1) What is the product mix of Trung Nguyen? What are the key attributes of its coffee? How do these attributes help Trung Nguyen to differentiate itself from its competitors? The product mix refers to the total composite of products offered by Trung Nguyen coffee. It consists of different product lines, various product items in each product line and within each item is the product depth. Firstly, the product line is a group of product or service items that are closely related because they are sold to the same consumer groups, are marketed through the same types of outlets, have similar usage or fall within given price ranges.
Thus, Trung Nguyen Coffee’s product lines are: Trung Nguyen Coffee, Passiona Coffee and G7 Instant Coffee. The Passiona Coffee targets at consumers looking for low-caffeine coffee and especially women, while the G7 Instant coffees are made for people who are too busy to brew a cup of coffee themselves. Trung Nguyen Coffee has 3 different product items, namely Creative Coffee, Blend Coffee and Espresso Coffee.
Passiona Coffee consists of 2 product item, Passiona roasted coffee and Instant Passiona coffee.
As for the G7 Instant Coffees, the product items are G7 Pure soluble, G7 Cappuccino and G7 Instant 3-in-1 coffee. Lastly, product depth is the number of variants in a product item. Trung Nguyen’s product depth of Creative coffee includes the Weasel Coffee and Legendee Coffee. Also, some variations of G7 Cappuccino are the Mocha G7 cappuccino and Hazelnut G7 cappuccino. Different sizes of coffees are considered as product depth as well.
For example, the G7 Instant 3-in-1 coffee is sold in 3 different sizes: a box of 18 cafe sticks, a bag of 22 sachets or a bulk pack bag of 100 sachets.
Table1: Summary of product mix of Trung Nguyen | Product lines| | Trung Nguyen Coffee| Passiona Coffee| G7 Instant Coffee| Product items| -Blend coffee-Espresso coffee-Creative coffee Product depth: Weasel coffeeLegendee coffee| -Passiona roasted coffee-Passiona instant coffee| -G7 Pure soluble-G7 cappuccinoProduct depth:Mocha G7 cappuccinoHazelnut G7 cappuccino-G7 instant 3-in-1Product depth:box of 18 cafe sticksbag of 22 sachetsbulk pack bag of 100 sachets| Key attributes refer to the most important characteristics of a product.
Trung Nguyen makes its point of difference through its key attributes like using the best coffee beans, unique brewing style and the new coffee concept. Trung Nguyen has a unique selling point because some coffees offered cannot be found anywhere else. Its coffees are authentically Vietnamese. For example, the Weasel coffee is produced based on the legend in Vietnam. To differentiate itself from its competitors, these key attributes must communicate benefits for consumers.
The coffee offered by Trung Nguyen is of a higher quality compared to other coffee brands because they use the best coffee beans sourced from four of the world’s best coffee-growing regions. In addition, Trung Nguyen is awarded with the EureGAP certificate for its good agricultural practices such as having consistently good quality coffee beans and using environmentally friendly technologies. Coupled with their oriental secrets, consumers would prefer Trung Nguyen because their coffee is brewed much more aromatic and rich.
Trung Nguyen used their new concept of coffee to set up a “Creative Coffee House” in order to differentiate itself and gain market share. It is now well-known for the innovative clubhouse whereby customers can enjoy coffee in a beautiful and sentimental ambience while experiencing Vietnamese cultural events and exhibitions. For consumers who value such innovative product services, they will choose Trung Nguyen’s coffee over the other “grab a coffee to go” coffee styles. 2) What are the roles of branding? What are the benefits of branding to sellers and buyers in the coffee market.
The role of branding is to create an identity for the product. The identity created can have some personalities and can gain brand equity. Benefits of branding Some benefits of branding for sellers of the Trung Nguyen coffee are that they are able to accentuate the bases of differentiation from its competitors due to its distinct identity. They can obtain legal protection like trademarks to avoid copycats of their brand. The counterfeit products are capable of stealing Trung Nguyen’s sales when consumers are unsure of how the real packaging of coffee looks like.
There is also a chance for the counterfeit coffee to ruin Trung Nguyen’s reputation. Consumers who bought the counterfeit coffee by mistake may view Trung Nguyen to be of a lousier quality instead. All this would be effectively prevented by branding because counterfeiting is an offense. Brand equity is created by branding and careful marketing. Trung Nguyen can in turn earn higher profits as consumers are willing to pay a higher price for this particular brand of coffee. Also, brand equity can lead to higher economic value of the brand, whereby it becomes an asset for Trung Nguyen when it wishes to sell its brand.
Last but not least, Trung Nguyen can achieve brand loyalty through creating preferences towards their brand. If Trung Nguyen coffee is able to sustain a consistently good quality coffee product, consumers would remember the brand, spread the word around and continually purchase its coffee. On the buyers end, they may reap the most benefits from Trung Nguyen’s branding. Coffee is a convenience product and it is important to make it easy to find. Consumers will be able to correctly identify the products in a short period of time due to Trung Nguyen’s branding thus becoming more efficient shoppers.
Furthermore, consumers may gain assurance of product quality and performance. Employees need to ensure products offered are of consistently good quality and so are specially trained to deliver this promise. Consumers will remain loyal to Trung Nguyen coffee because they are satisfied with this brand and have no need to search for another. 3) What constitutes the brand identity of Trung Nguyen? What is your evaluation of this identity? How can the brand identity be improved? Brand identity is the noticeable elements of a brand and also what the organization wants consumers to perceive the brand as.
