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Released at: 08:22, 18/06/2017

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Photo: Viet Tuan

Vietnamese restaurant chain Wrap & Roll changed its brand identity after ten years of operations to renew its image in customers’ minds.

by Huyen Thanh

Since Mekong Capital’s Mekong Enterprise Fund III (MEF III) poured $6.9 million last year into Wrap & Roll, the Vietnamese restaurant chain has grown by a handy 20 per cent. Alterations to its menu and operational structure lies behind the growth, according to the fund, which are part of Wrap & Roll changing its brand identity as it targets to become the fastest-growing Vietnamese restaurant chain in the country. 

Changes in brand identity are normally done in a bid to reposition the business model or build a new image among local consumers, according to the CEO of the Masso Group, Mr. Nguyen Trung Thang. In this case, however, Wrap & Roll decided to change its brand identity to build a new image among long-standing customers. “After ten years, we wanted to renew our image, including our logo, products, and the design of our restaurants, to bring a new experience and satisfaction level to customers,” said Ms. Le Hoang Anh, Marketing Manager at Wrap & Roll. 
The change is necessary for a ten-year brand like Wrap & Roll, according to brand expert Mr. Vo Van Quang. “This makes the brand remain the pioneer in the market, being fresh,” he said. “Leading brands in the world always undergo evolution, upgrading and revolution after five or ten years. It depends on each field.” 

The new logo retains the colors of the former, including green, yellow and white. The difference is in the round-shaped multi layers representing rice paper, with green transitioning from dark to light and the final layer is orange, as the core of the roll, which represents the warmth of an intimate Vietnamese dining space. 

The change also includes the architecture of restaurants, including details such as wood, trees, images of Vietnamese rolls and hand-made material details, to create closeness and comfort for customers, as if they are enjoying a meal in their back garden. 

The new logo is better in terms of color, according to Mr. Quang, but the former was better in terms of structure. “However, both the new and the former don’t clearly express the cultural identity of Vietnamese cuisine, except for the slogan ‘The differentiation of Vietnamese rolls’,” he said. “The slogan cannot describe the whole meaning of the criteria industry insiders set. The identity must be expressed through a basic identification design, in the language, color, and texture.

Many well-known restaurant chain brands have left Vietnam quickly in recent times due to a lack of identity, as the competition among foreign and domestic brands is fierce. Wrap & Roll, however, has its own identity, Mr. Quang said. The potential of Vietnamese cuisine is huge, but turning this potential into competitive capacity, at the branding level, remains weak. 
The founder of Wrap & Roll, Ms. Nguyen Thi Kim Oanh, told a local newspaper that the competition made it sit back and conduct a review to identify the right way forward. “We didn’t invest in an extended way but we looked at core values and reviewed our branding and team to define the change,” she said. 

Wrap & Roll was the first company that MEF III invested in. Mr. Chad Ovel, Partner of Mekong Capital, said in a statement at the time that Wrap & Roll has successfully created a modern way to help consumers enjoy authentic healthy Vietnamese food and built a base for rapid expansion. “In Wrap & Roll, we see an unusually strong commitment to continuously developing their management systems and the capabilities of their management team,” he said. 

The cost of changing its brand identity is significant, according to Ms. Hoang Anh, but is suitable, as its target is to bring customers excellent experiences. 

Wrap & Roll now has seven restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City and four in Hanoi, with four franchised eateries in Singapore. The chain plans to expand its brand in both local and overseas markets. It has also spent half a million dollars on constructing a facility in order to supply inputs to local and franchised restaurants. 

In the next three years, it plans to open 15 restaurants each year. “With a new business strategy, we believe Wrap & Roll will become the fastest-growing Vietnamese restaurant chain in the country,” Ms. Hoang Anh said. 

“The plan is feasible if it is supported by stable and safe financial plans,” Mr. Quang said. “The brand may have high and low-segment versions as it is being developed in many countries at the same time. This is a multi-brand development direction that many international brands are taking.” 

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