Brand Funnel

October 26, 2013 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Brand Funnel

The Brand Funnel is very similar to the Purchase Funnel / Marketing Funnel / Sales Funnel.

However, unlike the Purchase Funnel / Marketing Funnel / Sales Funnel, which illustrates the theoretical customer journey towards the purchase of a product or service, the Brand Funnel illustrates the journey of a customer toward brand loyalty, and repeat puchases.

Credits & Source: Graham Robertson, "How to Determine your Brand’s Health using Brand Funnels", , 2013


Hai Di Lao Huo Guo

October 23, 2013 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Hai Di Lao Huo Guo / Deep Sea Fishing Steamboat Hot Pot
2A Bai Jia Zhuang Road
Chaoyang District

Treated Like Royalty By A Restaurant With A Heart For People

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 9
Ambience & Setting: 9
Food & Beverage: 10
Service: 10
Value for Money: 10
Spent about CNY $88 / SGD $18 per person.


Hai Di Lao Huo Guo, otherwise known as Deep Sea Fishing Steamboat Hot Pot, is a famous franchise chain of steamboat hot pot restaurants, which originated from Sichuan Province, in China in 1994. Hai Di Lao Huo Guo achieved fame for their rich and flavourful soup stock, their professional and friendly service, their caring attitude towards both customers and staff, and their openess to innovation and technology. As a result, Hai Di Lao Huo Guo has gained many international awards, and have since expanded all over China to cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Nanjing, as well as opening outlets around the world in many major cities.

Hai Di Lao Huo Guo is well known for their caring attitude towards their own staff. Besides undergoing a comprehensive training program to educate staff on service basics and handling nasty customers, Hai Di Lao Huo Guo staff are also taught to respect themselves, and always strive to be better. Promotion in Hai Di Lao Huo Guo is based on merit and hard work, not on connections, and many of the senior staff in Hai Di Lao Huo Guo today were once servers or janitors. Staff are well taken care off, and Hai Di Lao Huo Guo provides them good benefits. Staff are even encouraged to recommend their family and friends to work in Hai Di Lao Huo Guo.

Ambience at Hai Di Lao Huo Guo is their low point, although it's still pretty good as compared to others. Furniture is comfortable, lighting is bright, bathrooms and corridors are clean and well maintained, and the floor layout is spacious. Ambient noise tends to be slightly loud though, and despite the well ventilated interior, the smell of cooking still sticks to your clothes. But all this is only a minor inconvenience... Hai Di Lao Huo Guo more than makes up for the ambience in other areas.

Service at Hai Di Lao Huo Guo is exceptional, one of the best I've ever experienced. A dizzying array of items are prepared and presented to you even before you begin your meal, including hot towels, spectacle cleaners with the Hai Di Lao Huo Guo logo, fresh Mandarin oranges, jacket covers, and apron bibs. Ordering is done through an iPad, or in person with a check sheet. Food arrives quickly, and staff perform the initial serving to all diners. I found the Hai Di Lao Huo Guo staff to be attentive, observant, friendly and efficient. In fact, several companies take Hai Di Lao Huo Guo as a role model for service, wishing to learn how they achieve such remarkable customer satisfaction and highly motivated staff.

It is highly recommended to make reservations at Hai Di Lao Huo Guo, as the waiting time / queue can stretch up to 3 hours! However, to make waiting more bearable, Hai Di Lao Huo Guo actually offers free flow of drinks and snacks while you wait, as well as several board games / card games to pass the time, including Chinese Chess, Chinese Checkers, Reversi, and more. Furthermore, Hai Di Lao Huo Guo also provides in-house manicures and pedicures! It is also located close to several hair and beauty treatment shops, and customers are known to get a queue number first, then proceed for a haircut, beauty treatment, or massage.

Food at Hai Di Lao Huo Guo is ala-carte style, not buffet. There is a good range of options available, and all the ingredients are fresh, and of good / high quality. Price are cheap for the quality and value you get. Hai Di Lao Huo Guo is particulary known for their tasty soup stocks / base, of which 2 stand out; the chicken soup stock, and the mala Sichuan pepper soup stock, which is well known for its spicy, mouth numbing effect. There is also a variety of mix-your-own dipping sauces available, as well as free flow of fresh fruits.


The brightly lit, big signage makes this place unmissable, even at night.

Interior is clean and well maintained, and relatively well-ventilated. Ordering is done in advance, while waiting, through an iPad. Food is ala-carte, not buffet style, but portions are enough for all.

Service here is truely outstanding. All staff are taught to put customers requests first, and even if you ask the janitor cleaning the toilet to assist you, they will stop whatever they're doing, and come and help you first. Staff are also encourage to show initiative and think of ideas to improve the business, one such idea from a wait staff resulted in the creation of a ladle stand, which allows customers to cook food in a ladle without having to hold it themselves, they just hang it on the ladle stand.

The La Mian / Noodles come with a free performance. There are 2 - 3 staff trained at each outlet, dedicated specifically to perform theatrics while preparing the noodles. Order at least 2 bowls, because the trained staff / noodle masters are able to perform 2 different theatrics showcase.

Waiting tables are equipped with various types of games, and you can request for other games or cards. Free flow of snacks and drinks are provided as well.

Choose from either a single soup stock / base, or the double soup stock / base. Most people choose the double. The most popular options for soup stock / base is the chicken soup stock, and the mala Sichuan pepper soup stock.


