[Written in partnership with ZUS Coffee, but the editorial team had full control over the content.]
Throughout 2022, I’ve noticed ZUS Coffee (ZUS) outlets mushrooming around Klang Valley both in and outside of malls. They now seem to be everywhere.
Each time I order a cup of coffee, there’s also a significant queue before my name is called out, indicating the brand’s customer reception.
To up their relevance among customers, ZUS has now teamed up with local streetwear brand HYPE Malaysia (HYPE).
The collaboration launches a cross-branded clothing line and a drink series, which has already rolled out at ZUS outlets nationwide.
Primarily a necessity
Coffee lovers in their own right, ZUS’s founders have years of experience between them in the coffee industry.
They became tired of speciality coffee sold at premium prices, which formed the value proposition for ZUS.
ZUS was born with the goal to make speciality coffee more affordable and accessible based on its founders’ belief that coffee is a necessity, not a luxury.
Based on my borderline coffee addiction, this claim holds true. I have found that ZUS serves its beverages in larger sizes, despite having prices (around RM9 for the more basic drinks) that are on par with brands like Bask Bear or Chatto.
Via the ZUS Coffee App, there tend to be ongoing promotions as well, which sometimes give you freebies when you buy the drinks.
Through these initiatives, ZUS has found fans who align with its values. According to the brand’s Corporate Partnership Manager, Samantha Koh, ZUS has now sold over 10.5 million cups of coffee to date, and has one million users on its app.
“From the beginning, we wanted to cater to different needs during the pandemic and now that we’ve transitioned into the endemic phase, our focus is now on improving the customer experience within the product and service offerings that we control,” she said.
This shift in customer needs is exactly what led ZUS to partner with HYPE for their current collaboration.
Keeping up with trends
As life picks up momentum in the endemic, ZUS’s team recognised that most are grabbing their coffee and getting dressed in haste.
This observation serves as the foundation of ZUS and HYPE’s collaboration, aimed to be a reminder to catch a break and own the moment. “ZUS and HYPE believe that everyone deserves to feel good from the inside out all year long,” Samantha added.
For the clothing brand, the collab will see it launch a new capsule collection, TWELVE.
TWELVE represents the founding year of HYPE (2012), and implies that the collection is suitable to wear for all 12 months of the year, remaining comfortable and versatile no matter the day.
On ZUS’s end, the coffee brand is championing summer vibes. “And as we all know, summer in Malaysia is all year round. Hence, ZUS came up with a fully Iced and Frappé drink series to combat that heat,” Samantha revealed.
To also keep up with trends that include staying healthy, ZUS’s new drink series will be made with oat milk, thus the campaign’s name, ZUS x HYPE Oat’Clock.
The drinks will contain flavours of coconut, mango, chocolate, and coffee, which Samantha shared underwent countless hours of research along with trial and error to release on July 1.
ZUS’s new drinks will be available for the whole month of July. Samantha told Vulcan Post that if the drinks are received well by customers, ZUS may make them a permanent addition to its menu.
Accessing bigger grounds
Speaking to ZUS’s team, it can be said that the coffee brand’s partnership with HYPE marks an opportunity for ZUS to continue working with larger brands.
This can be a beneficial strategy for businesses, as they can leverage one another’s customers. This not only helps them reach similar target audiences who may not have heard of the partner brand before, but reach a completely different segment of people to impress.
Launched in 2019, ZUS is already welcoming its 100th outlet in Tropicana Gardens Mall. If everything pans out as intended, ZUS will have a total of 180 outlets by the end of the year, its team told Vulcan Post.
As the brand undergoes rapid expansion, franchising and licensing deals seem to be a natural next step for ZUS. While there are currently no plans to do so, Samantha shared they aren’t dismissing the opportunity when it arises.
She added, “We have many customers requesting our presence in their hometowns. This is heartening and drives us to live up to our brand promise: Accessibility. We seek to expand to every state in Malaysia and perhaps, even across the globe.”
Featured Image Credit: ZUS Coffee x HYPE Malaysia