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How to turn around the BreadTalk soya milk fiasco

By August 25, 2015 September 27th, 2017 No Comments
What can we learn from the ‘Freshly Prepared’ Soya Milk fiasco?

More importantly, what can be done to reverse the situation?

The hottest pre-National Day topic has to be this.

The post that started it all can be found here.

The apology on Breadtalk’s official Facebook page as follows.

In this news article, it has redirected the attention to assure us that the bakery products are made fresh at the shop.

To summarize, this local brand has a staff caught red-handed transferring a modestly priced 3rd party vendor’s product to its own, selling off at a premium, labelled as “Freshly Prepared”.

The brand apologizes and states that it’s not their intention to have such “misaligned presentation”.

Of course, the consumers think otherwise, claiming personal product experiences, affirming that they are basically mislead.

As brought up in the FB comment, ethically it’s wrong.  We won’t touch on the hygiene part either. (Opened and transferred at the shop, stored under room temperature)

From a business perspective, shareholders could have been pleased that the brand has been creative to be on target to their billion dollar revenue by 2016 (see their Message to Shareholder page on

In terms of marketing, the team has been doing their job. Lifting the perceived value of the lifestyle F&B brand.

Production and operation wise, that’s where the misalignment is.

The core & the Why of business

We understand that business is for making profit.

The reason for the business and its product, when managed well together with the marketing strategy, will align like-minded consumers.

Lifestyle premium products informed consumers want to pay a premium to be associated with.

Think Apple or adidas.

Be honest about it. It’s common to outsource production to quality 3rd party vendors. That’s what OEMs are for. Let the qualified specialist do the work.

However, there’s nothing fresh or premium about unqualified transferring of 3rd party product.

It’s a betrayal to its consumers confidence. It’s off the brand’s value.

As a business, what is your core value? What is your Why for providing the products and services?

With these 2 questions clarified, the marketing strategy will fall into place. Consumers aligned to you and business will grow.

Just make sure the operation and production departments get the memo.

How to re-market to turn it around.

1. Short term – Secure the fence sitters first

Offer storewide 50% discount with no strings attached during this National Day period.

You want to take this opportunity to associate the your product and brand with the current feel-good, celebrative atmosphere.  The opposite is riding on the passing of Singapore’s leader.

This is the action that speaks louder than the apologetic press releases.

Most people are forgiving especially when the offer is irresistible and genuine.

At minimum, you can win back the fence sitters.

2. Midterm – Turn back the betrayed

Invest in Soya Milk making machine and production system. Or tie up with well-known soya product specialist like Mr.Bean.

Have it across the stores island-wide, especially the very store that got caught by camera. Produce and prepare it live, just like the bake products.

Now you can really proudly label it as Freshly Prepared.

Offer this for FREE over a short period of time, or until the Social Media start singing praises again.

3. Long term – Build and maintain the brand

Stick to the core business of lifestyle F&B product, market accordingly and be clearly communicated and enforced throughout the company.

Now, I’m not a PR or crisis management expert. The suggestions are purely from the point-of-view of a consumer, whom the brand is serving.

Which ultimately, marketing messages ought to be like. Thinking and speaking from the point-of-view of a consumer.

I wish them all the best and is thankful for the lessons we can learn from them.

Happy National Day Singapore. Blessed long weekend to you too.

Everything is possible.
Kok Wai

Kok Wai

Author Kok Wai

Kok Wai is a content producing marketer, media trainer at Kelvin Sng Productions, a dad of two and photography contributor to multiple magazines. A sponsor of B60 Charity Run 2017, Kok Wai's goal is to help busy and ambitious business owner focus on running their business even with their limited time and lack of marketing know-how. He especially loves kids, playing the guitar, and exploring with software. You'll find him pondering on the exhilaration of securing two more good clients on a retainer basis. Connect with him on Facebook (thePF)

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