How The Coffee Club delivered its major brand refresh: top tips

By Sarah Stowe | 14 Sep 2020 View comments

How do you go about delivering a significant brand refresh? Megan Magill, chief brand officer at Minor DKL Food Group, The Coffee Club’s parent company, explains just what went into the brand refresh for the iconic Aussie cafe chain.

How The Coffee Club delivered its brand refresh

The Coffee Club brand renewal has been a considered process, Magill says. It began with the business reviewing its brand positioning and researching both customers and non-customers to gain insights into The Coffee Club brand.

“At that time we found that the brand, while benefiting from strong brand awareness, and a highly engaged loyal customer base, was lacking in consideration from non-customers due to challenges with relevance and differentiation,” she explians.

“We took the time to understand who our potential customer could be and then what we needed to change in order to make this brand relevant to that audience.

“We set a brand vision to deliver the most customer connected café experience in the world – and we’re working hard to get there.

“We identified our customer opportunity as the Parennial – older millennial parents, in their 30s with kids – a fast growing customer segment and a great fit for our offer and our brand.”

It’s all about Parennials

“Parennials are the centre of their family – both as a parent and a child, they are have different needs and expectations than those who were frequenting The Coffee Club previously so we needed to balance retaining our loyal customers while we adjusted to appeal to our new opportunity.

“This is not a small job as a brand is reflected in every part of the organisation and every experience our customers have with us.

“Throughout 2019 The Coffee Club enhanced our customers experience in many areas, including (but not limited to): our offer, elevating convenience touch points, store design, operations and people.”

Magill tells Inside Franchise Business Executive the chain made headway in a number of other areas too, notably sustainability and data.

In the sustainability journey the focus was setting goals and guidelines and boosting leadership in the brand’s space.

It was key to unlock the value of customer data, Magill says, and that meant working through a strategy to optimise and build on its long standing VIP loyalty program. The business added an additional tier in free rewards program within a new App.

A new brand identity was developed in line with our new brand blueprint but before we launched this new logo we wanted to ensure we had improved those elements referred to above and we also took the time to carefully test and roll out the new brand look and feel through our point of sale, photography style, store designs, branded elements within stores and our owned channels,” says Magill.

One key part of this plan was a new logo reveal and brand platform launch through communications and due to go live in March.

“But the week we had locked in became the week we worked feverishly to support stores who were only able to operate takeaway and dine-in,” she reveals.

“We rolled the new identity through our owned channels and into stores through POS and uniforms however held off on our branded comms launch.  This is being reviewed and revisited as part of H2 2020.”

Marketing technology

“Our Martech journey started from a fairly basic base. To kick off we required some understanding of how the limited customers we did know were behaving and what levers we could pull to influence that behaviour.”

Positive outcomes from small tests enabled the team to educate the business on the opportunity available, and gain support for its plan of action.

“Although Covid has impacted some of those plans, we are still moving forward with our ‘new’ martech project. While historically it’s been said that marketing and technology can’t see eye to eye, marketing and technology teams must work hand in hand to realise the potential of such opportunities and our teams are working well together to delivery on our strategy.

“Our tech team did the heavy lifting early in the piece within a project to ensure our data was available, secure and formatted for our business. There was a POS system clean up required alongside this work and we are now able to more easily access our data and draw insights for better decision making.”

An NPS program was rolled through the network, allowing the business to closely monitor customer experience and prioritise pain points.

“We are currently mid-project on rebuilding our customer App experience and integrating a customer engagement platform. This work will be complete end Q3 which is very exciting,” says Magill.

Franchisee involvement

“We have a panel of franchisees we consult with in detail, others we work with as trial stores and we have recently implemented Workplace – enabling us to have constant two way communication between HQ, franchisees and store teams.”

Top 4 tips on rebranding

  • Be clear on your objective, strategy and ensure buy in from all levels.
  • Understand and educate your organisation stakeholders
  • Collaboration and communication are key.
  • Take your time to test and learn.

Read more: The Coffee Club 30 years on; franchise branding.