These very traditional companies are faced with very low margins, heterogeneity and a lack of definition of establishments that sell everything – soft drinks, nuts, sandwiches … – and move the purchase of “sweets” to the hypermarket … If you wanted to be successful In this area, the concept had to be reversed.
Happiness pills In the beginning there was an idea: sweets as “medicine” against the little dramas of everyday life: couple fights, unbearable bosses, failed exams, etc. His entire universe was built from this metaphor. These “cans” of sugar come in bottles and pill boxes like medicine, with labels stating what they’re prescribed for. And the store is set up like a pharmacy: an aseptic and bright white space.
“Based on the idea of the ‘high’ that the sugar in sweets gives, we developed our motto ‘Sweet remedies for everyday ills’. We thought of incorporating positive messages into the jars, with a communication style that allows us to be easily recognized when we see our packaging,” he explains. Sunday Ojeda, CEO of the company. Also, their stores only have “candy”; no toys or other items. And there is no trace of the brands of the confectionery manufacturers, who usually place the products with their banners.
Added value and adult goal
But it’s not just about a “facelift” of the house or the product, but also about a clear redefinition of the target group. “We wanted to give him added value. The children’s world was not the most suitable because it usually has few resources. The adult has always consumed sweets, even if he is not the buyer. We wanted to sell a different concept and the audience needed to understand it, so we didn’t think of it as a children’s store. As for the target audience, our client is mainly female, although there are more and more boys. And the age range is from 13 or 14 years to about 40 years,” specifies Ojeda.
The first store opened its doors in late 2007 in the heart of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, one of the busiest tourist areas of the city. It was understood that the tourist would be a very important target, so the labels are available in Spanish, English, French and the local language (Catalan in Barcelona, Basque in Bilbao and Korean in South Korea). “Other languages are yet to be developed, but with the help of technology, because it’s impossible to have a display with all the labels in every language,” he explains. The label display is distributed as needed. If a store has more appeal in English, more labels will be posted in that language.
On the other hand, the company realized that it could also focus on promotional gifts by targeting companies that buy their personalized “candy” jars as gifts for their customers. Movistar, Swarovski and Louis Vuitton have already commissioned them and sold their products to communication agencies, law firms, hotels, etc. He takes a small part of the turnover, but Ojeda assures that he will start “working thoroughly” in this line.
Happy Pills currently has four own stores in Barcelona (2), Bilbao and Zaragoza. And looks for locations in Madrid. In addition, it is in the full development of its franchise, so it will soon add new branches to its network. It recently landed in South Korea in the hands of a master franchisee. It has already opened two branches in Seoul as a corner within other facilities. In addition, it will soon open a third unit as an independent store. “We had no interest in starting a franchise, but we received a large number of inquiries. And there are many people trying to do the same with very similar brands, even our own banner. We felt we needed to grow quickly and expand the business dimension by adding our own and franchised stores.”
The company wants growth to be orderly and well tested before beginning the franchise. “We have more than 800 franchise requests. We’re holding back development because we need logistics that we didn’t have and a computer system to help us manage processes. From placing the order with the manufacturer to arriving at the store’s warehouse, many processes are interconnected. We need to prepare the back office for this demand, not to make mistakes when preparing orders, have the necessary logistics, etc. Now we are ready for this,” explains the company’s general director.
You have received many inquiries from abroad. A few years ago they were called to set up a stand at the Galeries Lafayette in Paris, but they didn’t feel ready. Now yes. “Our market is abroad. For example, we are interested in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the Nordic countries or the United Kingdom,” he states. For this expansion, it relies on the formula of the master franchisee. “It has to be someone with resources and experience in the retail world,” he says.
The company is in negotiations with potential partners in Canada, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, some European Union countries and Japan. South Korea was the first country in its internationalization thanks to the efforts of a Korean investor. “He saw us and liked it. There one appreciates the effort in the Packaging. What we do is highly appreciated.”
After a few years of stagnant sales, Happy Pills is back on track for growth. The year 2015 ended with a turnover of 1.35 million euros (+7.1%) and this year, thanks to the opening of stores and the development of the franchise, 2 million (+48.1%) are expected. In addition, international expansion will significantly boost sales in the coming years. It should be noted that the South Korean master franchisee plans to open more than 30 stores by 2020.
The secret lies in the Packaging
boats. You are your brand image. “They are like the pillboxes used in the US to dispense pills. The customer decides how much he wants to spend and has pots from 2.50 to 25 euros. You can buy them ready made or you can cook them to your liking, with some treats or others. And then take the label with the message you think is most appropriate,” explains Ojeda. Depending on the “symptoms” of the customer, Happy Pills offers different sizes, from “asymptomatic” (60 grams, 2.50 euros) to “chronic” (1,800 grams, 25 euros) to “beginning”, “slight”, “moderate”. , “acute” and “severe”. Among the labels are messages like “lovesickness cure”, “anti-bad bosses and bad bosses”, “seeing life in pink”, “because the teacher has a mania for me” etc.
pill boxes. They’re like the typical boxes to organize the pills of the week. There are different pill boxes depending on the shot (6 or 8) for 5 or 6 euros.
Packages. Sets of two bottles priced from 6 to 14 euros – they can be from 2×50 ml to 2×250 ml. They contain a label that reinforces the message, referring to friendship, love, happiness…
Bring away. This format will soon be launched: a bag with a fixed price that the customer can fill as he pleases. It’s an evolution of traditional selling by weight, so it’s priced more appropriately to reach more people.