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Ya Kun History and Success Story


Discuss About The Evaluating Cost Effectiveness Of Lifestyle?

Marketing strategy and plan is one of the integral parts of an organisational behaviour that encourage it for an expansion into some other market (Baker, 2014). This can happen because of various reasons such as market saturation in the existing market. In such situations, efficient management feel this smarter to move to some other market while keeping the operation in the existing marketing as well. They move to other market in order to enhance their annual returns and to expand its market area to globalise the concept. Globalising the concept would bring them the much-needed benefits, which has become stagnant in the existing market. This assignment is also on the same theme (Gruber, MacMillan & Thompson, 2013). The company chosen for this assignment is Ya Kun, which is headquartered in Singapore. The company has attained successes in the country; however, it has now reached to saturation. This is why the management has felt this wiser to move to some other potential market in order to attain a progressive trend for the annual returns. The management has decided to move to some other potential market such as India, Malaysia, Brunei, Maldives and Thailand (MENKHOFF & EVERS, 2015). The main purpose of this assignment is to analyse the potentiality of the company in context to entering into the identified markets. In doing so, this assignment checks the company and its performance over all the required parameters such as external and internal environment analysis.

Ya Kun are arguably the most recognised coffee shop chains in Singapore. Ever since its inception in the year 1944 in Singapore, it never looked back. The opening was done as a coffee shop. Later, they developed their own trademark with their special kaya toast. The foundation was done as a coffee stall after the World War II; however, it really came into existence as coffee shop chains in the year 2001 in Singapore. Since then it has witnessed a huge expansion in the country and other parts of Asia. Currently, it has 40 outlets in Singapore. It is also operating in 30 other international locations altogether. One of the main reasons behind the success of the company is a mass popularity of its kaya toast. Long-term success can only be attained if innovation is delivered at the most suitable time (Wheelen & Hunger, 2017). Ya Kun have maintained the same strategy, which is highly evident in their strategy behind keeping the toast fresh and tasty. They do not believe in importing things from outside of the country. They rather believe in delivering the fresh, which is only possible if it is produced locally. They try to use various natural resources in order to keep their offerings fresh. For example, they offer plastic bags to carry the toast or other snacks. They rely on same supplier for getting all the required materials needed. The kaya toast and the coffee powder are manufactured at its factory in Bedok. These are some strategies, which enable them to offer fresh coffee and kaya toast to customers. They have not restricted them with coffee and toast only but they also offer snacks, beverages and much other stuff (, 2017).

Ya Kun's Strategies

Mission- The mission of the company is as follows (, 2017):

  • To strive to preserve its uniqueness established ever since 1944
  • To propagate a belief that a fresh and good quality toast can produce friendship and partnership relations with the customers
  • To attain a mission to offer its dual objectives, which is to provide the affordability and availability with its products
  • To pursue an excellent customer service
  • To position it at the forefront with innovation in production

Vision- “To establish the company as a household reputation in the country and the other parts of Asia” (, 2017)

It is difficult to operations without the required different resources such as the human, capital, physical etc. Ya Kun Company like many other SMEs have smartly managed the requirement of capital flow. The expansion of the company in Singapore and the other parts of world has largely been accredited to its strategy to approach the franchisees. The different franchisees have helped the company in expanding to an elevated area of business in the country and the other parts of world. The company was able to penetrate into the market, which the company has no access with previously because of capital issues and the government regulations. Another interesting fact about the company is its human resource management, which has efficiently responded to the created urgency. The company relies heavily on recruiting the professionals and training them on the skills and the culture required to propagate the reputation that it carries. They have set certain criteria for selecting the candidate, which the aspirants need to agree in order to crack the interview. The criterion is to be punctual and to have willingness to work with flexible shifts. The training is carried on for two weeks in a row at its SAFRA Mount Faber outlet. The site offers a practical training program, which also include interacting with the live customers (, 2017).

Currently, the company is the second largest coffee chains in Singapore followed by ToastBox. Killiney Kopitiam is its other competitor. Ya Kun has maintained a progressive trend in the market; however, it is still a long way for the company to dislodge ToastBox from the top position. In terms of number of outlets, Ya Kun again comes at the second spot after ToastBox.

