Cafédirect - connecting with coffee customers

Published 28 Apr 2021 8 minute read

Following an extensive brand segmentation, Cafédirect – a leading ethical coffee brand – sought to find a new and more appropriate way to engage its consumers and deliver streams of fresh insight. Their strategic objectives centred on
growing shopper numbers and increasing frequency of purchase among two key consumer segments. Cafédirect turned to Further for help in building a powerful online research community; a solution that required technical expertise and advanced technology, research rigour and an understanding of their consumer’s complex digital user-behaviours. Cafédirect now connects everyday with their
target consumers, garnering opinion, sharing concepts and building valuable relationships along the way

The Brief

When Cafédirect approached Further, the insight team had just completed a rigorous segmentation study to better understand their consumer typologies.
Up until this point, they had relied on traditional project-oriented research and emailed surveys for insight. Although useful, a new research solution was identified as a requirement that was more cost-effective and capable of delivering research at speed.

Our brief was to find a new way of engaging Cafédirect consumers, as well as a select few non-consumers, to help:

  • Generate new product ideas and develop concepts
  • Conduct in-home and on-site product testing
  • Explore usage patterns across the categories they operate in
  • Develop marketing campaigns
  • Test ad concepts and digital content
  • Create content to support trade sell-in
  • Deliver new social collateral for use in future marketing initiatives

Furthermore, our work involved developing a community strategy and research community platform that would support both qualitative and quantitative research methods and encourage conversations among consumers and staff at Cafédirect. The community needed to be private and invite only, since much of the information to be shared was of a confidential nature, and it had to be easy for consumers of ages and experience to get involved. Equally as important was the need to deliver a new digital brand experience that consumers would take delight in and even take part-ownership of.

The solution

We customised our best-in-class online research community platform, Together, providing features such as blogs and discussion forums, brainstorming exercises, surveys, live chat rooms and polls. The community, aptly named Cafédirectors’
Community, allowed members to create rich profiles and start their own discussions, as well as participate in a range of research exercises designed and posted by Cafédirectors’ Community Managers on a regular basis.

To ensure that participation was high and that the online conversations were rich and insightful, our team provided training to Cafédirect’s Community Managers and designed a recruitment strategy that identified initial membership drafts and the process of introducing them to the community. Rewards and incentives for participation are critical, so our team provided guidance and experience on how best to manage this exchange and the creation of motivational drivers.

Knowledge and insight sharing

It was vitally important that the we made it easy for the Cafédirectors’ Community Managers to share and disseminate the knowledge and insight they gleaned with the business stakeholders. Using our powerful Notepad solution, Community Managers could tag, annotate and disseminate insights at the press of a button, keeping stakeholders informed in a convenient and accessible way. Streams of actionable insight were kept alive for longer, with ongoing internal discussion supported by way of a digital insight channel using Further’s
‘UpStream’ curated content feature.

The results

  • A continuous dialogue with their target audience
  • The ability to ask consumers a wider range of questions which
    wasn’t previously possible due to time and budgetary restrictions
  • A new culture of research and consumer-centric development
  • The community now plays a pivotal role to help achieve their strategic
    business objectives alongside more traditional research, by making
    everything Cafédirect does more consumer and shopper focused
  • Quicker turnaround of research and lowered business costs
  • Validation and support of other research methods
  • Rising community membership with minimal effort
  • Increased awareness of Cafédirect’s marketing activities
  • Innovative approach to building consumer relationships
  • A platform for innovation
  • Better, more insightful business decision making
  • Social research that is fuelling social capital, harnessed within the business
  • Major cost savings over bespoke solution development
  • A flexible, adaptable research resource that the brand owns
  • A dramatic sea-change in the way research is used within the business

"The community has enabled us to ask our consumers a wider range
of questions which, perhaps, we wouldn’t have been able to before
because of time and budget restrictions. Ultimately, this has fostered
more of a research culture and consumer focus within our business."

Lorraine Kelleher, Category & Consumer Insights Manager, Cafédirect

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