"Slorn" proposal How to expand the market

SLORN CONNECTS MORE THAN 280 SPECIAL COFFEE SHOPS IN METROPOLITAN CITIES WITH COFFEE LOVERS IN THE AREAS

WHAT ARE THE CONSTRAINTS OF SLORNS

  • The third wave of coffee shop only comes to the metropolitan areas in Japan, especially TOKYO.
  • The number of coffee shops in other cities (Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Fukuoka) are limited.
  • The main language in the apps is Japanese, making it difficult for foreigners to use.
  • At the present, there is limited communication between customers and shops on the app. Without "like" & "comment", customers will find it difficult to decide which shops to go.

WHAT MAKES SLORN UNIQUE

  • Have information of most of traditional and unique coffee shops in metropolitan cities, especially Tokyo.
  • Many of those coffee shops remind about Kissaten (traditional Japanese tea-house).
  • Do not include international brands (Starbucks, Tully’s, Douter, McCafe).
  • Users can find favorite coffee shops, read comments, compare quality, receive discount and promotion.

IF "SLORN" FOCUSES ON THE SPECIAL COFFEE SHOPS, WHY NOT MAKE IT A TOURISM SERVICE ONLY AVAILABLE IN JAPANESE METROPOLITAN CITIES?

Keeping the value of "Slorn" and expanding the market simultaneously are my target. My proposal is about creating a special platform for Japanese cultural immersion, which includes, but not limited to traditional-architecture coffee shops, best-flavor coffee shops, cat coffee shops, manga coffee shops and cosplay coffee shops, with the first testing system conducted in Tokyo. Due to the vast number of foreign travelers and a significant number of unique coffee shops, Tokyo is the appropriate place to test this system.

A cat cafe in Tokyo

The new platform will provide a wide variety of choices for travelers to explore the uniqueness of Japanese value. Travelers can filter the result to reduce the number of options, thus reduce the time to compare and make decisions. While "Slorn" has already been a popular mobile app among local citizens in Tokyo, we can make it become a must-have app to connect Japanese traditions (Kissaten, cosplay, manga) with foreigners who want to know more about Japanese cultures in Tokyo.

Tokyo kissaten

Due to the different market (travelers), marketing strategies should be different. The simple concept of marketing this idea is the combination between offline marketing (leaflets in stations, coffee shops, information center) and online marketing (social media, blog post), in which online marketing will be more on focus.

It is essential to make the app convenient for foreigners, which requires more language options in the application. My recommended languages in the new "Slorn" are Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese (based on the number of travelers coming to Japan). Because "Slorn" only shows up in Japanese apps store, I suggest creating an online website for customers.

TARGET MARKET

  • Main target: Foreigners, from 20 - 40 years old, feeling comfortable in using smartphones and internet, wanting to explore the cultures of Japan (Kissaten, manga, cosplay & animal coffee shops).
  • Side target: People living in Tokyo wanting to explore the hidden places of this city & Japanese people traveling to Tokyo wanting to know more about Kissaten and special coffee shops & international students in Japan wanting to explore Japanese cultures.

MARKET SIZE

Coffee shops: At least 34 unique coffee shops in Tokyo featured in "Triplelights.com" and "Klook.com". The number can come up to 100 coffee shops if we combine Japanese-architecture coffee shops and the most best-flavor coffee shops (chosen by current Slorn users).

Potential foreign customers: at least 78.049 people per year.

  • According to Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Bureau of Industrial and Labor Affairs, in 2015, 11.894.000 people traveled to Tokyo.
  • According to Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (July- September, 2016), 74.4% people came to Japan for tourism, reducing the potential market size to 8.849.136 travelers.
  • According to Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (July - September, 2016), 24.5% of male traveling to Japan were from 20 to 39 years old.
  • According to Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (July - September, 2016), 34.7% of female traveling to Japan were from 20 to 39 years old.
  • Taking the worst scenario, considering only 24.5% of all people travelling to Japan are between the age of 20 and 39, the potential market size in Tokyo would be 2.168.038.
  • According to Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (July - September, 2016), 79.8% tourists came to "restaurant, fast food, cafe"; 23.8% went to "galleries, museums, zoos, aquariums"; 3.6% used "other amusement services". Because special coffee shops in "Slorn" are the combination of food, culture and amusement services, if we take the worst scenario that only 3.6% of tourists were willing to go to the special coffee shops, the potential customers for "Slorn" in 2015 could be 78.049 people.
Timeline

