Case Study: Boba Guys and the Importance of Your Company Mission

Have you ever wondered if your customers actually care about your company mission? Better yet, does communicating your mission actually lead to more sales? For Boba Guys – one of the most successful boba stores in the U.S. – that’s been the case.

For many of us, we think that simply having a great food product or service is enough to get people to buy, but customers these days want so much more than just that. They want to buy from a business whose values they can appreciate and align with and that offer them a community.

Boba Guys was founded by two Asian Americans who wanted to bring high quality boba tea to American culture. They grew up drinking boba tea from various shops but found that they weren’t made with very good, authentic ingredients. That’s when they decided to create their own company that could offer people a real boba experience.

This is the mission behind their tea:

“If you follow us in SF and NY, you’ll know that our mission is to bridge cultures. What we’re really trying to do is actually go beyond boba and tea and bring people together from various backgrounds. It’s goes beyond ethnic culture– we often tell our team that Boba Guys bridges all cultures: techie / hip, urban / suburban, East Coast / West Coast, and even Team Edward vs. Team Jacob (sadly, that reference is dated now…).

We see ourselves as an experience company that happens to serve food and drinks. In SF and NY, you’ll see our Flavorbooks, globally-inspired drink techniques, fancy split-flap signs, and mixed-use spaces. Over time, we hope to do that in LA as well. Of course, we do hope you love our drinks and gram that Strawberry Matcha Latte or Dirty Horchata… but honestly, we just want you to experience something different. That’s what bridging cultures is all about.”

Clearly, their food business is much more than just great boba tea. They set out to help people understand what it means to be Asian American and create a community that understands and appreciates each culture. Has this been profitable for them? Absolutely. They recently opened up another location in California and in 2016 their company was valued at $2 million. I’d say that’s doing pretty good!

You could credit their success to the fine ingredients they use compared to other shops, but really it’s the way they’re changing perception and helping non Asian Americans enjoy their cultural treats.

So how can you apply this to your own culinary business?

Make sure you have a company mission statement. This isn’t just something you write down on paper and keep to yourself. It’s something you every business should have on their website. But it goes beyond just having it somewhere for people to see. If your mission is to bridge the gap between cultures, you can find other causes and things to get your brand involved with to further solidify what your company stands for. For example, Boba Guys hosts “Boba Talks” which is a series of interviews with entrepreneurs, creatives, etc. that talk about their work and what it’s like to be Asian American. See how it goes beyond tea?

Need help developing a company mission and communicating that with potential customers? That’s part of the business foundations I teach with my coaching clients. Learn more here.

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