When it comes to jamu – a traditional Indonesian herbal drink, one brand that might pop up in people’s head is Sido Muncul. Founded in 1940, the family business journey had gone through shortcomings before it finally becomes as it is today. Sido Muncul was evidently on the brink of bankruptcy in the 90s.
"In 2004, Sido Muncul was about to fold up, with Rp160 billion in debt and sales only stood at Rp10 billion, " said Irwan Hidayat, President Director of PT Sido Muncul Tbk, which is also the second generation Sido Muncul founder.
Irwan then initiated a strategy change in running his business. Because of this change, Sido Muncul thrives and grows into what it is today.
“I have been working in Sido Muncul for around 50 years. Back then, in the first 20 years, I made changes in business strategies. At that moment, I thought that people need to believe in my products in order for them to buy. Therefore, my products must demonstrate sufficient, valid scientific evidence,” said Irwan at a talkshow A Blueprint for Corporate Innovation and Inclusion in Indonesia Millennial Summit 2020 (17/01).
But it didn’t end there, in addition to building customer’s confidence, one business strategy he implemented was to select a familiar face for a brand ambassador.
“The first brand ambassador I hired was Mr. Reinald Kasali, in around 1998. Was it impactful? Our sales went up. And then, in 2006, during the arrest of Roy Marten at that time, I saw his wife, Anna Maria, quite often on TV, and it crossed my mind to ask her to be our brand ambassador,” recalled Irwan.
When asking Anna Maria to be the brand ambassador of Sido Muncul, Irwan admitted that he proposed a fantastic check to Anna. “I can say that it was the biggest number I have ever given. I regretted the decision, but I have to fulfill my promise to Anna. After that, I went back to Yogyakarta and after a mass, I suddenly got an inspiration to prepare a script for Anna for our advertisement. What was the result? Our sales saw a fivefold increase,” he said.
Sido Muncul continues with its brand ambassador program. After Anna Maria, Irwan made Mbah Marijan the brand ambassador of Kuku Bima Ener-G.
Implementing the same strategy, Sido Muncul saw a fourfold increase in sales (2006) and again double in the following year.
“At that time, we earned a lot of revenue, money was coming our way. And it kept coming. So much that we didn’t know how to spend it,” he joked. However, behind the figures of Anna Maria and Mbah Marijan, there are lesson that he learned.
“It is more than just an increase in sales, I learned a lot from Anna Maria and Mbah Marijan. At every store visit with them, I saw that people were fond of them. People would hug them at every visit store. And then I learned that being respected is not enough, the most important thing is to be loved,” said Irwan.
The third step that he took to increase customer confidence is by building a factory to ensure that the products they sell pass clinical trials.
The article has been published on https://Prioritas.bca.co.id