Marketing Maven’s Sushi Success


9 a.m.: Wake up
9 a.m. to noon: Do homework
1 or 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Classes (14 credits’ worth)
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.: Food prep
9 p.m. to midnight: Restaurant open hours
Midnight to 1 a.m.: Clean up
Get to sleep ASAP

Such is the schedule of marketing junior Jacob Chung as cofounder of Five Sushi Brothers, a late-night sushi delivery business in Provo that started when Chung’s older brother roped him into the business as a marketing/social media/public relations/hype man.

After five months, they are already successful enough to alternate the night management shifts during the week. “We’re partners in crime,” Jacob Chung says. “He’s been the vision and I’ve just been helping along with the marketing and management.”

The idea behind Five Sushi Brothers spoke to Chung’s experience in the Marriott School’s marketing program where students learn about customers’ psychology, behavior, and pain points. The Chung brothers recognized that Five Sushi Brothers could address a major pain point for Provo college students—the lack of late night food options in the area. As Five Sushi Brothers’ website laments, “If you are like us night owls, you know that your choices are pretty much a hamburger, a taco, or a shake and fries.”

As the marketer, Chung proved his worth in the early days of the business. The Chung brothers needed initial investments to get the business off the ground, so Chung spearheaded the efforts to plan and promote a Kickstarter event last March, aided by a social media marketing committee of eighty people.

He sent out weekly emails encouraging the committee’s efforts and setting weekly goals, resulting in an outcome that far exceeded either of the Chung brothers’ expectations.

“It got to the point where I’d walk around campus and hear random people talking about this party that was going to be happening and I was like, ‘Oh wow!’” Chung says. “At that event we had over a thousand people there and we raised over $8,000. It was huge because we couldn’t have gotten started without that.”

Now that the business is well-established and growing, Chung can spend his time on other marketing endeavors to help Five Sushi Brothers’ growth. He is using his marketing junior core work, including Professor Ryan Elder’s marketing promotion class, to further the business’s marketing strategy.

As part of the class, Chung is in a group tasked with developing a marketing strategy for a local startup or struggling company.

“Immediately [my group] said, ‘Let’s do it on your company,’” Chung says. “I was worried because I didn’t want to push my company on them, but they all said, ‘We can make something awesome out of this!’”

His group is in the idea development process, considering the planning of more events or developing a loyalty program, like punch cards.

The marketing course work is constantly applicable to Chung’s business ventures off campus. For example, he and his brother ended an outdated promotion this past month, prompted by a lecture Chung attended about price sensitivity.

“I don’t just take these classes to graduate,” he says. “I hear what we talk about in class and am immediately thinking about the company and how it applies.”

As his schooling continues to tie back to work, Chung’s work experience is validating his choice to study marketing in the Marriott School.

“When we threw the event in March, I was in charge of the marketing and I jumped head first into it,” Chung says. “I didn’t have any idea what I was doing, but it was amazing to see the power of marketing—what it could do and how it could really make a difference. I felt so accomplished and thought that it was awesome and something I could do the rest of my life.”