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Mr Bean Group Limited is a Singapore-based retailer and the fact that it was a stall in a hawker center before being a big company like right now. The Mr Bean was established in 1995 and it has grown really fast so far; therefore, it has become “the leading chain soya bean food and beverage retailer” (mrbean.com.sg) in the Lion Island as well. The enterprise has opened up over fifty stores in only Singapore from the North to the South, the East to the West, and also in the central. Besides that, it also has stores in foreign countries such as Korea, China, Malaysia, Japan, and the Philippines (International enterprise Singapore). As can be related from its name, Mr Bean sells products made all from soya bean. It yields various types of products such as milk, snacks, pancakes, as well as ice-creams. Since establishing until now, Mr Bean has achieved a few awards to record the success of it. The first award called ‘The 7th Singapore Prestige Brand Award 2008’ and the second was ‘Taiwan & Overseas Entrepreneurs Award 2008’ (mrbean.com.sg). Although there were just two awards up to now, it still showed that the Mr Bean putted more efforts on their work because it was noted that Mr Bean was the only enterprise in Singapore achieved the second award.
- MAIN BODY: THE ANALYSIS OF SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIES
It is clear that strategies play an important role in each and every company or organization, and because each company may use different ways in order to achieve the success in their strategies, so there may have many factors leading to successful strategies in those organizations or companies. A strategy is basically understood as a plan that a company plans in order to get long term outcomes. As explained in a paper, strategy’s only intention was to find a “unique” locus for an enterprise “vis-a-vis that company’s competition” (Ajit Prasad, 2010). What is more, the author also noted that in order to make the profits going beyond “the industry average”, “the unique locus must lead to competitive advantage, which in turn has to be translated in the company’s capability’s a core measure (Ajit Prasad, 2010); furthermore, the employers seem to be given “an air of authority” by “using the strategy vocabulary” (Robert J. Allio and Liam Fahey, 2012).
- A unique value proposition as compared to rivals
The first factor was actually mentioned above and it is creating “a unique value proposition as compared to rivals” (solyp.com, 2013). Clearly, in nowadays’ fierce market, companies always do their best to be better than their rivals and the outcomes are often seen in their final goods or services. Mr Bean seems to succeed in doing this. When people think of soya bean milk, people normally will buy in food courts or maybe old school stores which sell the old school and cheap food or drink; nonetheless, it is interesting that here in Singapore, whenever asking someone about soya bean milk, the answer seems to always be Mr Bean or they may say ‘Mr Bean’s super soya milk’ (Andrew Chow, 2009). One of the strategies of Mr Bean is to let people always remember their brand and create the trust to customers. Although there are quite a lot of stores selling soya bean milk or bean curd, most of them seem to be not as big as Mr Bean, but it does not mean that those stores are not good. Some customers say that Mr Bean provides more and tastier flavor of soya bean products than other retailers in the same industry.
- A differential value chain representing choices about how a company or an organization operates differently in order to deliver on their value proposition
“Value chain” was the term used by the researcher, Michael Porter in order to depict a chain of “value-adding activities” (Andrew Fearne, Marian Garcia Martinez and Benjamin Dent, 2012). Besides, according to Khaled Abed Hutaibat’s research paper, the value chain was also developed by Michael Porter to recognize the “core competencies” of companies or organizations; in addition, there is the contribution of the value chain in identifying “competitive advantage”. Thus, it is seen as a worthy tool “for recognizing, managing, as well as costing competitive advantage” (Hutaibat, 2011). For Mr Bean, the company has also achieved this term when they changed their manners of thinking, planning strategy, as well as operation. The biggest strategy of the company is to “build a strong brand personality” (Andrew Chow, 2009) by using healthy ingredients with high quality and more importantly, it is to make customers happy whenever they come to any store of Mr Bean. In terms of the company’s logo, the company firstly impresses customers especially children by the image of a cute smiling bean because the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Kang Puay Seng said that they would like to make a new and vibrant image for the company, so he thought that the smiling bean is appropriate. Besides that, there was also changes in their store decorations as well as the packaging. Mr Bean makes smiling bean more animated by putting a wing for the bean on the packaging or “drawing very colorful flowers in the grass” (Andrew Chow, 2009). Additionally, the company also produces graduated bean toys which attach with a certification. Furthermore, employees at Mr Bean stalls are friendly sellers and the interesting thing is that the managers of Mr Bean encourage their employees to be free in decorating for the stalls they work; therefore, there may have some differences in each store (Andrew Chow, 2009). By using distinctive ways, Mr Bean is getting dissimilar from its rivals, and those things do bring special value chains or maybe a special position in customers’ minds.
- The continuity in value propositions
Another factor that can lead to the success of strategies is “the continuity in value proposition” (solyp.com, 2013). Although the researcher, Michael Porter came up with the factor ‘continuity of strategic direction’, his advice for organizations or companies was to sustain “the continuity in value proposition”; nevertheless, continually advance how to do it”( solyp.com, 2013). To keep comprehending about the strategic direction, the managers of the company often discuss with their workers about new strategies and how to implement it well. They also make sure that people in the company know what strategies are planned. Another Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Loh Jwee Poh said that all of staffs are their Research and Development team members (The Business Times, 2007). Pennie Frow and Adrian Payne (2011) found that “value propositions play an important role in the value’s co- creation between the stakeholders”. Thus, the value propositions are also thought of by Mr Bean’s managers. Mr Bean keeps innovating by allowing each and every individual to come up with as many ideas as possible. They are free to talk about their ideas for new products and good and creative ideas for new products will be used.
In conclusion, there may have many factors that can make successful strategies for a company or an organization, but not all of those companies have all of such factors. For Mr Bean, they have created factors that objectively speaking, are good to make successful strategies. Although they are good, it does not mean that the company does not need to develop and improve more. Factors their selves cannot help much if the company does not know how to use and improve them for achieving success in the strategies.