What’s up with Wasabi?

I had never heard of Wasabi until I arrived in London. Being a fan of katsu curry; I’ve only ever experienced Wagamama’s version. I was excited to discover that this dish of pure delight could be packaged in a tub and taken out of a restaurant setting – ok, perhaps this mind blowing revelation is specific to me.

My first experience in Tottenham Court Road was a pleasant one. My second in Kings Cross station, equally as good. However, my third and long awaited experience in Hammersmith was severely disappointing. My original conclusion that this was a place that served good food, great service, and at a reasonable price had been distorted by the new square packaging, which boasted a lump of crunchy cabbage, and a mix of katsu chicken and chicken pieces that tasted more like chicken curry than my order of choice.

Whilst the concept of this place may be good, in my opinion, the delivery needs some work. Whatever happened to service with a smile?

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Drawing a social media conclusion.

Whilst the team obviously know how to run Twitter and engage with their community. It looks like this brand is fresh to social media, with no Facebook page and a grand total of tweets totalling 135. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t have Facebook up and running either as it’s clear they have a larger community brewing there than on Twitter. If you’re in the food industry Facebook should be your first port of call – stats have shown most facebookers like to snap and share photos of their food, with their friends, more than anything else.

You might want to consider putting those little social media icons on your website too, so that people can find you. I had to search through four different Wasabi’s Facebook to find you.

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Build a friend, engage with fans

I think businesses should invest in building friends, rather than fans…

Granted its better to have a fan, rather than a consumer – from a brand loyally perspective. However, a fan is just as loose as the next consumer. They may like your page, but that doesn’t come with a lifetime guarantee, or even a sale.

Fans come and go; things change. I have been a fan of many retail stores in my life, but as I grow my style continues to change and develop – of course that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t appreciate and engage with them.

By building a friend, brands will have the opportunity to reach beyond themselves and even their friend. I believe it is all in the approach. How you set yourself up online, across social media, and the tone of voice you adopt across your networks will be key to performance. Who you put in charge of this area matters. To have someone who knows how to tweet is ok, but to have someone who can understanding the heart of your business and how to communicate effectively to different kind of friends is even more important.

Starbucks campaign to personalise the customer experience and improve customer service was a great idea, and made a great splash in the world of business marketing. I have to wonder though if the great idea has lost some wind as its employees give up on getting even the simplest of names right.

See below for the latest misspelling of my name, even after I spelt it out loud for the lovely girl. After working with a prestigious car brand recently, where I helped manage their Facebook and Twitter community, I am slightly disappointed at the lack of response from StarbucksUK. If you want to be my friend Starbucks, I suggest you pick up on the service you provide. I may still buy your coffee, but how long for remains to be seen.

My tip: Build a business that lasts, by building friends, and engaging with fans.

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