And so I set off into the night only to come back with a blog post idea in my head. These are the three things that I understood about putting up a business while eating my favorite footlong hotdog (with coleslaw and hot sauce) at Angel’s Burger.
1. Availability is king.
I remember three remarkable lessons from the past that are aligned with this statement.
First, when I was still working for Lamoiyan Corporation (makers of Hapee toothpaste), there was a season when the most popular toothpaste brand in the Philippines, Colgate, disappeared in the shelves of the supermarkets of the biggest mall chain in the Philippines, SM. It was one of our highest grossing seasons in terms of sales not necessarily because buyers shifted voluntarily to Hapee. But because their brand was not available. I knew back then that the people from Colgate are in big trouble.
That’s when I learned my biggest lesson on availability and distribution management. I realized that no matter how much we, as marketers and manufacturers, work our assess off, if our toothpastes won’t make it to the shelves of our distribution channels, our work are in vain.
Way back in college, I don’t remember being excited about my classes in distribution and channel management. Then in the real world, I realized that the availability of the product is actually as important as manufacturing. This totally changed my perspective in my work as a Trade Marketing Assistant.
My second lesson is now when I am practicing as a real estate broker. In our business, location is king. The philosophy is no matter how beautiful and no matter how affordable your towers are, if they are in bad locations, they will be very hard to sell. In fact, the other side can also be true. If you have an ugly tower in a high-demand location, chances are people will still – at the very least – inquire about your project.
My third lesson is about McDonald’s. I read somewhere before that what made McDonald’s popular is not because it had the best tasting burgers and fries in the world. They key – as the author discussed – is because it made itself very much available to everyone. It may not serve very tasty food but when the price is right and it’s fast, convenient and available, most likely, it will sell. And sell McDonald’s did!
So, there really are a huge lessons on availability and distribution management. For people like me who would like to put up a business, let us not put availability in the backseat. Some businesses placed it in front like Angel’s and look at where they are now.
2. Price is queen.
The key – I believe – is becoming lower than the competition in terms of price. Let’s say Angel’s biggest competition is Jollibee’s Yum burger. Even without checking out the price, I know that Angel’s win in this category.
But not only that, Angel’s even introduced a new purchasing scheme – the perpetual and the never-ending “Buy 1, Take 1” promo. Through this, buyers were placed under the impression that they can actually buy two for the price of one. In Tagalog, we even have a term for it – “sulit”. Or getting more of what you pay for.
But of course, Angel’s is not doing a sacrifice sale every single day. That is called suicide, not business. The price for two is actually the price for two. Period. No special promo going on.
But what Angel’s unlocked is this – all else equal, Filipinos will most likely choose the product that has a freebie over the one that has one.
3. Overall quality and taste are the heirs to the throne.
Personally, I like Angel’s footlong hotdog with coleslaw and hot sauce. With its price, I find it even tastier than the schubligs, bockwursts and other foreign-sounding sausages you buy in cinemas. You see, when you are stingy, the price becomes part of the overall quality and taste. Haha!
But no, seriously. Angel’s got some hotdog that is good enough for a repeat purchase with a low barrier to entry in terms of price and availability.
Kudos to this burger stall that has kept me company during those sleepless and hungry nights while doing some overthinking – just like tonight.
P.S. Photos were taken on a different day.