Xiao Diao Li Tang

October 23, 2013 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Xiao Diao Li Tang / Small Hanging Pear Soup Restaurant
66 Zhong Guan Cun South 1st Alley
Haidian District
Beijing 100190

14 He Ping Li East Street
Chaoyang District
Beijing 100013

Unique Shop With Tasty Food And Efficient Service

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 7
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 8
Value for Money: 8
Spent about SGD $14 / CNY $70 per person.


Xiao Diao Li Tang, otherwise known as Small Hanging Pear Soup, is a rather oddly named restaurant, famed for their tasty traditional Chinese food, hearty portions, reasonable prices and efficient service. Xiao Diao Li Tang is tucked away in the alleys, away from the main streets, so unless you know where it's located, finding it can be a challenge. Xiao Diao Li Tang is a franchise with outlets across Beijing.

Ambience at Xiao Diao Li Tang is pretty good. Typical Chinese decor, but not too over the top. Lighting is bright in spots, dim in others, creating a playful contrast of light and shadows over the place, although tables are fortunately lit so you can see what you're eating. Layout is small, and cramped, and the enclosed environment not only means you'll keep warm, but also increases the ambient noise level. Furniture is functional and relatively comfortable, though Xiao Diao Li Tang tables and chairs are on the smallish side, more suitable for locals.

Service at Xiao Diao Li Tang is very efficient. Food is cooked and served very quickly, and staff will check on how your meal is going. The menu is in both English and Mandarin, and helpfully has pictures, though staff mainly understand only Mandarin. I noticed that staff, despite having a busy full house, were still quite observant and attentive.

As Xiao Diao Li Tang caters more to locals than tourists, prices are relatively cheap, and portions are big enough to share between 2 - 4 people. Dishes at Xiao Diao Li Tang pack good flavour, and are generally quite tasty and full-bodied, as are the drinks. Signature items have bigger pictures in the menu, and ordering these, such as the Marinated Lamb, Pea Cake, Cold Bean Cake, or Stir Fried Tomato With Scrambled Eggs, are a safe bet. Actual local Beijing dishes in Xiao Diao Li Tang are available as well, though most of the menu features general Chinese dishes from all over China.


Signage isn't very prominent, but a short walk into the alley from the main street will bring you pass this shop.

Communal dining is common here, and the menu doesn't really offer one-dish meals. Best to dine in groups, but if you do come alone, you can still order a few dishes, are the small servings can be consumed by one person.

Bun Fried 01

Bun Fried 02

Bun Fried Stuffed With Meat And Vegetables

Cake Cold Bean

Cake Pea

Fried Fish With Orange And Ginger

Marinated Lamb

Stir Fried Tomato With Scrambled Eggs

White Rice

Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea


Top 5 Beijing Attractions

October 22, 2013 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Top 5 Beijing Attractions

City: Beijing
State: Beijing Municipality
Country: China

For 3 millenia, Beijing has been the seat of power of China, functioning as its political, educational, and cultural centre. As such, Beijing is rich in history, and the 8 inner districts of the city is where the majority of attractions are located. Besides being the capital of China, Beijing is also the most heavily populated city in the world.

Here are the Top 5 Tourist Attractions to visit in Beijing, all of which hold important cultural or historical significance. All these are permanent locations which can be visited and viewed at any time throughout the year.

1. Forbidden City

The Forbidden City houses the Palace Museum, and is bordered by Tiananmen Square and Tiananmen Gate, the Bell And Drum Towers and Jingshan Park. Located at the center of Beijing, the Forbidden City served as China seat of government for centuries, and as the home of the Emperor. There is heavy symbolism in the Forbidden City, from the towers to the buildings, to the layout and even the colours all were chosen for their representation or meaning attached to them.

2. Great Wall

The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications originally built to protect China from invaders, and contary to popular belief, cannot be viewed from space, although it can be seen from low Earth orbit. The most famous section of the Great Wall of China in Beijing is Badaling / Ba Da Ling, which is also the most heavily visited. For a less crowded spot, the Shanhaiguan / Shan Hai Guan section is unique in that it's the beginning of the Great Wall, with the Laolongtou / Lao Long Tou / Old Dragon's Head carving. But the most scenic and dramatic view of the Great Wall would have to be Simatai / Si Ma Tai, with its plunging cliffs and jagged ridges.

3. National Museum Of China

The National Museum Of China in Beijing traces almost 1.7 million years of China history, with a vast collection of over 1,050,000 artifacts spanning 48 exhibition halls. The artifacts in the National Museum Of China are arranged thematically, ranging from paintings, to sculptures, to furniture, to traditional costumes, to coins and more. Also nearby is the Great Hall Of The People.

4. Summar Palace

Otherwise known as the Garden Of Nurtured Harmony, the Summar Palace is a vast area in Beijing, encompassing lakes, gardens, palaces, pavilions, halls, Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake. The front of the Summar Palace contains most of the Imperial buildings of ancient China, while the back of the Summar Palace is a beautifully landscaped marvel of tranquility.

5. National Stadium

Fondly known as 'The Bird's Nest' for its unique architectural design, the Beijing National Stadium was originally constructed for the 2008 summer Olympics and Paralympics held in China. Since then, the Beijing National Stadium has been refurbished as not only a sporting complex, but is also an entertainment and events complex and a shopping hub. Part of it has also been converted into an amusement park.