G1, Group 4 – BreadTalk Project Summary

G1 Group 4 – BreadTalk

Hi everyone,

Our group would like to give you a brief preview of our suggestions for BreadTalk’s social-mediated crisis management strategies.

What is BreadTalk?

BreadTalk is an established Singaporean bakery known for its innovative and artisanal bread. On top of bread, its stores feature other products such as jam, cakes and beverage.

Most of you should have seen or consumed one of BreadTalk’s signature product – the Floss Bun – which looks like this:

(Source: BreadTalk Singapore)

Yes we get it, the bun looks awesome. So moving on, what happened to BreadTalk?

BreadTalk was caught in a couple of crises in 2015, namely those involving the Lee Kuan Yew-themed bun called ‘Lee Bu Kai Ni’ (which sounds similar to I Can’t Leave You in Chinese), and the Yeo’s Soya Milk.

Although the sales proceeds of ‘Lee Bu Kai Ni’ Bun would go to the charity, netizens still perceived it as an insensitive marketing strategy. It created the impression that BreadTalk was an opportunistic brand. The second crisis struck when a photo of a BreadTalk employee was repackaging Yeo’s Soya Milk into plastic bottles with labels that indicate those beverages were freshly made by BreadTalk. This constitutes a crisis involving poor food quality as it misrepresents the freshness of the soya milk. Netizens even casted doubts over the quality of BreadTalk’s other products and threatened to no longer purchase from BreadTalk.

Okay… So how did BreadTalk respond to those crises?

For each of the crises, BreadTalk posted an apology post on Facebook. It also shows its appreciation for the netizens’ feedback, and what it will do in response to the crises.

(Source: BreadTalk Facebook page)

Is BreadTalk’s response good enough?

Our group believes that BreadTalk did not respond effectively to the crisis. We conducted a survey to gauge how BreadTalk’s target audiences (the general public and loyal customers) perceive the effectiveness of BreadTalk’s response on Facebook in relation to the Soya Milk scandal, and only 19% expressed satisfaction with BreadTalk’s response.

After in-depth analysis and observation, we found that BreadTalk’s social-mediated crisis management strategy faces three fundamental problems:

  1. It does not address audience’s concern
  2. It is too reliant on the default response template
  3. It has weak value proposition in building BreadTalk’s brand image

So what do we think can be done?

Our group has identified three social media strategies BreadTalk should adopt.

Strategy 1 : Proactively monitor and build customer engagement and respond to crisis.

While this strategy may seem general, BreadTalk needs to clearly identify the platforms it wants to maintain and proactively monitor them. It is only through monitoring (environmental-scanning) will they be able to detect an impending crisis or note down any positive, neutral or negative sentiments that arise. They should also proactively cultivate consumer engagement during non-crisis periods to foster consumer loyalty and better communication which could shorten the duration of audiences‘ negative sentiment towards a brand in lieu of a crisis.

More than just their proactive behavior, BreadTalk will also need to learn how to respond to crisis readily and in a more genuine manner. It is evident that BreadTalk has taken an initiative to respond to negative posts or comments that have appeared over the recent months, but can they make the engagement experience better?

Our group feels that BreadtTalk can take the approach of removing standardized replies and changing it to more personalized replies (ie, signing off with their individual names) or even responding with emoticons and stickers for positive comments. It may seem trivial, but customer engagement through these means seem viable.

Strategy 2 : Engage through Corporate Social Responsibility

BreadTalk is a local company that we see almost everyday, with it being one of the most accessible bakeries country-wide. However, being within sight of a community does not mean being integrated into the community. Hence, this idea evolved.

BreadTalk can target a local beneficiary (in this case, our group feels that the Straits Times Pocket Money Fund is a possible one) and do deeds that will not only provide them with the monetary funding but also create awareness. Yes, BreadTalk has donated to the Community Chest multiple times but many do not know the reason why this beneficiary. The Straits Times Pocket Money Fund, on the other hand, as the beneficiary can go hand-in-hand with BreadTalk’s direction on investing in talent and in the future.

Our long-term strategy will be explained in class.

Strategy 3 : Excite with Floss of the Month

Pork Floss Buns have shot to fame since 2000 and have had few variations since then. In our attempt to engage the stakeholders while highlighting BreadTalk’s innovative spirit, this campaign will showcase not only BreadTalk’s most famed bread but also get customers who may have eaten BreadTalk bread growing up excited.

This exclusive floss of the month bread will only be available, as you may have already guessed, for a period of one month. The salted-egg yolk craze has already begun with BreadTalk but we think BreadTalk can do better than that.

Hear about the details of our strategies in class soon!

Signing off,

G1, Group 4

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