Wednesday, March 30, 2011
No Ice and Unlimited Rice
When I order vendo-dispensed softdrinks from any fastfood chain, I cant help but make a special request of "no ice". Why? I can't let myself be robbed of 10% of the softdrink contents in exchange for relatively worthless ice. Why not? Because, even without the ice, the drink is really cold enough.
A chinese proverb goes something like this: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Once upon a time I left a fastfood chain with my empty soda cup with a lot of ice. Much wiser now, I leave with the softdrinks safe in my tummy and "no ice" on the cup.
I have heard this at least twice: Mang Inasal is being considered as a serious threat by Jollibbee. It will not be surprising if this is true as Mang Inasal came out of the blue in 2003 (or green as its brand colors go) to build as many as 263 stores as of today and aiming to have 500 stores by 2012. (Source: http://www.manginasal.com/mi/about.html). To put Mang Inasal's phenomenal growth in perspective, McDonald's started in 1981 and has over 300 stores (http://www.mcdonalds.com.ph/). Jollibbee, the leader, started in 1978 and has over 600 local and 50 international stores (http://www.jollibee.com.ph/index.php?/about_us/contents/1).
What's the differentiator? Surprisingly, the battle is not on the chicken but on the "unlimited rice". This "eat all you can offer" on the rice has touched the hearts and stomachs of a lot of Filipinos. So, you dont have to be the best on everything, and perhaps the essential learning here is that you should be at least "unbeatable" on 1 thing.
So, what's your "no ice" (something you can do without) and "unlimited rice" (your competitive advantage which you absolutely can't live without).