on their existing offerings.
So, don’t sell the noodles, sell the cups! Don’t think inside the box, but get out of the box and think!
Does it work? I don’t know. You tell me. But it sounds better to me than selling another Maggi clone.
And if there are such noodle cups for sale in the market, will you buy and refill the cups with cheap but tasty noodles every now and then?
Perhaps then I’ll start to consume more instant noodles