Rebranding a Bubble Tea Brand: How Niko Niko Boba Expanded Beyond Chatime


increase in app store views


increase in app downloads


increase in app sessions


increase in app store views


increase in app downloads


increase in app sessions


Ever wondered what it's like to break free from the mold? Niko Niko Boba's story started just like another franchise too, but their journey turned them into true pioneers, changing the way we all enjoy bubble tea.

Niko Niko Boba, the much-loved bubble tea destination with multiple locations in Minnesota and Colorado, recently took a bold step towards independence when it decided to break free from the Chatime franchise. This transition brought its own set of challenges and opportunities. To craft their new identity and capture the hearts of their customers, Niko Niko Boba has applied some amazing marketing strategies and joined hands with Per Diem, a white-label app developer for restaurants. 

This case study explores how Per Diem's customized mobile app and Niko Niko Boba’s innovative marketing strategies became the driving force behind their successful transition.

The Challenge: Transitioning From Franchise to Independent Brand

Rebranding 10 stores across two states was a monumental task. Niko Niko Boba had to undertake a complete overhaul of its branding, including signage, packaging, and marketing materials, to reflect its new independent identity.  Not only that, but this shift also presented a new difficulty: getting buyers to recognize Niko Niko Boba as a unique brand and attract them like before. 

To help successfully rebrand the stores and increase brand recognition, Chong and Chen developed their website and partnered with Per Diem for a customized app that speaks their language. Per Diem developed a tailor-made mobile app for Niko Niko Boba that reflects the brand’s new visual identity, including a customized logo, home screen, a welcoming onboarding process, and tone of voice. 

But Niko Niko Boba didn't stop there. They implemented some incredible ongoing app promotions, including the crowd-favorite "Double Boba Tuesdays" and the irresistible "Free Drinks on First Purchase" offer. These initiatives not only fostered customer engagement but also served as powerful incentives for mobile ordering.

The Solution: A Customized Mobile App and Marketing Strategy

To successfully rebrand and move beyond the shadow of Chatime, Niko Niko Boba knew they had to create their very own mobile app, coupled with a smart marketing campaign with Square Loyalty. Their app was designed to not only reflect the essence of Niko Niko Boba's new brand but also to provide them with more control over customer data, facilitating the expansion of loyalty perks and rewards.

Their approach was simple yet effective. They kick-started the launch of their mobile app with a compelling offer - a free drink as a token of appreciation for the first in-app purchase. On top of that, they introduced the convenience of e-gift cards and loyalty points that could be redeemed through the app. To keep the excitement going, they introduced special weekly offers like "double boba points Tuesdays." These personalized and incentivized marketing campaigns were not only engaging but also highly effective in boosting Niko Niko Boba's app downloads and encouraging more customers to embrace mobile ordering.

The impact was visible within just a week of announcing the enticing "Free Drink Incentive." The app downloads skyrocketed to approximately 500 in that short span, emphasizing the appeal of such promotions.

Moreover, their app conversion rate soared by an impressive 66.4%, and the app's impressions increased by a staggering 227%. These were not just statistics but tangible evidence of the growing customer interest and engagement.

By using customer data as a foundation, Niko Niko Boba delivered a personalized app experience that not only captured the hearts of their customers but also drove higher sales. This approach showed how technology and a touch of personalization could revolutionize customer loyalty and leave a lasting impression in the hearts of the audience.

Launching the New Brand Identity With Strategic Marketing

Promoting the App on Social Media

Niko Niko Boba made full use of its social media platforms to spread awareness of the relaunched app. They posted about the free drink offer and other app incentives like loyalty points and rewards on Instagram, resulting in a surge of new app downloads and engagement. Their social media campaign struck a chord with loyal customers and piqued the interest of new audiences.

Highlighting App Promotions on  Website

Niko Niko Boba knew how to leverage their online assets to the fullest. On their website, they dedicated separate sections to promote their app incentives. For instance, they  feature a section that invites customers to "Sign up for our loyalty program and enjoy our Double Points Tuesdays and more!" Additionally, they've made their app promotion front and center on their landing page, ensuring it grabs the attention it deserves.

e-Gift Cards and Loyalty Programs

Adding further value, they also started e-gift cards and loyalty cards. With each purchase made through the app, customers have the chance to earn loyalty points, which can then be redeemed for special rewards. For instance, they offer loyalty cards with 10 punches that can be redeemed for a complimentary drink, adding extra value and encouraging repeat visits. These initiatives continue to play a vital role in etching Niko Niko Boba's brand into their customers' minds, making them want to come back for more of their delightful offerings.

Customizing the App for a Unique Experience

Per Diem didn't stop at just creating an app; they customized it to match the identity of Niko Niko Boba. This meant reimagining visual elements like the logo, color scheme, and tone of voice to resonate with the brand's friendly and inviting vibe. The revamped app played a vital role in setting Niko Niko Boba apart as an independent entity, free from its previous affiliation with Chatime.

In a nutshell, through smart promotions, engaging social media marketing, irresistible loyalty incentives, and thoughtful customization, the relaunched Niko Niko Boba app became a cornerstone in the successful launch of their new brand. 

The Results: Increased App Downloads and Successful Expansion

Boost in App Downloads

With the introduction of their personalized mobile app, Niko Niko Boba saw a significant surge in app downloads. The attraction of app-exclusive perks, such as a complimentary drink for the first app order and weekly "double boba points" promotions, motivated both fresh and loyal customers to acquire the app. The user-friendly interface and the added features, like keeping track of loyalty points, accessing a special in-app menu, and the convenience of skipping lines and placing advance orders, continued to deliver ongoing value to customers and further bolstered app downloads.

Successful Rebranding 

In September 2023, Niko Niko Boba took this bold move of rebranding, and in just under two months, they succeeded in winning over the hearts of their customers and establishing themselves as a trusted name known for top-notch quality. Their consistency in providing value through clever strategies along with their focus on putting the customer first and using customized online tools, played a crucial role in making this rebranding effort a success. They made a promise of convenience and delivered it through their app, leaving a lasting impression on their customers. 

Final Thoughts 

There you have it, the rebranding of Niko Niko Boba from the Chatime franchise was a challenging but ultimately rewarding process. By teaming up with Per Diem to create a personalized mobile app and launching a strategic marketing campaign, Niko Niko Boba not only gained autonomy but also achieved impressive growth. The newly developed app simplified the customer experience and fostered brand loyalty. Niko Niko Boba’s success story shows how technology and creative collaboration can help small businesses thrive in a competitive market. With the right tools and strategies in place, any business can tap into new opportunities for sustainable growth and craft a brand identity as memorable as that first sip of bubble tea. The future looks bright for this homegrown Taiwanese tea shop that dared to dream big.