Will Blue Bottle be Think Coffee?

Will Blue Bottle be Think Coffee?
Someone will be curious about this topic because it deals with Korea market.

Recently, the new coffee brand, Blue Bottle, came in Korea coffee market.
As most people know, it is already famous brand in the U.S and Japan.

Like Apple Inc., Blue Bottle’s brand image and positioning in the U.S coffee market was so attractive point, and a step to enter in the Korea market was so natural. Actually, it was based on the success in the Japan’s market.

Blue Bottle, Sam-Cheong Dong, Seoul, Korea
Blue Bottle, Sam-Cheong Dong, Seoul, Korea

As top 10 coffee consumer, introduction of Blue Bottle was so interesting news to the customers. (Actually, Korea’s coffee market is 6 rank in 2019.)

Blue Bottle caused a sensation with marketing strategy through more powerful influencers than before. Its marketing activities made a synergy with strong brand image, identity, and positioning.

Its popularity is continuously growing up with the 3rd store located in Yeok-Sam. (1st = Sung-Su, 2nd = Sam-Cheong, 3rd = Yeok-Sam)

Opening 3rd store is the proof that many people have visited and experienced.
On the other hand, on this process, its negative people has emerged.

Of course, in the premium coffee market of Korea, their uptrend is very clear.
However, in this trend, there is remember-able coffee brand.

Think Coffee 1st Store located in Gwang-Hwa Moon
Think Coffee 1st Store located in Gwang-Hwa Moon

It is ‘Think Coffee’ introduced in 2011.
Think Coffee is world-wide coffee brand having strong brand identity and positioning.
They have emphasized on a fair trade and donation from their profit.

In the case of Korea, it became quickly known via famous TV program, called Infinite Challenge.

In that time, it was very popular and hot, like Blue Bottle in now.
As the first store, it was opened and located in Gwang-Hwa Moon, Seoul, Korea.

recently, most Think Coffee stores are in the department store located in a rich village. (Using ‘rich village’ can be a little subjective)
This means that their brand image was not like before.
(Their 1st store was closed some years ago.)

Think Coffee mainly located in department stores, Korea
Think Coffee mainly located in department stores, Korea

As thinking about brand core identity and positioning of Think Coffee, it is so sorry that most stores in Korea are located in the department stores.

In Korea market, market entry of Blue Bottle is so similar to Think Coffee in the past.

– Strong Brand Positioning
– Hot Issue & Sensation
– Located in Popular Places

If there are differentiated factors of Blue Bottle,
they just lead people make a fan by only a coffee flavor, which means that they have highest pride of a coffee flavor because they just use fresh single origin coffee bean roasted within 48 hours, and brew coffee by barista.

Also, Blue Bottle strictly observe their design identity like Apple.
(Their design makes people to remember Apple’s designs)

Blue Bottle's design identity is similar to Apple's
Blue Bottle’s design identity is similar to Apple’s
Photo by Tranmautritam on

As mentioned,
its negative public opinion is emerging because of its high expectation and excessive attention.

The important thing of brand is how long the brand continuously deliver its essence and value.

But, in the Think Coffee case of Korea, as branding view, it seems to be not successful.

Actually, making sustainable branding is so difficult.

Absolutely, a popularity of Blue Bottle will be not like now.
This being so, from now, it is important to observe if maintaining its brand essence and value or not.

Being sustainable brand is so difficult
Being sustainable brand is so difficult
Photo by on

Aside from story about Blue Bottle and Think Coffee,
introducing new brand having powerful brand identity, essence, and positioning is good factor because it can positively spur related customers and competitors.

In the view of branding/brand, observing if Blue Bottle will be Think Coffee will be interesting point and help studying about branding/brand.

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