“The sour plum soup cannot be sold.”

In order to increase business, Cheng Yun purchased several days’ worth of supplies to make sour plum soup, along with two new large jars.

Based on today’s sales, tomorrow’s business will only be even better. Cheng Yun had also considered the strategy of scarcity marketing, but he believes that sour plum soup will soon be imitated by others. Once they no longer monopolize the market, the high price will become their weakness. At that time, they will have to adopt a different business model and can no longer rely on such sales revenue.
(Siv: when a company makes you feel like you might miss out on something if you don’t buy it quickly.)

Therefore, while the product is still in high demand, they sell as much as they can. By saving up enough money, even if the cooperation suddenly ends, they would have already made a profit.

Wang Liang has performed well today, and the way the young couple interacts exudes the sour but sweet smell of love. As long as Wang Liang continues to perform well, it won’t be long before there is good news. Therefore, Cheng Yun would not exclude him in the future. With more people and more hands, everyone works together, making as much sour plum soup as possible.

As predicted by Cheng Yun, after the introduction of sour plum soup, a large number of people gathered at the entrance of Yueqiong Tower for several days to taste it. And those who dined at Yueqiong Tower couldn’t do without ordering a pot, replacing tea with the sour plum soup.

It can be said that recently, being able to have a cup of sour plum soup at Yueqiong Tower in Tengyun Town has become the most glorious thing in the entire Nanming City. People from other small towns in the city come here out of admiration, and after tasting it, they spread the word. In just a few days, almost everyone knows about the new thing called sour plum soup at Yueqiong Tower.

At first, Cheng Bao’er was so excited about earning so much money that he couldn’t express himself clearly. But gradually, the money in his pocket grew day by day. Compared to the first day, it multiplied many times over. Seeing people who came to buy sour plum soup spend money freely, and some even paid a high price to buy a cup from someone else just to get their hands on it, he gradually became numb.

However, the good times didn’t last long. Starting from the fifth day, the sales of sour plum soup began to gradually decline. Although all the sour plum soup brought in was sold out, it took longer and longer each day. By the sixth day, they had to wait until late in the evening to sell all the barrels of sour plum soup.

Cheng Bao’er couldn’t figure out the reason and even took a small sip to taste it. It didn’t seem to be any different from before, and the customers at Yueqiong Tower were still enjoying it. So, it ruled out the possibility of a taste issue.

He wanted to ask his older brother, but seeing him unperturbed and unaffected by the sales volume, he worried that he was overthinking. In the end, he had to keep all the concerns to himself.

However, that evening, when they took out the ingredients to prepare the sour plum soup, Cheng Yun instructed, “Just make 70% of the previous amount, and we don’t need to bring the two smallest jars to Yueqiong Tower tomorrow.”

Cheng Bao’er was shocked by his words, his face turning slightly pale. It seemed that his suspicion was true – their sour plum soup was not selling well!

He nervously asked Cheng Yun, “Big brother, have people grown tired of it? Can we continue selling? If our products don’t sell well, then…”

Cheng Bao’er’s anxiety was written all over his face. Cheng Yun patted his shoulder and reassured him, “It’s not our fault.” He paused for a moment and explained to the equally nervous Wang Liang, “You must have noticed these past few days that it takes longer to sell our sour plum soup. It’s not because our product is not good. It’s the market’s choice, a natural decline.”

Cheng Bao’er was confused, so Cheng Yun explained in simpler terms, “If you drink the same thing every day, you’ll eventually get tired of it. It’s like eating rice every day; after a while, you might want to have noodles for a change or try a different flavor. It’s normal. Some people might have grown tired of it, and some may have tried it out of curiosity but found it average and didn’t come back. That’s how it is.”

Cheng Bao’er couldn’t accept it at that moment, furrowing his brows, he retorted, “But I think sour plum soup tastes really good. Rice is delicious too, and I eat rice every day.”

Cheng Yun ruffled his hair and smiled, “But sour plum soup is not rice after all. Even if it’s delicious, you can’t have it as a meal. Moreover, the selling price at Yueqiong Tower is not low, and most people can’t afford to drink it every day…”

Before he finished speaking, Cheng Bao’er interrupted, “Then we can lower the price!”

“The problem doesn’t lie there,” Cheng Yun said seriously. “Bao’er, you have to accept this fact. Not everyone likes sour plum soup as much as we do. Even if some people like it, they won’t drink it every day. Even if we lower the price, we can’t make it too cheap. Besides, we rely on Yueqiong Tower, and if we want to lower the price, we have to consider whether it will downgrade the establishment’s reputation. Mr. Liu gave us this platform, and we shouldn’t hinder his business.”

