The Cebuano market is hard to please. I’ve heard this often when I was working on getting my Business Management degree from UP Cebu. And it seems to be true especially last weekend.
“Value for money” is a driving force especially among Cebuano buyers. Meaning the “1 piso” you shell out should really equal to 1 piso in value you’ll get.
If your company or business is a new entrant to the Cebuano market, expect people to flock your new store, shop, outlet etc for the first three weeks at least. Don’t be pleased if it’s reaches your ears that your restaurant, cafe, store is the talk of the town, its “normal” I tell yah. You have to wait before you allow yourself to grin from ear to ear. If by month’s end you are still seeing increasing foot traffic coming into your newly established business, then you may be doing something right and can smile but only slightly. The real test just begun. But if you observe the opposite and noticing fewer people are coming in, it’s time for you to review your strategy. Doing business in Cebu can be really tough even for Cebuanos.
I do not claim expertise on this subject by the way so please take what I say with a grain of salt. 🙂 I am just musing and disappointed that my favorite yoghurt shop in SM closed 🙁
I was craving for this cold treat last weekend but alas White Hat in SM Cebu was gone. 🙁 And I blamed my fellow Cebuanos for not supporting this yogurt place huhuhu.
I’ll miss you White Hat, sad :/
We did researches for a marketing subject back in the university and found out that Cebu is often used as a test market for new products or new business concepts. If your product is a success in its test market or trial run in Cebu, there is a good chance your product will be a big hit nationwide. And yes I say that with pride.
Lois, a travel blogger I met a couple of weeks ago was here in Cebu for an inspirational talk before a big crowd in Radisson Blu and among the first words she said to us when we went out for the night was “Ang hirap i-please ng Cebuano crowd”. And that’s very true even for seasoned singers and famous concert artist.
I’ve lifted this paragraph from a post on one of Cebu’s famous bands when I was in college ‘Sheila and the Insects”:
People regard them as opinionated, demanding, difficult, rarely expressive, and very proud. Most musicians in this country tend to agree they are a most difficult bunch to contend with. I’m not talking about label executives or concert promoters. Nor am I talking about music critics and entertainment writers. I talk of a distinct class that runs the gamut of social strata. A specific group of people that musicians either hate or enjoy, rarely in between. One time, I saw Francis Magalona walk out on them once out of sheer frustration yet on the same occasion, Joey Ayala celebrates in their company even when he wasn’t expecting to. Performers either wither or bloom in front of their scrutiny.
I talk of no other than the Cebuano audience. Such a proud bunch. Difficult to please, difficult to understand, and just plain difficult.
Lest I be accused of plagiarizing, this is the Source: Sheila and The Insects and yes check it please; the writer discusses “Cebuano mentality and Cebu pride” more eloquently that I could ever hope for. It’s really a good read, the article was written in 2005 but still very relevant up to this day.
Back to my Whitehat yoghurt sob story, I think it closed shop in SM Cebu because it’s a bit expensive treat when there are cheaper alternatives like Zagu or Jollibee floats. I know they are not exact alternatives but you get the idea right? I wonder if it was a local brand, would it fare the same.
That’s another thing, the Cebuanos are a proud people and take great pride (take note: supports) local brand. Ever wondered why Kim Chiu was the first Pinoy Big Brother Teen Big Winner? Or why for that matter there had been lots of reality shows with Cebuanos emerging as ultimate winners? Hello?! Keana Reeves , Slater Young, Raki Vega to name a few.
Or let’s take the most recent show, Kedebon is still on the running for X-Factor Philippines despite the very obvious thing that he is not as talented as the other booted off contestants. The answer is simple, he is a Cebuano and we support our own very strongly, blindly at times. Everything Cebu and anything Cebu is a cause to celebrate, to support, to defend (check Yahoo comments sections lol), to take pride in.
This “I’m a Cebuano and proud of it mentality” is both a good and a bad thing. I swear I can write many posts about this hehe.
A friend says “if you want to please the Cebuano market put the word “of the South” after every brand name you are promoting… “. She doesn’t want to be identified fearing a backlash from people here hahaha. The “_____ of the South” is in reference to “Cebu the Queen City of the South”. Of chors hehe.
If Panay have Boracay, Cebu have Bantayan (for very fine white sand beaches and crystal clear waters).
If Batangas have Anilao, Cebu have Malapascua (for diving).
If Rizal have Antipolo, Cebu have the Top ( for overlooking spot)
..you get the drift hehehe.
This is what happens to me when I am denied a favorite treat. I discuss other things and not the usual posts you can find on this lifestyle and travel blog lol.
It’s a surprising thing if you can’t find me lingering in SM or another mall during weekend. I’m almost always there for one reason or another every Saturday or Sunday, I swear I think I’ll get down with fever if I can’t visit a mall once a week now that I am working from home. Grrr I digress again from current topic, story of Penfires, be warned.
The point is whenever there are stores in SM that closes I am almost always aware of it. So mannn was I surprised when I couldn’t find White Hat in its usual spot on the way to the North Wing!
There had been many famous brands in Manila that did not survived the tough Cebuano market that frequents SM like White Hat, Filbars, Kopi Roti, Tapa King, Chewy Junior, Wendy’s, Hot Pink Lingerie and countless more.
And would you believe it 7-11 Convenience stores just opened its first few branches in Cebu last month? =) and Krispy Kreme and Savory entered the Cebu Market last 2011. I think Krispy Kreme will be successful but Savory? I am not as confident the reason is that we have a famous local fried chicken restaurant ‘Sunburst’.
Anyway so I am again on the hunt for the best frozen yogurt in Cebu. Sad that White Hat closed in SM. What’s worst, I don’t think there is another White Hat outlet here in Cebu. If you’re from Cebu, please drop me some suggestions on the yogurt to try next.
Why of why?! Nothing left to do but go on dreaming the creamy goodness of an Italian frozen yogurt. And end this discourse on Cebu and the Cebuano market before I think of something else and make this post even longer than it already is hehehhe.
Where’s my yogurt?!!!
Ari na ko!
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