Yuppiechef is an online food community who offers ingredients, utensils and inspiration to prepare home cooked meals (Yuppiechef, 2016). The brand’s mission focuses on bringing “people together through the cooking and sharing of good food” (Yuppiechef, 2016). The brand promises to create value for their customers, not only through convenient shopping and quality products, but the experiences that come with the products too.
In order for the brand to effectively communicate this value promised, they have to ensure that all their contact points represent this value. Klopper and North (2011:155) explain that a point of contact is moments that the brand expresses itself and therewith can influence the stakeholders’ perceptions about the brand. It is therefore crucial that a brand delivers on their promises through their contact points to ensure that these perceptions are positive.
Yuppiechef’s brand contact points strategies are explained below with the outline of Klopper and North’s steps (2011:161):
Step 1 involves identifying all the points where a consumer can experience the brand. Yuppiechef’s include: social media, website, quality and packaging of products, customer service helpline, point of sale, marketing, emails and delivery.
From this list, you identify the most common contact points for Step 2. You will then identify your most important and influential brand contact points in step 3. These will be: website, customer service helpline, delivery and product.
Step 4: Brand contact cohesion strategy
The brand must develop a strategy to effectively communicate the brand’s purpose through their most important contact points:
- Website: The customer will determine the value of the product through the look and functioning of the website. Yuppiechef’s website is professional and clean with a hint of trendiness. This look adds value to the products as it creates a perception of luxury and durability. Adding to this positive shopping experience is the user friendliness of the website.
- Customer Service Helpline: It is vital for an online website to have a strong help platform as it is the only direct contact with the company. At Yuppiechef’s customer helpline tab, you are greeted by the friendly faces of the staff through photos. Here Yuppiechef communicates their personal relationship promise by making you see how the person on the other side of the phone looks like.The brand does however create a break in relationship by having set helpline operating hours.
- Delivery: Yuppiechef outsources their delivery through Aramex. From my personal experience, the outsourced company is not trained to deliver according to Yuppiechef’s purpose. The staff was unfriendly, unhelpful and difficult to understand. It created a break in the relationship, influencing my perception negatively.
- Product: Yuppiechef makes their products special through the use of hand written cards (Fedder, 2014). The brand ensures that their last point of contact is positive and highlights their purpose of valuing personal relationships. Every delivery contains a hand written message. Whether it be to enjoy your purchase or even just to say hi. The products are also neatly packed into boxes and gift boxes are delivered in a beautiful box with tissue paper.
For all of the above contact points to work effectively, it is important to gain employee engagement (Grossman, 2208:4). This will ensure authenticity of the brand purpose and cohesiveness as all staff members communicate and support the purpose. This is important as it creates a positive perception amongst the consumers and increases customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth.
Yuppiechef is successful in their first contact point as their website represents the promise of quality products. The hint of trendiness also shows that their products will meet your home entertaining needs.
Their last contact point is also effective as the hand written card expresses how the brand values personal relationships. The success lies in that all the staff members write these messages. Even the top management and founder are involved and thereby positively motivate the rest of the staff to follow in this beautiful tradition (Fedder, 2014).
Also speaking to their promise is the customer service helpline that introduces every helpline member. However, the brand will need to improve on being available 24/7. You cannot promise 24/7 shopping and not be personally available. It can create a negative shopping experience and thereby negative perceptions around the brand.
Lastly, the brand needs to make sure that their outsourced partner speaks their purpose. Aramex should be trained in how to cohesively approach a Yuppiechef delivery.
Successful brands, such as Yuppiechef, ensure that their whole value chain cohesively communicates and delivers on the brand’s main purpose. By doing so, the brand is able to create a positive perception in the customer’s mind and ensure that they truly know and understand the brand. It is therefore vital to critically assess and manage each contact point as ultimately any brand can only be as strong as its weakest link.
Fedder, A. 2014. Our card writing force. Available: https://www.yuppiechef.com/spatula/card-writing-force/ [2016, November 20].
Grossman, D. 2008. Internal Branding: How to Create and Sustain a Successful Internal Brand. London: Melcrum Publishing
Klopper, H.B. & North, E. 2011. Brand Management. Pearson: South Africa
University of Cape Town. 2016. Module 5 Unit 1: The nature of brand contact. University of Cape town: South Africa
Yuppiechef. 2016. About Us. Available: https://www.yuppiechef.com/about-us.htm?ref=footerlink [2016, November 20].
Yuppiechef. 2016. Help Center. Available: https://www.yuppiechef.com/help.htm?ref=footerlink&PHPSESSID=d26cutmnscqu3isse1hr8f1pv3 [2016, November 20].