“But then…” Bao’er wanted to argue, but deep down, a voice told him that this was the reality – their sour plum soup was really not going to sell.

Seeing Bao’er on the verge of tears, Cheng Yun sighed and comforted him, “This is how business works. It’s the result I anticipated from the beginning. That’s why I had you make more in the previous days. We sell as much as we can.”

Bao’er listened to him, and although he felt sad, he knew that even his capable older brother couldn’t avoid this outcome. So he could only accept reality.

He hung his head, looking very dejected. Wang Liang, who was beside him, also felt sad. These days, Cheng-Ge’er didn’t avoid him anymore and even shared some of the money he earned. Although it was not as much as what Bao’er received, the amount was still considerable.

This was the first time in his life that he earned money through his own efforts. He had hoped that life would continue like this, and when he saved enough money, he could stand tall and seek marriage with the Cheng family. But he didn’t expect that the happiness would only last for a few days, and such a good thing disappeared just like that.

He wanted to comfort Bao’er, but he didn’t know where to start. As he looked at him, he sighed and wore the same expression of disappointment.

Cheng Yun was almost driven to depression by their gloominess. He smiled wryly and tapped Bao’er’s forehead. “You guys, didn’t I already say that I had anticipated this outcome a long time ago? Why are you making such bitter faces? Since I found this way to make money, naturally, I can find other ways too. Why worry?”

The eyes of the two brightened, and their faces were filled with anticipation.

“Big brother, do you have a solution?” Bao’er exclaimed excitedly, completely different from his lifeless appearance just a moment ago.

Cheng Yun didn’t deny it. “Based on the current situation, we can sell a few more days, but we have to reduce the quantity each day. When it reaches a certain point, we can’t sell anymore.”

Bao’er furrowed his brows, wanting to ask further, but Cheng Yun raised his hand and continued, “I will discuss this situation with Boss Liu. He probably knows that our sales have been poor recently. I will propose changing our business model.”

Cheng Yun’s method was simple. If selling at the stall wasn’t working well, then they would switch to bundled sales.
(Siv: a marketing strategy where multiple products or services are offered together as a package or bundle, usually at a discounted price)

Recently, the sales had declined for two reasons. One was the reason Cheng Yun mentioned earlier, and the other was that some people in the city started buying the sour plum soup and creating similar drinks on their own. Although the taste might be slightly different, it was close enough. As long as the price went down, most people would choose the cheaper option.

Although reducing the price is a straightforward approach, it can harm both parties involved. Cheng Yun doesn’t have the patience to engage in a price war with competitors. The only thing he can do is rely on the reputation of Yueqiong Tower, a prominent establishment, and directly transform sour plum soup into a regular beverage of Yueqiong Tower.

This means that when customers dine at the restaurant, they can choose between tea or sour plum soup. If they opt for sour plum soup, they would only need to pay an additional fee on top of their meal cost. In this way, there is no need for a separate selling point for the soup. Customers can enjoy a whole meal with sour plum soup by paying a little extra.

After expressing his idea, Cheng Bao’er didn’t feel relieved. He furrowed his brow and said, “But in this case, we won’t earn much money.”

Cheng Yun’s approach is indeed simple, but once this model is implemented, Yueqiong Tower can directly buy the recipe for sour plum soup and make it in-house without involving them. Even if they handle all the preparations, the profit margin of one or two coins per day might not be significant compared to what they can currently earn.

Cheng Yun smiled and asked, “Let me ask you, when do you crave sour plum soup the most?”

The two individuals who were waiting for an answer were unsure why he suddenly asked this question. However, Yang Hongjin, who had been silently listening on the side, instantly knew how to respond. He eagerly raised his hand and said, “When it’s really hot! Like scorching hot!”

Cheng Yun smiled and pinched his cheek as encouragement, making Yang Hongjin even happier.

Cheng Yun nodded and said, “Now that summer has just passed and we’re approaching the end of the season, people’s enthusiasm for sour plum soup will decrease. Even if we don’t bundle it with Yueqiong Tower, the sales volume will significantly decrease. So, it’s better to take advantage of the current demand and sell this product at a high price.”

“The method I propose is to establish a new cooperative arrangement with Yueqiong Tower. This time, we will reap great profits and no longer need to worry about sales volume.”

Upon hearing this, Cheng Bao’er and Wang Liang exchanged a glance and saw the same mix of doubt and anticipation in each other’s eyes.

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