To say out approach to the Lawson Challenge was unusual would be like calling the Robot Restaurant a standard dining experience. Knowing that the Japanese culture can be a little conservative we want to knock them on their arses and get them to come out fighting. What better way to represent this that kick of with just that a Mike Tyson analogy!
Our approach to Lawson was to evolve their culture of convenience towards a level of innovation not previously seen in any sector thus far. But this was not just about technology this was about obsessing the consumer journey and what their needs are. Something it was obvious wasn’t happening right now.
Building on top of the services models coming out in Japan to try to diferentiate product creation we wanted to deliver convenience at every level of the Lawson chain. Not only in store but before you even think about going there at a local level. The idea involved
- Convenience at every level of the value chain; Dry Cleaning pick up and delivery tied in with deliveries of healthy meals.
- Integrated local services that align with Consumer needs via an interactive feedback model
- Convenience Academy – RnD, Store manager updates, pilot projects and models for localisation.
- Evolve their loyalty card into and app/service model creating a multifacited transaction system and easier use of connected services
The unique idea that Lawson did bring was that they liked to change and adapt each store to suit the local community constomers. Building on this idea we started to look and emerging markets and set up local purchase of produce and labour to create each store. In particular China, Malaysia and South Korea. The time was perfect to provide these huge markets with level of convenience yet unexpected and leverage first mover advantage. South Korea having a very fast internet penetration rate indicated that it was on the cusp of starting up online shopping and commerce services that could allow you to order and pickup/deliver items from your local Lawson store.
Also even moving into USA could be viable. And by utilising the Daiso model Japanese high quality style of convenience particularly when targeting the high concentrations of Japanese on the West Coast could well be an easy in for Lawson. And provide them with an alternative and differentiated convenience proposition giving a foothold against the large player such as 7/11. Fresh, great quality and Hyper-convenient.
- Premium convenience, Japanese-style”. Hard-to-find Japanese products, value-conscious premium price
- LA area first, Bay area second. Highest population of Japanese in mainland US is Gardena, CA which is in LA area.