RESEARCH, ACTION, ADJUSTMENT, CONCLUSION

Pre-arrival:

  • Cooperate with Slorn to conduct research on the customer's characteristics in special coffee shops, which include but not limited to age, nationality, reasons to come, usual time to go to the coffee shops.
  • Cooperate with Slorn to conduct market survey about preferences of Japanese travelers.
  • Cooperate with Slorn's marketing department to conduct a world-wide market survey with an aim to finding the exact market size and preferences of the international travelers.
  • Proposed market survey: https://duypham.typeform.com/to/rhDpIL
  • Recruit people (details are mentioned below)

Week 1 - 2:

  • Make connections with the special coffee shops.
  • Translate the app into English, Korean and Chinese.
  • Come up with effective marketing strategies online and offline to implement in Japan and in countries which have many tourists going to Tokyo.

Week 3 - 6:

  • Implement the marketing strategy with concept "tourism with Slorn" in Japan online (social media, online newspaper) and offline (information booth, leaflets, banner)
  • Introduce the concept "tourism with Slorn" to international travelers (cooperate with traveling bloggers around the world, upload unique advertisements on social media)
  • Conduct invitation campaign: The person inviting others to join "Slorn" will get discount.

Week 7:

  • Evaluate the effect of the marketing strategy by calculating the number of users on the new platform.
  • Modify the marketing strategy to attract more people.

Week 8:

  • Analyze final result.
  • Recommend future marketing strategy for "Slorn".

Who do I need

  • A native speaker in Chinese, professional in Japanese and English, having a deep understanding about China, Hong Kong and Taiwan tourism industry. (can work remotely) (work 30 hours/ week)
  • A native speaker in Korean, professional in Japanese and English, having a deep understanding about Korea tourism industry. (can work remotely) (work 30 hours/ week)
  • A coder to create another platform inside the current "Slorn" application. While keeping the current market which attracts metropolitan local citizens, another platform used for tourism will run simultaneously inside the app. Customers can switch the platform. (can work remotely)

Why "Slorn"

  • "Slorn" has a potential to expand to the tourism market. After one-year living in Japan, I am excited about Japanese traditions and want to give tourists a chance to understand about this unique culture.
  • While technology is separating people , "Slorn" is connecting people face-to-face. In this case, "Slorn" brings customers to the coffee shop and encourages more people to explore the city. I am excited to work for a technology company with an aim to connecting people.

What I wish to learn from this project

  • Enhance my marketing skills, especially in Asia.
  • The core value (only focusing on the special coffee shops in metropolitan areas) makes "Slorn" become unique, but also puts a constraint on the app. I want to adapt my optimization lesson in Minerva class to both maximize the market and respect the core value.
  • Improve my understanding in culture and tourism in Japan.

What I can contribute:

  • 5-month marketing experience in Southeast Asia as an outreach intern for Minerva Project.
  • Experience in Japanese culture with one-year living in Beppu, studying in Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University and doing part-time jobs in restaurants.
  • Language: native speaker in Vietnamese, professional in English, conversational in Japanese.
  • A wide social network in Fukuoka and in Southeast Asia.

References:

  • JBT: Tourism research and consulting company: http://www.tourism.jp/en/tourism-database/stats/inbound/
  • Japan tourism agency, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism : http://www.mlit.go.jp/kankocho/en/siryou/toukei/syouhityousa.html
  • The Japan Times: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/01/19/national/japan-sets-new-inbound-tourism-record-2015-comes-just-short-20-million-target/#.WKdsSjsrJPY
  • World cities culture forum: http://www.worldcitiescultureforum.com/cities/tokyo/data
  • Triplelights: https://triplelights.com/blog/10-unusual-cafestokyo-77
  • Keep Looking: https://www.klook.com/blog/10-weirdest-cafes-in-tokyo-and-where-to-find-them/

Picture:

  • http://shutterstreet.co/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/The-Roastery-Coffee-By-Nozy-Tokyo14.jpg
  • https://slorn.jp/for_user/
  • http://images.kpopstarz.com/data/images/full/196650/cat-cafe.jpg
  • http://culinarybackstreets.com/wp-content/uploads/cb_tokyo_ladrio_dy_final.jpg
  • https://monotonundminimal.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/mg_9571.jpg

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