final presentation | tagline

BOLD BITES OF BURMA

final presentation | key messaging + brand positioning statement

Bo Laksa King's take-out menu

photo creds: thefridaylunch

KEY MESSAGING | Final Version:

  1. Bo Laksa King is not just some passable hole-in-the-wall: it’s a serious restaurant that serves up some seriously tasty food with a sophisticated flavour profile. It may initially be an underdog and unassuming, but it commands and deserves respect from the foodie community and industry.
  2. Bo’s passion and true talent for cooking delicious and authentic Burmese dishes should be reflected in not just the food: it should be clearly visible to the patron through every means of interaction with the restaurant, from the website to their decor and printed menus. The restaurant should have a warm and inviting ambience, as well as welcoming and friendly faces to complement the spicy and hearty food it serves.
  3. The place to go for authentic Burmese food in the neighborhood and in all of Vancouver, it is an establishment on East Hastings that’s kind to your wallet, just as much as old school Bao Chau or the new kid on the block, The Red Wagon. Bo Laksa King truly appreciates the large fan base and customer loyalty, and returns the gesture with good, unpretentious food served humbly and earnestly to please.

CONCLUSIONS:

  1. Bo Laksa King desperately needs to shed it’s negative image as a hole-in-the wall joint. It’s located on a neighbourhood block dotted with passable hole-in-the-walls that are perhaps not worth a second glance, but the King is so much more than just free wireless internet and bubble tea drinks.
  2. It’s official – Bo Laksa King’s Bubbles & Bits has been diagnosed with multiple personality disorder: it is your run-of-the-mill bubble tea place, or is it a serious, sit-down Burmese restaurant that also happens to serve bubble tea? On the outside, the restaurant sign and window dressing gives every indication that it’s only bubble tea place, but take one waft of this place (sometimes as far as half a block down!), and you know there’s more than meets the senses.
  3. The restaurant needs to present itself with as much thought and care as Bo prepares each of his dishes. Restaurants are a dime a dozen in Vancouver, and a business in the food industry only has a few seconds, if even, to entice a customer and give them a good jist of what to expect if one was to dine at their establishment.
  4. There is a disconnect between the level of refinement of the food served, and the environment that the food is served in. The ambience and overall quality of the surroundings should be elevated to match or complement that of the bold and colourful dishes served.
  5. Mirroring that should be an adequately well-staffed team of servers/buspersons (of course, wearing uniforms as an another marketing vehicle to promote the brand) who provide high quality, friendly and attentive customer service, and are well-versed in the food they are serving. They should be just be as proud to serve them as Bo is proud to be given the opportunity to cook for his patrons.
  6. All existing and newly launched touchpoints that allows repeat and potential customers to interact and and fully immerse themselves in the brand should be designed or redesigned with this entirely revamped and only persona of Bo Laksa King in mind. When people think of authentic Burmese cuisine, Bo Laksa King should be top of mind.

OPPORTUNITIES:

  1. First impressions, once formulated in the mind, are highly resistant to change and hard to break. With the renovation of the London Drugs complex across the street bringing in new street traffic in the form of hungry tradesmen on lunch breaks and adventurous new neighbors wanting to explore what culinary delights this neck of the woods has to offer. Bo and Tiffany should take advantage of this calm before the storm to rid their storefront of all signs of hole-in-the-wall: from their “FREE WIRELESS INTERNET” sign to the large-scale see-through graphics of bubble tea drinks posing as window dressing.
  2. If Bubbles & Bits did indeed vacate the premises, Bo Laksa King, finances-permitting, should jump at the opportunity to expand their business, perhaps maybe even relocating to a larger lot, and to use all that extra physical space to build upon and reinforce their brand – not to mention, to add a few more desperately needed tables and chairs to their repertoire.
  3. Their website is a blank canvas for a 404 error – there is currently nothing up on www.bolaksaking.com. The registered domain owners should carve an online niche for themselves with a well-branded website that showcases their menu and features beautiful photographs of Bo’s expertly crafted dishes, along with other additional components that adds value for any site visitors. With so many foodies and restaurant critics reviewing the Bo Laksa King on their blogs, it is crucial that Bo speaks for his own brand and communicates the visual and the philosophical on his own terms.
  4. Foodies are well-versed in the blogosphere and the realm of social media, and restaurants who want to appear hip and modern have at least a Facebook page or a Twitter account, if not both. Not to mention, they’re both highly-successful, cost-effective tools for businesses to use to keep their customers informed of the latest news, to stay connected to their loyal supporters while building meaningful relationships, and to garner more attention from their target market. Bo Laksa King already has a Facebook page, but starting a Twitter page will help their customers stay informed of the promos that occurr from time to time.
  5. For businesses like a restaurant, there are countless conduits to accurately portray the look and feel of the brand: (1) resto-front, (2) interior, (3) business cards, (4) website, (5) take-out menu, (6) in-house menu, (7) uniforms, (8) Twitter, (9) Facebook, (10) ads/flyers, (11) receipts, (12) external and internal signage, (13) logo, (14) the food itself, etc.

