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How Brand Vision Impacts Every Decision We Make

Aug 6, 2018


By: Wan Kim, CEO of Smoothie King

We try our best to make decisions based on our vision – to be an integral part of every health and fitness journey.

It’s important for our vision to influence every decision we make because that’s what we believe. It’s why we do what we do. If we do not stick with what we believe, people would know we were faking it. We believe everyone should live a healthy and active lifestyle. How can we help people do that if we don’t believe it?

Keeping “Why” at the Heart of Decision-Making

We sell approximately 100 million smoothies a year. The calorie and sugar consumption could be very high if we didn’t start our Cleaner Blending Initiative. Think about how many calories we are cutting and how much sugar we are eliminating from our products – that affects a lot of people.

The Cleaner Blending Initiative was a hard project for us to take on, but the Smoothie King team is proud of what we are doing. We believe we are really making this country healthier.

Whenever we meet, we always talk about why we are making these decisions. For example, we recently launched our vegan and veggie blends, which we made more flavorful with lemon, ginger, pineapple and other ingredients.

We asked ourselves: “Why are we coming up with this product?”

If we don’t ask why, people may think we created the blends just to taste good. In reality, when we actually thought about our vegan and veggie smoothies, we considered the fact that people need to consume more vegetables. However, we understood some people might not like the taste of vegetable blends, so we enhanced the taste with fruit and other ingredients to make it more palatable.

Now, people can have their veggies without sacrificing taste. Our decision to create these blends was based on our vision, and the smoothies are intended to inspire people to live healthy and active lifestyles.

Impacting all Levels of Franchise Operations

Our vision also helps us make decisions for site selection guidance and the supply chain of our stores.

When evaluating locations where our stores should open, we look at lifestyle demographics in the areas we’re interested in. We will open stores where the healthy and active demographics live.

Our supply chain is based on our Cleaner Blending Initiative, which ties back to our vision. We cut out ingredients from our vendors that did not live up to our vision statement. Now, we have cleaner ingredients, more whole fruits and vegetables and we have cut out anything that does not contribute to wellness.

Brand vision impacts the decisions our franchise partners make, too. But, within the last year, we’ve been attracting franchisees who genuinely share our vision, so they understand what we are doing and how we make decisions. Many of them are already involved in other wellness or lifestyle brands, such as gyms or health supplement stores.

Keeping it Simple and Focused

The answer to the question, “Why are we doing this?” should always be our vision statement – to be an integral part of every health and fitness journey. When we answer why with our brand vision, it provides us unified direction, which makes the Smoothie King brand powerful and helps us thrive. It also makes it easier to implement decisions across the organization because the question is not, "What Does Wan want?" It is always what fits with the mission and vision.

When we are all operating on the same page – from me as the CEO to our franchisees – our product serves our guests, and then it is easy to see how we will be an integral part of their health and fitness journey. When I see this executed consistently, I know we have the right team.

There’s a lot of competition in the food and beverage space. Consumers can go anywhere to eat. But, when they know Smoothie King has their best interest at heart, they enjoy our smoothie blends that much more, keep coming back and internalize the idea that Smoothie King is their partner on their health and fitness journey.

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