It constitutes of “Trung Nguyen” as its name, the logo and its tagline “Explore creative inspiration” A successful brand name should reflect the personality and values of the brand, be simple, memorable, positive and emotional. A logo is the image that embodies an organization. It is one of the most prominent branding elements that consumers will think of when someone mentions the company. A good brand logo should be memorable, futuristic and consistent and be able to portray the benefits to its target audience. The tagline must be simple and easy to remember.
It also needs to remain short since the tagline is always incorporated into many marketing pieces. Evaluation of brand name: Consumers associate Trung Nguyen to “Central highlands” which refers to Dak Lak, the county capital of coffee where green coffee is grown. This gives an advantageous association between Trung Nguyen and high quality and fresh coffee beans. Also, the brand name represents the uniqueness and richness of the Vietnamese culture. However, the name Trung Nguyen does not hold any meaning for non-Vietnamese. This may alienate consumers from other parts of the world.
Another bad point could be that its name is hard to pronounce for non- Vietnamese consumers. Possible improvements: Because the company’s name has been around since 1996 when it was founded, it cannot be changed otherwise the company has to build up brand awareness from scratch all over again. Thus, the company should work hard in educating people and let them understand the positive association between Trung Nguyen and “Central highlands”. For example, they could use their existing Internet website and include this under the “learn more” option.
People visiting the website can then learn about the association and slowly adopt Trung Nguyen as their favourite coffee. Evaluation of logo In my opinion, the logo might be a little small and insignificant. Psychological influences such as selective exposure and retention affects consumer buying behaviour. For example, the appealing cup of coffee printed on its packaging of Creative coffee may distract the consumers from the brand name. The logo is also unattractive and boring due to the usage of dull and non-contrasting colours. The font used in the logo has little stylistic variations making it rather boring as well.
Possible improvements Firstly, the logo should be scaled to a bigger size. Also, the marketing manager of Trung Nguyen can make use of brighter and more contrasting colours to make its logo more outstanding and attention-catching. The font could be changed to something cursive. This can better capture consumer’s attention thus leaving a deeper impression and resulting in better brand memory and recognition. For example Coca Cola, with its logo in a strikingly bright red background and white cursive words, is very successful at making sure that every consumer remembers it.
Evaluation of tagline: Trung Nguyen’s tagline “Explore creative inspiration” consists of only 3 simple words hence should be relatively easy for everyone to remember. However, Trung Nguyen tagline is still quite foreign to people across the globe as they do not use much above-the-line marketing. Possible improvements Through the print media and mass media, Trung Nguyen can improve this aspect of its brand identity. The marketing manager could set up a Facebook page and make it known to people. Maintaining a Facebook page is relatively low-cost as compared to constant TV advertisements.
Because millions of people are using Facebook, it is very effective for Trung Nguyen to get their brand identity across. Another point of improvement also through the mass media is through its online website. Perhaps the tagline can be added in the “history of Trung Nguyen” tab as it is currently not. On top of that, they can make use of emotional branding to elicit a favourable emotional response. Adding emotional words like “Happy”, “Healthy” and “Beautiful” could boost sales of their coffee.
As consumers become increasingly aware of health and beauty these days, Trung Nguyen can market more of their Passiona coffee which is enriched with collagen, vitamin PP and other rare oriental herbs through its tagline. 4) What is the branding strategy of Trung Nguyen? What are the advantages and risks of this branding strategy? Trung Nguyen uses an umbrella branding strategy. Different types of coffees have a sub-brand which combines the corporate brand with a new brand. Trung Nguyen’s Passiona Roasted coffee and Trung Nguyen’s Espresso coffee are 2 examples. Advantages of umbrella branding:
Capitalizing on the existing brand equity of Trung Nguyen, it can sell newly introduced products quickly. Consumers who have had a good experience with its coffee will transfer this favourable attitude to new items. For instance, Trung Nguyen’s Creative coffee may have been developed earlier than Passiona coffee. Consumers who liked Creative coffee would have a higher chance of buying the Passiona coffee because they are under the same brand and so would also be of an equally good quality. Furthermore, the Passiona coffee can be set at a higher price as consumers are willing to pay more for brand value.
This can bring about additional profits for Trung Nguyen. Another advantage of using an umbrella brand is a lower advertising and promotion costs. Trung Nguyen only needs to come up with a single advertisement because its coffees share one identity. Also, because Trung Nguyen is used on all of the products, level of brand awareness is easy to raise. To name an example of a successful sub-branding strategy, Gatorade has developed and introduced Gatorade Frost, Gatorade G2, Gatorade energy bar, etc into the market and stayed popular being the leading sports drink brand in many countries.
Risks of umbrella branding: In every marketing strategy there is bound to be a down side. Some risks of umbrella branding are that the failure of one type of coffee may affect the sales of the whole Trung Nguyen branded products. It is inadvisable to put all the eggs into one basket. For instance, if the production G7 Mocha had some discrepancy that caused the coffee to be too sweet, consumers may feel that the rest of Trung Nguyen packet instant coffees are as sweet and so switch over to Nescafe coffee instead.
Secondly, sales of one product item may come at the expense of other items offered in the same product line. Lastly, the meaning of Trung Nguyen may also be diluted with an umbrella branding strategy. Apart from coffee, Trung Nguyen also has other product such as Green Tea, Oolong tea, etc. However, Trung Nguyen refers to Dak Lak, the county capital of coffee and so offering tea as an alternative beverage is not so relevant to the brand name.