Charming, Malaysia’s 3-in-1 instant “Cham” coffee & tea drink
There is something to admire about student entrepreneurs. Learning while worrying about how to build a business isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
But this excited Aliff, a UKM student. During his studies, he launched Charming Malaysia, a beverage derived from coffee and milk tea.
The business idea was sparked by a conversation Aliff had with two of his friends, who were drinking Cham Peng (a combination of iced coffee and tea) at the time.
Never heard of this drink before, he tried it and found it very unique and delicious.
Aliff shared: “So I decided to create a product that allows people to enjoy the taste of Cham anywhere, anytime, instead of having to go and buy kopitiam every time you want.
His 3-in-1 product was born, with the brand “Charming” representing the experience one gets from the charm and beauty of the aroma that combines coffee and tea.
Seduce your friends and family with Cham
After the idea came to fruition, Aliff then decided to research the general taste of the Cham people and eventually came up with his own version of the Cham language. Then came the stage of validating his product, which he passed on to family and friends.
“Most of the comments were positive, and that’s when I realized that I should distribute this drink to others,” says Aliff.
Given that Charming is relatively new to the market, Aliff believes patience is essential to creating demand.
Currently, Charming’s official website prices 12 packages of Cham at RM20.99. While some may argue that this price may be higher than the average price of a 3-in-1 drink, Aliff has his reasons.
“After surveying the market, we found that our prices are still comparable to those of other brands selling Cham,” Aliff justified.
In addition, the founder said that Charming includes two types of coffee beans, Robusta and Arabica and three types of tea, black tea, red tea and green tea. With such a blend, consumers get more complexity and depth in flavor.
To further justify pricing his product, Aliff mentioned that he took production costs into consideration when determining the price.
Focus on marketing now
On the production side, Charming partnered with a factory owner to produce their 3-in-1 Cham package.
This allows the team to focus on spreading and promoting the brand as best as possible. For example, on the one-month anniversary of the group’s activities, the group gave gifts.
Participating in this giveaway program has 214 participants and as a result, the beverage brand has gained 200 new followers.
Aliff claims that this marketing strategy has proven that their methods are viable and effective. He also plans to use other promotional methods such as influencer marketing, sponsoring sports events, and hosting free sample events.
“With the factory handling the entire Charming production, the challenging aspect will be financial,” says Aliff.
Along the way, the brand encountered some difficulties in finding investments. However, Aliff is quite positive that he will overcome this, saying that this is a common challenge for all entrepreneurs.
Look at the big picture
According to Aliff, only a handful of beverage brands have brought Cham to the Malaysian market, but they are barely found in grocery stores.
Mr. Aliff said: “Therefore, Charming plans to direct the Malaysian market to approach Cham flavor because there are still many people who are not familiar with this flavor.
In the future, Charming plans to introduce a new product, Kopi-O, which will give consumers a taste of “kampung”.
Along with that, Charming will also launch a range of coffee flavors including cappuccino, mocha and latte.
When further explaining his future plans, Aliff mentioned that he has a 5-year plan that will guide him in expanding the Charming field.
Within three years, he plans to let Charming enter famous grocery stores like AEON Big and Lotus for the first time.
If that turns out to be the case, then he wants Charming to be sold in as many grocery stores in Malaysia as possible in the coming years.
- Learn more about Charming here.
- Read about other Malaysian startups here.
Featured image credit: Charming