US burger chain to debut in Malaysia
Jan 9, 2015
CaliBurger is already successful in Asia after just three years. It earns about 70 per cent of its overseas revenue from Shanghai and Hong Kong alone and expects Malaysia to be a similarly strong market.
CaliBurger global CEO Silas Adler said in a recent interview with The Edge newspaper it would use pop-up experiences and social media to build brand awareness.
“Our marketing strategy in Malaysia, based on previous experiences, would be localised social and video-wall content through local artists, musicians and celebrities, done in a way that resonates with the local crowd,” he said.
“There are also pop-up events that are held very closely before the store launches that serve to start seeding the product perspective with the people and get them excited,” Adler said.
CaliBurger, with local partner AAR Fusions, will spend some 4 million MYR (about US$1.14 million) launching in the new market, including marketing investment.
“Looking at statistics from around the world, specifically at the increase in social media marketing spend, there is a direct correlation to store traffic. So we would like to follow some of the process here but in different markets, it would mean different types of social media engagement.”
Vijayan Chinnasami, a principal with AAR Fusions, said CaliBurger was an ideal fit for Malaysia given it is one of the fastest growing consumer markets in the world.
“CaliBurger Malaysia will be the first premium burger concept in Malaysia that is affordable for the masses. It will also be the first restaurant chain in Southeast Asia where groups of friends and families can come together during certain times for social gaming on the walls of the restaurants.”
CaliBurger describes itself as “a 21st century revival of the classic California burger joint”.
“Our founders are California-bred with global ambitions, bringing the best of California culture, technology, imagery and food to markets that have long craved the famous California style burger. CaliBurger provides a premium quality burger experience at an accessible QSR price point,” the company said in a statement.
CaliBurger’s products feature the quality beef, fresh-baked buns, “hand-selected” vegetables, no trans-fat oils, sauces made in house and hand-mixed shakes.
“Our made-to-order meals are always prepared in open kitchens and our restaurants incorporate advanced technologies to create a unique dining experience.”
Meanwhile, Chinnasami told The Edge he is confident Malaysian CaliBurger outlets can outperform those of Hong Kong through aggressive marketing, despite a lot of competition in the sector.
“The Malaysian market is not saturated because people are dying for good quality products and that’s what we’re trying to show – that we’re different in that we have a healthy and fresh option because our burgers are built-to-order, which is what people want.”
Adler added: “Saturated markets are positive, not negative, because consumers are better educated on our product. In an unsaturated market we would need to spend more marketing dollars in the seeding of the product and the education, so we’re a fan of over-saturated markets.”
CaliBurger’s products will be priced between traditional fast food burger chains and gourmet burger restaurants with a typical price point in the mid 20s Ringgitt (MYR25 equals USD7.14)
“We would like to make ourselves affordable for the masses,” Vijay said.