Most people who know me know I love my coffee.  I think about it the moment I wake up and soon as I put my cup in the sink, the countdown begins to my 3 o’clock cup. As more and more research pops up about its health benefits, I feel even better about my love affair with coffee.

Seeing where the coffee market is headed is pretty remarkable. And I’m telling you, marketers, you need to tune in here. Because the percent of Americans drinking coffee, especially gourmet coffee, is on the rise. There is so much that other categories can learn from the triumph of these coffee based brands. Get yourself a cup and settle in for insights every marketer needs to know:

Earn consumers’ trust then offer them the more

Right now Starbucks leads the mainstream coffee conversation. They earned America’s love and trust with coffee and now we’ll buy just about anything they offer us. They seem to be right on top of every trend. Walking into Starbucks is like attending a marketing master class. And many of their product offerings have nothing to do with coffee. So what did Starbuck do get us to trust them with things like energy bars and chickpeas? We trust them so much that we’ll try almost anything they endorse-look at what they did for KIND and Hippeas. Starbucks  has mastered the art of brand partnerships. Not only have they established trust but they know their consumers so well, they can predict what other products they’ll buy when they’re in the store.

Put the planet first

The experience of single-serve coffee has become a part of our culture. Keurig started the trend, but Americans soon started talking about  the environmental impact. Today’s coffee connoisseurs and consumers demand the ultimate in flavor,  freshness AND environmental responsibility. Nespresso is all over this. They’ve made it it easy and free for consumers to return their pods for recycling. And that made Nespresso our winter coffee solution.  And that saved a lot of cold walks to our other go-to for truly delicious coffee, Rook. Don’t worry Rook, spring is here (sort of)vand you can expect demand for Iced New Orleans to rise quickly.

Design an experience around your product

Millennials are  looking for brand experiences. The pourover revolution is providing  exactly that, meeting the desire for flavor and the ritual-like experience. The Chemex is a great reminder of the importance of design. As  a fixture on your countertop, shouldn’t your coffee be beautiful? And the about-to explode (a prediction) chain Blue Bottle is taking the coffee experience up — or maybe even back — a notch. Their extensive employee training brings new art to coffee. And get this, they don’t have wifi or outlets!! They’re reinventing the coffee shop as a place to engage with other humans. How’s that for a refreshing spin on the experience? These coffee innovations have me wondering what other brands could do to help consumers get closer to the human experience, and get further from the digital one. If coffee can do that, can your brand?


Well, now I’m craving a cup of Joe. Why not join me and talk about how we can apply these insights to your brand?