They are efficient strategy maker in terms of marketing. Physically, they do unlike marketing of their products. For an example, they use wooden tables and tools in order to represent the Chinese culture. Additionally, unlike its competitors it offers limited menu with centred focus on their trademark product kaya toast. To connect to a wider audience, they also sell French toast and Toastwiches. They combine the meal with boiled eggs and beverage. They have kept prices slightly higher in its local outlets; however, it is still less expensive than the pricing at its overseas outlets. One of their unique marketing strategies is the use of recipe, which is only familiar with few Loi families. This is how they deliver a unique taste of coffee and kaya toast to the customers (, 2017).

Ya Kun's Target Market

Singapore is a country where numerous different cultures exist. In other words, it means that there exists a variety of taste. Its stores have now become a compulsory one-visit store for most people living in Singapore. Customers of its different coffee shops are mainly the Asian people and those who belong to the other parts of world. They also need to recommend taste to select because most of the time customers find this difficult to understand the best taste for him or her. This is another interesting point that helps in attracting customers to its coffee outlets (, 2017).

There are mainly two competitors of Ya Kun Company in Singapore such as ToastBox and Killiney Kopitiam. ToastBox in particular has produced an enormous competition to the company. It is at the top position in Singapore in terms of number of outlets and the growth of sales. It is necessary for Ya Kun that it maintains a high standard quality of coffee, kaya toast and other snacks. This is necessary to enhance its sales. Singapore has become a business hub. It is also gaining popularity in the tourism industry. This is because of both the reasons it is necessary for the company to innovate with their offerings to attract a wider customer base (, 2017).

Unlike its competitors, Ye Kun is limited with the offerings; however, it has now opened up its arms of creative actions. The success story ever since its inception in the year 1944 has been the recipes that include soft-boiled eggs, toast layered with homemade kaya and fresh coffee. It has now also become a comfortable meal for most Singaporeans. The company has now become more creative with recipes in menu such as Toast Dipz. They have maintained their traditional legacy while agreeing to move with the pace of modern taste. The added product is just a mere example of such fact. They are doing this to reach out to younger customers. Such creative ideas have helped the company in producing many reasons for the customers to be in its coffee shops. They are also working with the Singapore Tourism Board to reach to a wider market. They are offering CapitalCard Promotion and discounted offers on Great Singapore Sale (, 2017).

Based on above analysis the three kinds of products can be segmented as follows:

  • Core- traditional coffee, kaya toast and even value meals
  • Actual- different kinds of meals to satisfy the different kinds of needs, quality service & food and significant brand value in the country
  • Augmented- outlet locations are always close to business areas to make this convenient for the customers to visit, it has now become a significant place to meet with friends and conduct important meetings as well

The target market includes locals who have passion for traditional coffee and kaya toast. This also includes tourist, as Singapore has now become a significant tourist attraction. If it expands to some other parts of world such as Maldives, India, Malaysia and Thailand, it would target the local customers as well as the tourists coming from the other parts of world. The target market segmentation is like the following:

Ya Kun's Competitors

Demographic- In this category, they have targeted young and middle age customers: 10-50 years old and elders: 50 years and above. This is rightly planned as well. These two age groups are the potential customers for coffee and snacks. Customers are both male and female. They are either married or single. Such business concept is for all income groups. Customers are not judged based on their race. They do this to reach to a wider customer base, which is very important to compete with its competitors (, 2017).  

Geographic- Geographically, they have targeted all the locals and the tourists who come to the country from other parts of world (, 2017).

Behavioural- Those customers are targeted who are loyal and addictive to traditional coffee and kaya toast (, 2017).

Psychographic- All those who fall within the lower to middle to upper class (, 2017)

They are competitive because they follow traditional footprint. They are also competitive because they use creative ideas to reach to a wider and enhanced customer base. Collaborating with the Singapore Tourism Board is one of such examples that show their utmost innovation for long-term business strategies. Introducing new taste such as Toast Dipz just shows that they are flexible enough to give space to change. The practical training given to shortlisted staffs in its training location with live customers just add values to their creativity. They are significantly behind to ToastBox in terms of sales growth and coffee outlets; however, they are a potential learner, which is good for a long-term business growth. Identifying the requirement to move to new markets such as Maldives, Malaysia, India and Thailand just show their capability to make justified decisions when it is required the most (Fleisher & Bensoussan, 2015).

