A roaster’s branding is critical to a successful business, as it sets them apart from competition and determines the look and feel of product packaging.
Branding should leave a memorable impression on customers so they recommend it to others, which encourages repeat sales and customer loyalty. The recognition derived from a brand increases company value, sets expectations, and makes it easier to gain new customers.
However, over time, a company may look to adapt its branding to complement a change of direction or to appeal to a new range of customers. Several global brands, such as Coca-Cola, Dunkin’ Donuts, Apple, and coffee giant Starbucks, have undergone highly successful rebranding over the years, while retaining their existing customer bases.
For roasters who are considering rebranding their coffee business, there are several factors to consider in order to make it effective.
To find out more about how to rebrand a coffee business, I spoke with the founder of Triple Co Roast, Jo Thompson.
Why do businesses rebrand?
On average, brands and organisations change their corporate identity once every seven to ten years. Businesses tend to think about rebranding for a number of reasons.
Usually, it is when the business starts to grow exponentially and needs scaling. Other reasons may include internationalisation, new management, or an outdated image.
Basic design elements go out of fashion, while typeface, colours, images, and logos can become dated. A rebrand can help a business keep up-to-date with the marketplace and contemporary styles.
Furthermore, the speed of business today is incredibly fast-paced, and consumer purchasing behaviour is constantly evolving. Therefore, roasters must do what they can in order to ensure their brand remains customer-focused and relevant.
Important to consider is that an original brand identity could become a liability and may hold the company back. Rebranding can help put products in the spotlight and grab the attention of new customers.
Jo launched Triple Co Roast back in 2015. Having stuck with the same design for six years, during which time he increased the scale of the business year-on-year, he decided it was a good time to rebrand.
“I wanted to push the business to the next level,” Jo explains. “I felt I couldn’t do that with my current DIY branding. The rebrand was to help scale the business even further.
Once his business began to experience large levels of growth, he found he could no longer sustain it with his current branding.
“Branding is key, and I think many people underestimate it. For example, I’ve seen amazing brands that sell bad coffee do better than ones that sell great coffee. It’s all because they’re reaching the right people through branding.”
While effective marketing will interest a customer once, repeat sales and customer loyalty depend on the quality of the product and the overall brand experience.
What is involved in a rebrand?
In order to rebrand successfully, it is important to partner with a company that understands the value of branding.
“Anyone can grind beans and roast at home,” Jo says, “but the people who do this professionally must know how to reach customers.”
For his rebrand, Jo partnered with the branding studio Angel & Anchor in Northern Ireland. “They’ve worked with some amazing brands and roasteries,” Jo says. “I looked at their work and knew they understood coffee branding. They understood what we needed to do, and they helped us with everything.”
Jo reveals in order to push his business to the next level, they had to rebrand completely, with only the name remaining unchanged. Logos, brand colours, and identity, as well as the packaging design, changed. Even the website and messaging received an update.
Messaging is an essential part of a brand and needs to be cohesive. This part of the rebrand means rewriting the key points on digital platforms and marketing collateral.
Specialty coffees, in particular, tend to have unique backstories that the majority of consumers want to connect with.
During a rebrand, roasters should consider how the story of their company, and relationships with producers, will resonate with consumers and help the sales process.
Additionally, roasters can use a rebrand as an opportunity to reevaluate company values. These values will be reflected in the updated logo and packaging, as well as the tone of the messaging directed at consumers.
It is important to note that rebranding can be a lengthy process. For Jo, it took a year before they could officially launch.
“It was worth it,” he says. “It has taken us from home DIY branding, to something more professional, which is more appealing to our target audience.”
What to consider before rebranding a coffee business
While a rebrand can help accelerate a brand and reach new audiences, there are risks involved.
Of particular importance is whether a rebrand could lead to confusion among their current customer base, causing a fall in sales. Furthermore, it’s essential to weigh up the expected return on investment.
“I had to accept that it was likely we would lose a certain pool of customers,” Jo says. “However, there was the potential to gain new customers in the long run.”
However, Jo reveals that even if the business lost 10% of its customers, they had already increased their total number by around 30-40%. Additionally, Jo noticed a steady growth in the company’s online following.
“We’ve noticed an increase in new followers every day, where previously, we were only getting a few every week. Part of it is the organic growth, however, a large part of it is that the brand is now more appealing and aesthetic.
“It is essential to target the market you are after, because you will never get something that appeals to everyone.”
Before deciding to undertake a rebrand, roasters must take time to examine their company, values, and specific needs. Furthermore, they should consider what they want to achieve through the rebrand, as it can be a daunting task.
That said, rebranding can pay dividends over the lifetime of a company, enabling roasters to attract better customers, with more authority, and command higher prices for their products.
At MTPak Coffee, we can help roasters who are considering a rebrand from the design of your new logo through to printing on sustainable coffee packaging.
Our team can custom print coffee bags that reflect your brand identity and stand out on the shelf. We can help you select from a range of sustainable materials and additional components to design the perfect packaging for your needs.
Furthermore, we are able to digitally print coffee packaging with a 40-hour turnaround and 24-hour shipping time. This allows us to offer low minimum order quantities (MOQs) of packaging, no matter what size or material.
We can also ensure that packaging is completely recyclable or biodegradable, as we offer bags made from sustainable materials such as kraft and rice paper, as well as LDPE and PLA-lined bags.