A trendy and innovative coffee brand beloved by young consumers.
A long-term coffee lover, M Stand’s founder Kimi began his career traveling the world for a fashion e-commerce company. With each city visited, he would drink-in the local coffee shop culture in search of his daily dose of caffeine. At each stop, he would notice the lack of unique style in Chinese coffee chains that primarily copy overseas designs. He was interested in developing China’s very own coffee culture, and opened the first M Stand store in Shanghai in 2017.
Coming from a fashion and marketing background, Kimi envisioned an iconic and stylish brand where every store would be a unique lifestyle destination. What emerged was a café aesthetic grounded in minimalism, with an innovative beverage menu offering everything from the quintessential Americano to the rich oatmeal cookie latte.
In the face of COVID-19 restrictions, the company built up its online delivery services to deliver its drinks direct to customers. Through 2021, the company demonstrated its resilience by opening 110 new stores across 12 cities across the country.
Coffee is hot in China. Despite a decade of double-digit growth, coffee consumption per capita is still a fraction of Western countries. GenBridge understood this rising tide, but wanted to pair it with an innovative, forward-thinking brand that is differentiated from existing big brands – Starbucks and Luckin. M Stand’s connection with younger customers gives the brand an “it” factor that has propelled its growth into one of the top coffee shops in China.
Although M Stand received a substantial amount of attention from investors for its strong brand growth potential, GenBridge was chosen to co-lead and join the board for our ability to provide strategic value for the company’s future growth. GenBridge is supporting M Stand’s potential expansion to Japan, introduced overseas industry and product development resources, and spearheaded the use of analytics to strategize on store expansion.
As expectations for coffee shops have evolved, young Chinese consumers seek exceptional experiences that can be integrated into their lifestyle. M Stand draws young Chinese customers with its minimalist store design concepts and creative drink menu, with repeat customers visiting M Stand stores several times a week. Each store is specifically designed to be ‘shareable’ on social media, inspiring store visitors to post photos as word-of-mouth marketing.