DIRECTIONS:
– lose the “Bubbles & Bits”
– redesign and implement the “Bo Laksa King” logo
– redesign and print rebranded in-house and takeout menus
– trim down/refine the drinks menu
– design and print rebranded business cards
– do a massive restaurant makeover; inside and out
– increase the size of the restaurant and/or the number of seats the restaurant can house
– redesign and put up rebranded restaurant signage
– design and initiate staff uniforms
– design and implement custom-branded dishes and utensils; money-permitting
– design and launch www.bolaksaking.com
 – set up a branded Twitter account

CHARACTERISTICS OF NEW BRAND:
*I bolded the ones I particularly like.
– down-to-earth
– intoxicating
– welcoming
– striking
– complementary
– personal
– spicy
– earnest
– authentic
– satisfying
– delicious
– sophisticated
– modest
– tasty
– enticing
– soulful
– complex
– dedicated
– flavourful
– rich
– unpretentious
– hearty
– bold
– unabashful
– vibrant
– colourful
– energetic
– memorable
– buzz-worthy
– friendly
– hardworking
– fresh
– adventurous
– daring
– prominent
– uninhibited
– saucy
– lively
– proud
– humble
– multi-dimensional
– resilient
– ambitious 

BRAND POSITIONING STATEMENT | Final Version:
Bo Laksa King’s crowning glory is delicious, authentic burmese cuisine and at the heart of the operation is the dedicated Chef Bo Han, an ambitious cook who earnestly seeks to please his patrons. The dishes are lovingly crafted of fresh, high quality ingredients, richly layered with aromatic herbs and spices to produce vibrant, uninhibited flavour profiles to wow and excite the senses. A young mom’n’pop team with modern sensibilities, Bo and his wife, Tiffany, proudly serve the soulful delights with the utmost warmth and welcome, and are committed to ensuring that customers leave fully satisfied, eagerly anticipating their next return to this hidden gem in the Hastings-Sunrise community. Bo Laksa King’s crowning glory is delicious, authentic pan-asian cuisine and at the heart and soul of the operation is the modest Chef Bo Han, a resilient cook driven with pure earnestness to please his patrons. The dishes are strikingly composed of colourful, high quality ingredients, richly layered with a melody of aromatic herbs and spices to produce a vibrant symphony of uninhibited flavour profiles to wow, excite, and tantalize the senses. Laksa King proudly serves the boldly crafted dishes with the utmost warmth and welcoming friendliness, dedicated to ensuring that customers will leave fully satisfied, and eagerly anticipating their next return.

final presentation | introduction + swot analysis

photo creds: 604foodtography

BRAND:
Who: Bo Laksa King’s Bubbles & Bits

What: pan-asian cuisine (burmese, indonesian, malaysian, etc) and bubble tea

Where:
2546 E. Hastings St.
Vancouver, BC  V5K 1Z3
Neighbourhood – Hastings-Sunrise

When:
Tue-Fri, Sun: 11 am – 3 pm
Tue-Sat: 5:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Sat: 11:30 am – 3 pm

Why yes, I am glad you asked – they do have a Facebook page!

Reviews: 
Urbanspoon
Yelp

Why:
Bo Laksa King first started out with even more humble beginnings than as a hole-in-the-wall on East Hastings Street –  in the hidden corner of the Joyce-Way Food Market located in the Joyce-Collingwood neighbourhood, with a small sandwich board outside. Bo’s touching story of how he flees his violence-torn homeland of Myanmar as a young man is well-circulated, but I unfortunately was unable to source the original article that was written by Elaine Wong and printed in The Province. According to Bo Laksa King’s Facebook page, they opened their second location on East Hastings at the end of July 2010, and shortly thereafter, closed their Joyce location. Bo cooks such delicious food with so much heart, and the potential to be so much more was clearly evident from the get-go.

TARGET MARKET:
– a broad spectrum of the hungry demographic (hey, everyone needs to eat, right?)
–  from young and old, to the mild to spicy eaters
– foodies in search of delicious, authentic cooking with heart and soul
– foodies who are adoring fans of awesome hole-in-the-wall places run by husband-and-wife teams
– love roti canai and laksa? curry or bubble tea? then you’re also part of the target market.
– or anybody who simply loves a hot bowl of noodles, or a good plate of stir-fried noodles/rice – especially on a chilly Vancouver day!

TOUCHPOINTS (interface of the brand; x – currently MIA):
– take-out menus
– eat-in menus
– website (x)
– customer appreciation cards (x)
– coupons (x)
– receipts
– telephone
– business cards (x)
– Facebook page
– logo
– servers, buspersons aka uniforms (x)
– word of mouth
– special foodie events
– limited-time promos
– restofront
– foodie blogs
– resto reviews
– magazine and newspaper articles
– the food itself