Politically Singapore is a very stable country. The local government of the country has very encouraging thoughts, as it is evident in its decision to promote the country at the global platform in relation to tourism. They are favouring the growth of the country as the global tourism. Nevertheless, this would be beneficial for Ya Kun because it is already engaged in drawing the attention of tourists that come from the different parts of world (Aljunied, 2013).

Singapore’s per capita growth in GDP is higher than even the few developed nations. The open trade policies have favoured mush more in becoming the centre as a business hub for many international companies. The country has also an advanced level of infrastructure, which is good for different kinds of business. The GDP growth and a highly developed infrastructure is a good sign for the business of Ya Kun Company. Locals of the country have high buying capability, which means that income is a least barrier in the success of the business. Additionally, foreign tourists are also the potential buyers (Vu, 2013).

The population of the country is occupied with all the age groups. Additionally, it also has the population of tourists that are increasing with passage of time. The population is also a mixture of different cultures that represent different parts of world. It is indeed an opportunity for the Ya Kun Company that it has a large space to use its creativity to satisfy the needs of its target customers those who are young and middle age group people and elder ones (Swee-Hock, 2012).

People living in this country are very comfortable with the English language. It has a very developed educational system, which means people are educated and qualified. This is indeed good for a further business of Ya Kun Company. It is a very safe city. It is one of few locations, which provide high supports to the infrastructure related development. This is one such factor, which is supportive for a progressive benefit of the company’s business (Png & Yoong, 2014).

The Singaporean government is very ambitious on the technology part. Such tendency has already attracted much more investments from different parts of the world. The technological advancements of the country and the curiosity of the local government in relation to various technology adoptions have provided an enormous opportunity to the Ya Kun Company. Nevertheless, business operations in the country are supported by utmost set of technologies that is very important for the coffee business (Chatterji, 2016).

The legal framework in the country is very favourable to the business. The rights of every business are protected with utmost strategies of the local government. The local government of the country does not let biasness happen with any company. This further means that companies can freely operate their business and would get fair chances of expansion (Ganguli, 2014).

The country has lost a significant area of mangrove, which is a matter of worry. However, the country has been successful in reducing the content of carbon from air. This is a remarkable achievement, which also creates potential aspects in the country for foreign investors. This has produced ample of opportunities for the Ya Kun Company to explore its creativity in front of a wide range of people and business (Lai et al., 2015).

Strengths- Mixing up traditional touch with the modern taste is one of the strengths of the company. Using innovative marketing strategies such as working in collaboration with the Singapore Tourism Board to attract the tourists is another strength, which makes them potential business company. Positioning the coffee house near to business areas is another strength that catches much attention (, 2017).

Weaknesses- They have expanded to many foreign locations; however, they have not yet entered into some potentially developing markets such as India, Malaysia, Thailand and Maldives. India in particular is a potential location because of the highly incrementing population and an equally incrementing per capita GDP growth (Ahluwalia & Little, 2012).

Opportunities- Singapore market has now reached to saturation level. However, there are some other potential market such as India, Malaysia, Maldives and Brunei, which have ample of opportunities in them for coffee business (Mukherjee, White & Wuyts, 2013).

Threats- There is no such threat in Singapore because the business has now reached to a saturation level in the country. However, it might face some challenges in the target countries such as in India where there are many local and international leading companies such as CCD and Barista (Chengappa et al., 2014).

  • To reach to a wider range of customers through effective marketing strategies such as working in collaboration with the Singapore Tourism Board
  • Mixing up traditional flavour with the modern taste to attract younger generations
  • Opening up shops close to different business places to attract maximum customers
  • To approach to a large number of franchisees in order to expand the business to a larger area
  • To maintain the capital flow with a continuous expanding relationships with the franchisees

It include traditional coffee, Kaya Toast, value meals, Toast Dipz, beverages etc. It has well designed to capture a wider customer base from younger to middle aged to elder people.

The integrative marketing communication objectives include the following:

  • To reach to a wider customers through every possible strategy that also include physical promotion such as opening up outlets at the business places
  • To use different social media platforms such as Twitter to get close to the locals and tourists

They have different promotional stunts such as opening up outlets close to business places, offering discounted offers to tourists in collaboration with the Singapore Tourism Board. They are also opening up stores at the airports to attract maximum foreign customers towards the brand.

