Apart from food delivery, many players are jumping into Vietnam’s e-commerce market, boosting the growth of related sectors and increasing their competitiveness. However, Jinwoo Song, CEO of BAEMIN Vietnam views the growth opportunities from a different angle. “BAEMIN strives to become a branded-driven company. I believe this is what we can do better and this strategy will lead us to develop sustainably in the long run,” said Song.
|Jinwoo Song, CEO of BAEMIN Vietnam |
This strategy has already occured in South Korea, the company’s country of origin. When food delivery players competed with each other through tremendous spending, BAEMIN focused on building strong brand awareness, holding a big festival for customers to visit and enjoy food, and also launching amusing commercials. By adopting a brand-building approach, BAEMIN significantly increased awareness to its customers.
Since then, BAEMIN has become one of the most iconic brands in South Korea, and customers there select the delivery app not just for the discounts but also for other characteristics. “As time goes by, customers will prioritise their experience and their experienace will be more associated with the brand power. That is why we prioritise a medium- and long-term strategy over a short-term one,” said the CEO of BAEMIN.
In Vietnam, BAEMIN has witnessed significant growth in the last two and a half years in terms of orders, basket size, transaction value, and the number of riders. With the four areas of delivery, mart, kitchen, and studio, BAEMIN has the most coverage of food delivery apps in the country, across 21 cities and provinces, and ranked first on the satisfaction of customers according to a survey from Q&Me in December 2020.
“We will continue this curve while shifting our direction towards building a sustainable and healthy force. Therefore, we will focus more on customer experience, as well as branding and marketing, so that the consumers can tell the difference between BAEMIN and other players,” Song explained.
Customers are becoming more tech-savvy, and many have started using food delivery apps. However, on the merchant side, they are still suffering.
There is huge potential on the demand side from the customers, but the problem is how to revive merchants. The actual growth will come as the number of merchants who can sustain further, is growing, Song says. After lockdown, he has seen significant growth of merchant recovery and more are expected to return.
Meanwhile, all the great things that BAEMIN is doing for society began spontaneously. Employees donated to a collection fund voluntarily and Kim Bong-jin, founder of BAEMIN, also contributed around $1 million out of his pocket to assist Vietnam amid the pandemic.
Since then, BAEMIN has decided to extend help to the surrounding communities. The company provided 6,000 lunch boxes and 1,000 social security packages to vulnerable people in Ho Chi Minh City during the lockdown last August. They also launched several support programmes for the riders to reduce the consequences of the pandemic with a budget fund of up to $87,000, and collaborated with non-government organisations to reach out to more individuals in need.
“In order to do something meaningful for our merchants during lockdown, we also held a photograph training session helped by an in-house professional photographer to train our merchants to take good photos of their products. They also expect us to support them in digital marketing as well as food safety and packaging,” Song said, adding that it has provided additional knowledge and experience to ethical practices as a result.
BAEMIN is also carrying out a global carbon footprint programme to measure emissions emitted directly and indirectly from corporate activities, and offsetting them through environmental protection activities.
It also organised an internal charity auction to raise funds, and has also collected more than $4,300 from employees to transfer to orphanages and charity houses like SOS Villages and Blue Dragon on special occasions like the Mid-Autumn Festival and Christmas.
“All the things that we have done started from goodwill, and we believe good people can make a good business,” Song explained. “Through the use of our platform, we encourage our customers, merchants, and riders to participate in similar initiatives. We have generated many great ideas and discussed them internally, and hopefully, we can undertake more meaningful activities for society”.