SWOT ANALYSIS:
Strengths
. WOT

  1. Bo Han, the cook and proprietor of Bo Laksa King, features a wide variety of authentic ‘pan-asian’ cuisine on his menu, and most of them are tasty as hell. More importantly, the food quality is consistent from visit to visit, and the plating is superior – unexpected for an unassuming resto-front on East Hastings with bars on the window and a huge “Free Wireless Internet” sign.
  2. Because the dishes he serves up are so damn good, he has amassed a large fan base who are willing to make the trip across town to eat his cooking, and then take some back home – now that’s customer loyalty.
  3. Bo establishes good customer relationships not only having a Facebook page that is updated regularly, but also occasionally running food events like the “Chowdown Burmese Food Event” he hosted for chowhounds, followers of the food blog, Chow Times. And yes, I have seen him come out from the kitchen and ask customers how they liked the food on a slower night.
  4. The customer demographic runs the gamut: from the plaid-clad, wayfarer-donning Commercial Drive hipster to the motorcycle-booted senior (yes, I have seen this particular demographic with my own eyes), and thus, is more resilient to change.
  5. Did I mention that the food is reasonably well-priced?
  6. Foodies are known to flock in herds to good husband and wife-run hole-in-the-walls.

S .Weaknesses. OT

  1. As evident from the bright orange atop their resto-front, the brand appears to be a mish-mash of two entities: Bo Laksa King and Bubbles & Bits. According to this, the business is a joint venture with a friend of his who had been operating a bubble tea shop called Bubble and Bits. This can be a source of confusion: is this a place for vancouver’s best laksa, or for bubble tea? Is it both? For those who would like to be able to go to a bubble tea place to just slowly enjoy their drinks, they may feel pressured to leave right away because a party of 5 has just arrived for a late dinner and all the few remaining tables are occupied.
  2.  Such a partnership may bring in more money throughout the day from the in-between mealtime customers, but overall it cheapens the Bo Laksa King brand and and turns the spotlight away from Bo’s authentic burmese dishes: weaker by association?
  3. The interior of the the restaurant is composed of predominently cool tones (turquoise walls and framed purple patterns) and does not even elude to the complementary atmosphere or backdrop for diners to taste authentic burmese dishes with intricate flavour profiles from a heavy layering of herbs and spices.
  4. Grungy, printed-at-home paper menus – not laminated. Enough said.
  5. At times, especially when the restaurant is all full, the service can be rather lacking.
  6. If you stay there for more than 10-15 minutes, your clothes will smell like laksa. You have been forewarned.
  7. Irregular and unpredictable hours of operation could be a major turn off for some customers.
  8. The fact that the restaurant is located on East Hastings may be seen by some as a weakness – I, however, beg to differ.

SWO. Threats

  1. New, hip and happening restaurants posing as The Next Best Thing are popping up along the Hastings-Sunrise corridor. They are Bo Laksa King’s direct competition, and their success could result in a drop of customers for Bo’s pickled tea leaf salad and laksa.
  2. The construction of the long-awaited rezoning and renovation of the London Drugs et al. across the street could also result in a drop of customers (i.e. London Drug Employees) and potentially scare away neighboring customers who just want to escape afraid the noise.
  3. The absence of Stephanie, their bubble tea bartender, for the entire duration of summer ’11 most likely caused a dip in lost revenue. I suspect Bubbles & Bits may now no longer be business partners with Bo Laksa King because the wall-to-wall bubble tea menu has been taken down, the noisy bubble tea shaker is gone, and Stephanie is no where to be seen. This will be seen a sad loss for customers that have grown accustomed to ordering a Mango slushie with their Mohinga.
  4. The disconnect between the restaurant logo, the aesthetic of the dining room, and the refined, delicious food is jarring and needs to be addressed.

SW .Opportunities. T

  1. As I mentioned above, the fact that Bo Laksa King is located on East Hastings may be seen by some as a weakness, but the Hastings-Sunrise neighborhood is slowly gaining hold as an up and comer. Case in point:
  2. The construction of the long-awaited rezoning and renovation of the outdated London Drugs >> spanking brand new London Drugs+low-rise apartment complex across the street from the restaurant could usher in a new customer base consisting of construction worker and other tradesmen, and upon completion, fellow resident neighbours.
  3. Bo and his wife Tiffany are tech-savvy: trying new social media platforms (i.e. Twitter) to keep customers informed and engaged are cost-effective and practically risk-free.
  4. The HST will be scrapped in 18 months.
  5. If Bubbles & Bits did indeed vacate the premises, that only frees up more space for Bo Laksa King to improve and expand their business, and in turn, strengthen their brand.

logo sketches | round 3

logo sketch 3.1

logo sketch 3.2

logo sketch 3.3

logo sketch 3.4

logo sketch 3.5

logo sketch 3.6

get sparked

Image Spark: Discover, share, tag, and converge images that inspire you and your work.

look ma, new logo!

blenz, rebranded

logo sketches | round 2

logo sketches 2.1

logo sketches 2.2

logo sketches 2.3

logo sketches 2.4

he cooks and tweets!

Bo Laksa King’s twitter

tag, you’re the it-thing…again.

  1. bold bites of burma
  2. soulful burmese
  3. infuse your soul with boldness
  4. boldly infused with soul
  5. savour the soulful boldness
  6. enticing, exciting, wowing

logo sketches | round 1

logo sketches 1

logo sketches 2

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