It is very common where the actual needs of the customers do not meet the results shown in the customer research. This can be due to the difference in actual life style of the customers and their response in the research. However even if they think accordingly to their response, they might act differently due to various factors that the customer might not necessarily be aware of.
Most customer researches consist of things that customers might not be willing to reveal or more importantly things that they are unaware of. Ethnographic research is the research that looks for these hidden reasons behind their action. Ethnographic research is an observational research carried out while living among a particular group or an individual. This type of research is crucial in finding not only the obvious reasons on the surface but understanding the more fundamental and complex cause of the external or internal effects that are either direct or indirect.
What is the origin of café? Café started out as a relative concept of the aristocratic salon culture during the 1700s in France. Initially café was a space for cultural debates among the new intellectuals then developed into a space where the public share thoughts and culture. The public at the time lacked money to buy enough food and drinks, therefore they especially enjoyed sharing food with each other in cafés. Such exchanging and sharing culture is the origin of café.
Is this origin of café a value that can be shared in Asia? Through the ethnographic research we were able to understand that such exchange of sharing food was a familiar culture, also in Asia. In Eastern Asian countries such as Korea, China and Japan, there is a culture of sharing food with family and significant others from the same bowl while sharing news and friendship.
The similarities in the food sharing culture in Asia and the origin of café allowed us to indentify what business should pursue. People generally like to share with, and help others that are close to them. Such sharing and helping spirit and philosophy is the essence of café businesses.
We have built Café Tolix, not as a place that merely sells food and tea but as a place where people can share the spirit and values of life through food as a medium. This has become a culture in itself leading to a successful business. Presenting such sincere philosophy in a simple and familiar way allows us to introduce a new lifestyle to the customer. Successful business comes from life and philosophical values.