The famous Indonesian coffee brand Kopi Kenangan is going international, starting with Malaysia where it plans to open five to ten stores in Kuala Lumpur alone. In a statement to INTERACTIVE-MARKETING, a brand spokesperson said it will focus on opening around the Klang Valley as Kenangan Coffee.
The name will be the official name used outside of Indonesia. While the brand is currently focusing on Malaysia and Indonesia, it plans to become one of the “most beloved consumer brands in Southeast Asia”, the spokesperson said. Meanwhile, CEO Edward Tirtanata told CNBC that Kopi Kenangan has long had ambitions for regional growth.
Asked about the local competition in Malaysia, the spokesperson said: “We believe that each brand has its own specialty and shares its own passions. All of them exist to give their own unique experience to their customers. For Kenangan Coffee, we strive to serve high quality products that are accessible to everyone by serving well-designed products to combine local Asian taste with the global palate.
Kopi Kenangan is an established name in Indonesia. In a conversation with INTERACTIVE-MARKETING, industry players have shared their views on the new name of “Kenangan Coffee”. Anish Daryani, CEO of M&C Saatchi, said the beauty of Kopi Kenangan’s name is in the meaning that loosely translates to “Memories over coffee” in English. As such, he is of the opinion that the brand should keep it.
“The name has an emotional leap that makes his coffee more than a product or a commodity. I strongly believe that he should maintain his brand as he plans to expand into all markets,” Daryani said. He added that given the similarity in language between Malaysia and Indonesia (Bahasa Melayu for the former and Bahasa Indonesia for the latter), the origins of the name, Kopi Kenangan would have been a perfect fit.
“Maybe the brand should keep ‘Kopi’ in the markets [it expands into], because it makes it authentically Indonesian, which is a good reason for people to try it. To support this argument, Kopiko de Mayora, another indigenous brand, is selling well under the same name in the Philippines. Likewise, Indomie is the biggest noodle outlet in the country, without having to go to Indo Noodles,” he added.
Joyce Hutapea, Market Manager at PRecious Indonesia, added that Kopi Kenangan is a well-known and leading Indonesian local coffee brand. With internationalization plans, keeping the brand name consistent would be his advice for long-term business growth.
“The main reason is that the name represents Indonesia, in Bahasa Indonesian and showcases the ability of Indonesian merchandise to compete with international coffee brands. Changing the name could potentially differentiate the brand from its origin and therefore , the original name Kopi Kenangan will only be known limited to Indonesians,” Hutapea said.
This in turn could cause confusion as international investors already know the brand as “Kopi Kenangan”, and coffee lovers (or Indonesians who live abroad, or those who have visited Indonesia and tasted the coffee) also know the name as “Kopi Kenangan”. .
“If the name is changed, back action is needed to ‘re-introduce’ the brand again while clarifying the name change. It shouldn’t feel like two different brands – instead it should reinforce and enhance the brand equity that there is only one Kopi Kenangan,” she added.
The local is in
“In Malaysia, we are seeing a trend of brand names playing into local flavors using colloquial language that is easily identified by locals, especially among millennials, millennials and millennials,” Joey said. Gan, market manager at PRecious. Communications Malaysia. Many F&B outlets have used localized names, but serve both local and Western cuisines.
Sharing localization examples, Gan said a Vietnamese cafe took on a local flavor in Malaysia by naming its cafe Kopi Kawan Kawan (means coffee of friends). Another cafe was called LOKL, which reads as lokal in Bahasa, the term for local.
“The name might not be immediately identified by outsiders, but most locals, regardless of ethnicity, would have picked it up for sure,” Gan said. She added that even though Kopi Kenangan sounds poetic and meaningful, when expanding into new markets, a name that is seen as more local might be more beneficial in its reach to the masses of the market.
Sutapa Bhattacharya, Managing Director of DIA Brands Malaysia, shared that a brand is more than just a name. It manifests itself in associations, visual and verbal images, expressions and experiences. Considering the linguistic similarity between Indonesia and Malaysia, the current name is quite evocative of the coffee drinking experience. However, that may not be the case as the brand expands into other international markets and other younger customers, she explained.
But Dominic Mason, managing director of the SEA region at Sedgwick Richardson, argues the change is not drastic. He said this prevented the meaning behind the name from being distorted, and the purpose of memories, heritage and tradition remained consistent.
He added that an Indonesian coffee brand traveling internationally could rely on the provenance and authenticity of the product itself: the original source of its specialty coffees which is already world famous.
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