They have considered physical promotions such as opening up outlets near to airports and business areas. They also prefer using social media platforms such as Twitter to interact with the locals and the tourists. They also offer discounted offers to the tourists in order to attain a wider reception.

To use PR activities in order to get close to their customers and understand their requirements. This would help in improving their service further.

The monitoring and evaluation of the program is done by looking into the responses at the different platforms such as the followings at the Twitter.

The price for different offering is little costlier in locals; however, it is less expensive to what it is in its global outlets.

Their place of operation include majority of business places in Singapore. They are also operating in some other parts of world such as China, UAE. They have planned to expand into India, Malaysia, Maldives, Thailand and Brunei.

It includes core ingredient, interactive staffs and skilled employees.

It includes various such as legendary service, wooden tables & tools and interacting with the tourists through discounted offers on shopping.

  • Clean, friendly environment with wooden tables & tools
  • Beverages, snacks, kaya toast, coffee etc.

They consider the implementation of various things such as offering discounts to tourists on their shopping with the help from Singapore Tourism Board. They mix up innovation with tradition to attract the younger generations. They control the process through different strategies such as they train employees through live interactions with customers. This strategy can effectively reduce any chances of shortcomings in the customer service.


Ya Kun are a progressive company that smartly operates with intelligently thoughts. This is why the company has attained a significant position in the hearts of Singaporeans as well as the foreign tourists to this country. The decision to enter the other potential markets such as India, Thailand, Malaysia, Maldives and Brunei would be attainable for the company as they are capable to foster a good entry. However, they need to prepare a thorough documentation comprising of market entry strategies before entering the market to prevent them from any loss.


Ahluwalia, I. J., & Little, I. M. D. (2012). India's economic reforms and development: Essays for Manmohan Singh. Oxford University Press.

Aljunied, K. (2013, November). Coffee-shops in colonial Singapore: Domains of contentious publics. In History Workshop Journal (Vol. 77, No. 1, pp. 65-85). Oxford University Press.

Baker, M. J. (2014). Marketing strategy and management. Palgrave Macmillan. (2017). [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Sep. 2017].

Chatterji, M. (Ed.). (2016). Technology transfer in the developing countries. Springer.

Chengappa, P. G., Rich, K. M., Muniyappa, A., Yadava, C. G., Ganashruthi, M. K., Pradeepa, B. B., ... & Rich, M. (2014). Sustainability coffee certification in India: Perceptions and Practices.

Fleisher, C. S., & Bensoussan, B. E. (2015). Business and competitive analysis: effective application of new and classic methods. FT Press.

Ganguli, S. K. (2014). Dividend, Minority Shareholders, Legal Protection, and Firm Value: Evidence from Singapore.

Gruber, M., MacMillan, I. C., & Thompson, J. D. (2013). Escaping the prior knowledge corridor: What shapes the number and variety of market opportunities identified before market entry of technology start-ups?. Organization Science, 24(1), 280-300. (2017). Cite a Website - Cite This For Me. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Sep. 2017].

Lai, S., Loke, L. H., Hilton, M. J., Bouma, T. J., & Todd, P. A. (2015). The effects of urbanisation on coastal habitats and the potential for ecological engineering: A Singapore case study. Ocean & Coastal Management, 103, 78-85.

MENKHOFF, T., & EVERS, H. D. (2015). Singapore: From Knowledge City to Start-Up'Hub'.

Mukherjee, C., White, H., & Wuyts, M. (2013). Econometrics and data analysis for developing countries. Routledge.

Png, M. E., & Yoong, J. S. Y. (2014). Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of lifestyle modification versus metformin therapy for the prevention of diabetes in Singapore. PLoS One, 9(9), e107225.

Swee-Hock, S. (2012). The population of Singapore. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Vu, K. M. (2013). Information and communication technology (ICT) and Singapore’s economic growth. Information Economics and policy, 25(4), 284-300.

Wheelen, T. L., & Hunger, J. D. (2017). Strategic management and business policy. pearson. (2017). [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Sep. 2017]. (2017). Ya Kun Kaya Toast. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Sep. 2017].

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