Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Yoasis -- Pretty good job

A few weeks ago in my Brand Management class, we had the chance to help HogiYogi choose what they would call their new entrant into the latest Yogurt craze that is going on.

Initially HogiYogi was going to go with "YogurRXt" -- not a good idea. They had a creative idea around it, and they thought it tied into "Health" well. But Yogurt Health means organic not sterile hospital. Plus calling sizes something like "Overdose" while creative is going to bring back very bad memories for some people.

What they decided on was Yoasis. I agree with them that of the ideas put up, Yoasis was probably the best presentation. The student team that came up with Yoasis had some very faulty logic as to why this idea should be picked (like a "National" survey that was sent to who they knew in the MBA Program, or the fact that it competed with names they made up and not the names that other teams presented).

Nonetheless, the Yoasis team by far had the best presentation. One team actually spelled yogurt backwards for a sound saying "True-Joy" but spelt "Trugoy." Does anyone really want the name "Goy" in their business name? Unless you were told to say 'joy' you'd be making an ethnic-slur every time you said the business name.

So my wife and I went to Yoasis last night. They've done a pretty good job with it I think. They did use the water-fountains idea from my team's presentation. They made a really nice "sit and lounge" modern atmosphere right next to Yoasis. Because of this, I think that if there was a Starbucks in Provo, this location would be able to take a sizable portion of that Starbucks' market.

The price was great; I'm sure that will help them capture a lot of the student market.

The actual product is wonderful!

In fact, I only had two problems with it. Yoasis has a flat screen where it shows video of natural, oceanic places. When I was there a documentary concerning sea-lions was playing. The problem is they play the sound as well. So while I was there trying to talk, I felt the documentary kept invading my conversations. Perhaps muting the sound like Costa Vida does with its tv's would be a good idea. Of course I can see the flipside to that too. I love surfing and I always want to hear details of the waves pictured at Costa Vida.

Second, I love the ocean. I graduated from BYU-Hawaii. I will probably move back to Hawaii within the next 10-years. And large portions of my vacations will be spent scuba-diving all over the world until I am back in Hawaii. So when I see a product use the word "Oasis" and then show me a tropical island.... I don't like it. I've heard many others say "Isn't an Oasis in the desert?" Well, I agree! Its funny but it is actually kind of offensive to me and those are my two passions in the world: the Ocean, and the Desert (of Southern Utah).

So without biasing this with my clear opinion, I do think the Imagery Yoasis is using to brand itself does create a little customer confusion.

All in all though, I think they did a pretty good job and I'll patronize it once or twice a month while I'm here for another year. With the rush they were in, I believe they chose the best idea and they've done some good implementations. As always, there are tradeoffs, and that more than anything is what keeps critics in business!


Michael said...

I like what you said about yoasis marketing paradise when it's talking about a desert. So my question is what would some of your idea's be for marketing yoasis instead of what they are currently doing?

Inc Magazine said...

So you're putting me to the test eh? :) I meant to reply back to this a while ago-- you know how it goes though. Hope you get to see my response.

My biggest thing I think Hogi Yogi is doing wrong is they want to create a brand and have instant equity to lever all over Utah within about 3 months. Its like carving Pinocchio and then hoping he becomes a real boy-- trying to get a respectable desert in Hogi Yogi by creating a stand alone shop has many superfluous and missing steps. When they go in-shop all over Utah, they're going to find themselves building a 2nd brand.

My ideas for the desert though? hmmmm...... You know, I'd focus on the Palm Trees so you still have that hot feeling of needing refreshment, but not show an island surrounded by ocean. Show what an Oasis is. In fact an Oasis in the desert is more refreshing than a tropical island.

I think they do a good job with the atmosphere but I question if they'll be able to recreate it when Yoasis is served in Hogi Yogi. Plus, if I was dining at HY, I'd want to sit in the Yoasis area-- I think they should make the seating equal.