Entrepreneurs have vision. But all too often it exists in intangible form – unstated, undocumented, or both. It’s our job to help them articulate it and get it on paper so it can be worked against. And hopefully one day, fully realized.
Our brand strategy work kicked into gear when we honed in on the team’s unwavering vision. Beyond coffee, they dream of a world where people can buy any agricultural product direct from the source — anytime, anywhere. Because when this occurs, power is returned to the hands of both growers and customers.
It was on us to craft a brand strategy that would put Vega on the path to carrying out their bold dream. So we immersed ourselves into the coffee industry, past and present market trends, and the complexities of today’s global trade. We scoured history books, industry white papers, and archives of decades-old coffee advertisements. This extensive research helped us frame Vega in the larger industry and make our ultimate recommendations.
Once we came up for air, we looked onto the horizon – scoping out the landscape of coffee brands and consumer trends. We analyzed competitors, from mainstream specialty companies to other Fair Trade and roasted-at-origin organizations. The insights we gleaned yielded three key brand strategy insights.
First, Vega has the quality and service to appeal to a broad audience – not just those who care about ethical consumption. With hundreds of options available, it’s crucial for Vega to tell the impact story without fully leaning on it to cultivate lifelong customers. The product, service, pricing, and brand needed to be as engaging and appealing as any competitor in the segment.
Second, Vega’s streamlined supply chain makes it ideal for adopting the direct-to-consumer model used by popular brands like Away, Dollar Shave Club, and Warby Parker. Vega enables customers to buy strikingly high-quality coffee beans without the traditional markup. Even better: despite a plethora of options, not a single coffee company is currently positioned as a D2C brand.
And lastly, there are plenty of tropes in the sea of coffee brands. From the exclusivity signaled by Blue Bottle and Intelligentsia to the earthy and emotional imagery of coffee farmers used by plenty of others – Vega had to channel its rule-breaking boldness into a personality that could stand out. Typical “dirt-roughened hands picking red coffee beans” wouldn’t cut it.
Through our archetype work, we pegged Vega a definitive rebel. Not an anarchist, destructive, angry rebel. But an iconoclast, unafraid to break rules in order to revolutionize a system that’s inherently broken. It’s a personality that would certainly differentiate. But just as importantly, it would reflect the commitment and passion of the founders and team. We encouraged Vega to not shy away from their worldview. And shift their marketing voice, tone, and imagery to follow suit.
With these key insights as our starting point, we then crafted a strategy to push this personality out into the world and minds of consumers. We mapped strategies against central objectives to:
Drive new B2C acquisitions: prove marketplace demand and accelerate its growth.
Build brand affinity and loyalty: increase the average lifetime value of customers.
Convert B2B leads: arm the sales team with tools needed to efficiently and effectively attract, engage, and close.
Set the stage for more investments: demonstrate measurable predictability, consistency, and scalability with KPIs.
We made technical recommendations for improving email conversion rates and outlined user experience updates to their ecomm platform. We analyzed the effectiveness of each of their marketing tools in driving visitors and sales. And we went deep into social feeds to analyze voice, tone, and engagement.
Beyond all this, we crafted multi-channel campaigns to engage customers in ways that would push an impact-focused coffee social enterprise into the mainstream. We channeled the rebel archetype and Vega’s passion for social justice into campaigns that asked customers to “get woke up” and positioned Vega Coffee as “fuel for the resistance.” Some of the campaigns were education focused, bent on teaching people about the inequitable supply chain. Others used real-life social cause rebels to highlight Vega’s value props.