By Nathen Mazri
The 2007 Revolution
What happened in the year of 2007? It has changed human beings’ course of thinking, action, behavior, and communication. Facebook, Twitter, AirBnB, GitHub, and Kindle all came to life creating a world revolution. The easy access and flow of information and knowledge at an accelerating rate has
A new set of capabilities emerged to re-create, re-structure, and re-build our digital world to become an interconnected society, but interdependent on data, forever, even for the giant tech companies such as Netflix, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, AirBnB and many more co-dependent on large amounts of raw data. Without it, they will seize to exist and so will you!
We have become out of control, as we can’t keep up with the accelerating and shifting digital world and new technology given our low attention span. On Google Play store, it takes approximately seven seconds for a consumer to install an app after viewing a feature graphic of a particular app on the store.
Let’s face it! We live in an app-economy with over $110 billion in consumer spending across all mobile app stores, which will grow to $139 billion in 2021, according to App Annie Intelligence. Users are no longer satisfied with common standard apps and they are becoming highly demanding at an accelerating paste in regards to app features, tasks completion, app benefits, and enabled touch options. Youth is our driving force and can’t be suppressed. Their voice must be heard and carried out with full attention and scrutiny or you will fail to become the next engaging brand leader in the next decade.
Enter ‘Entergage’: Entertainment + Engagement
I have spent two years studying the fast-shifting app-economy and mobile world by starting to read How To Build A Billion Dollar App by George Berkowsi, the mastermind behind the successful taxi-hailing app, Hailo. There is no guide out there on how to build a successful mobile app as it is a grey area and involves time, investments, and a “big idea”, which will be difficult to tackle when the world is changing at an accelerating pace and users are becoming more sophisticated by the second. It requires constant modifications, change, patience, and funds to adjust to the newly formed big idea to solve a certain problem or provide a particular benefit. Listening to what millennials have to say is 50 percent of your homework completed.
I came from a family of fast-food franchise owners based in Dubai, where we operated and sub-franchised brands such as Mr. Sub, Jugo Juice, and Van Houtte Café across the Middle East – all owned and managed by my father at Veyron Investments. But, the optimistic statistics of tourism and growing fast food chains in the UAE are not the same anymore. 64 percent of operators surveyed by KPMG indicated that same-store sales over the last 12 months have either been stagnant or have declined. The findings have concerned me and it was evident from our own retail stores.
My further investigation in the QSR industry raised one simple question:
Does the world need another pizza, burger, or chicken restaurant?
Logically, the answer was “no”. The industry is cluttered with non-innovative, unoriginal, mundane, and copycat brands that can’t fool the consumer as we once thought back in the 90s that the consumer is “Smart & Stupid”. This paradigm of thinking is no longer valid with the easy flow of information and quick adoption of knowledge due to social media and digital academic services such as online institutions, shared codes on GitHub, and Lynda.com by LinkedIn with over 6,000 courses from various industries. The consumer has become a “Sophisticatonist”. Ask yourself if you know more today than 1997 since you are also a consumer!
I knew if I had to survive and WIN BIG in the next decade, I had to become “entergaging”, rather than engaging by understanding consumers’ mobile usage habits – not lifestyle habits – as brands must be in the palm of their hands before they can reach their minds. Brands can’t think as retailers any longer; they must think as Entergagers. It’s no wonder that QSR brands’ sales are declining especially for newcomers who still think like McDonald’s and not Deliveroo. They still think they can become a global sensation with a drive-thru, good food, and quality service.
Sorry to break it to you, but that is not enough!
The rise of video entertainment, Internet advertising, e-zine publishing, mobile games, music on demand and more is shaping the media spending, allocation of marketing budgets, and, therefore, consumer spending. QSR brands lack a multi-sensory branding strategy. Entertainment & Media (E&M) is the new rising future of the digital world for entrepreneurs to break through convention and think untraditionally in 2017 to avoid the death sentence of a brand. Red Bull entergaged with its consumers by investing in brand stories and leveraging its brand positioning, creating Red Bull Media producing sports content to emphasize on speed. Nike entergaged with its customers by creating its own web series producing video entertainment to appeal to the millennials. Netflix is producing original content such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black to retain users.
So, what is your next play? How will your brand ride the E&M wave?
It is time to foster deep relationships with consumers in the digital ecosystem and not transactions. Entrepreneurs must embrace the shift of thinking from sellers to creators even for F&B.
Enter ‘QMR’: Quick Mobile Restaurants
The fall of one industry is the rise of another.
Fast food brands must now shift from QSR to QMR, a new rising industry that meets the everlasting shifting mobile app-economy today as three out of four customers will download an app, try new things and dine in at least three times a month. Approximately, 88 percent of the online population uses social networking sites daily and word-of-mouth and reviews remain the top influencers of purchase decision online. I am shocked when brands think to distribute flyers at an exponential cost rather than increase online exposure for maximum reviews, hence, sales.
After sleepless nights and a year and seven months, I have designed an entergaging user interface that allows users to order while being entertained to increase user acquisition and retention. The world did not only want pizza; they wanted to novelty, emotion, and entertainment. I knew I had to meet Jim Davis, creator of Garfield, the most widely syndicated comic books according to Guinness World Records with over 200 million comics sold globally and over $300 million in box office success from the two feature films by 20th Century Fox and over 16 million Facebook followers. Garfield is loved by all ages, gender and race.
The idea was the bring Garfield into the QMR world by launching GarfieldEATS in early 2018, the world’s 1st entergaging Quick Service Mobile Restaurant (QMR). The GarfieldEATS app enables users to watch, play, order, read, collect, redeem, track, manage, chat, share and much more in this entergaging app. Total entergagement can also be calculated as per the Mazri Formula below:
Total Entergagement = (Reactions + Views + Clicks) / Time x Average Retail Price
Guess what? Entergagement was shaped by the youth and the QMR industry was pioneered by millennials younger than 35 years old such as Travis Kalanick, founder of Uber, at the age of 32; Will Shu, founder of Deliveroo, when he was 35-years-old; and Deepinder Goyal founded Zomato when he was 30. It is the era of millennials and today’s youth are not a liability; they are an asset.