Identifying strategic gaps helps us to determine if YKKT should change or adopt a more appropriate brand positioning in order to be successful in facing competing brands as well as addressing future consumer trends and innovation. From Assignment 3, we have seen what are some factors that are lacking for YKKT and we have identified them as potential strategic gaps. We will be touching on three of the factors below.
The uphill trend of social media shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, it has been estimated that there will be 1.43 billion social network users this year, which is a 19.2% increase over 2011’s figure. In addition, further room for growth is evident from the snowballing rates of Internet penetration in emerging markets like India and South America. YKKT currently has a low level of social media engagement with its consumers. Therefore, we have identified the first strategical gap to be the lack of usage of social media for YKKT. Apart from its website, YKKT only owns a Facebook page which has minimal ‘likes’ and is infrequently updated.
- PMEBs and Youths
The recent surge in popularity of social media websites like Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram reveals that visual content is becoming a progressively significant force for online interaction and communication. Hence, it would be in YKKT’s best interest to incorporate visual marketing into their marketing program, especially when reaching out to the PMEBs and youths. When it comes to their new products, they should show (not tell) consumers by linking their Instagram and Twitter accounts to their Facebook, posting pictures and grabbing the attention of netizens. Furthermore, especially for PMEBs who are more pressed for time than ever and with information overload permeating the market, these pictures will capture information quickly and succinctly.
In YKKT’s mission, we see that YKKT strives to preserve its unique and rich heritage established since 1940s. However, having such a long history brings about a misconception that it is an “old” brand; that they are meant for the older generation instead. Throughout our in-depth interviews, we realize that our respondents commonly associate YKKT to be that of “an old man/lady”. Similarly, from the brand frenzy, we have found out that our peers also find that YKKT is a brand meant for the “old”. However, it was a good thing that they did not find YKKT to be uncool. This is an assuring idea as YKKT is trying to attract more of the youths to YKKT.
YKKT must take steps to dispel this misconception that they are meant for the “old”. They must clearly communicate that a brand with a rich heritage does not mean that it is an “old” brand. This is so that the youth will not negatively associate it as a brand for the “old” and will be attracted to YKKT’s offerings. There is a need to build on YKKT being a brand that reminds consumers to remember their roots and pass down the knowledge of heritage from one generation to another.
YKKT is shifting its focus to the younger generation and we believe this segment is a lucrative category in the market that should not be neglected. Competitors have been picking up in terms of introducing products to suit the younger generation. Similarly, YKKT has been following in their footsteps by introducing ice cream floats and toasts. However, more effort is needed in order to reposition itself in the market since they have always been perceived to be a traditional brand which do not appeal to youths that much.
If YKKT does not devote more effort to tap on this segment on market, competitors will be seen to be more attractive to younger generation. YKKT has to do more than just rely on its longstanding tradition to attract the youths to YKKT.