- Seattle's Best CoffeeSeattle’s Best was a neglected company: withering sales, generic image, irrelevant. The only way to get them
out of their decade long slump was a total, comprehensive reinvention—not just of themselves, but they had
to challenge how the entire industry, and culture, thought about coffee.
Together, we saw a huge gap in the coffee industry between premium, complex products and cheap, low-
brow products. On top of that, American culture viewed coffee as utilitarian, brown, serious and masculine.
Defining that upscale middle ground—the blending of premium and mass appeal, making the shift from masculine to feminine, from complex regionalism to fun and easy-to-understand experiences—would take massive transformation of the corporate culture, business model, products, retail presence, image
and messaging.Seattle's Best Coffee
- // REBRAND AND LAUNCH //
- Brand Book
- General Print
- // SOCIAL ACTIVATION //
- Brew-LanthropyLet's invite people to participate with our campaign idea of Anywhere Great Coffee is Needed. And let’s start with the places it’s needed most, because one of those crummy truths isthat the places doing the most good always seem to be doing it on the worst coffee. We wanted to correct that injustice.The answer is inventing a newkind of charitable philosophy called: Brew-Lanthropy—turning brewing coffeeinto a philanthropic deed. It’s the act of giving people doing good deeds somegreat coffee to do it on. This idea is the basis for The Brew-LanthropyProject. This program inspires the nation to nominate deserving originations towin free coffee for a year and a substantial financial contribution to theirmission. Then invite the nation to vote for who the next Brew-Lanthropy Grantrecipient should be. It’s a simple way to make their day better, and by helping them on their mission, make the world a better place.
- Call for Entries
- Project Documentary
- Nominate and vote via Facebook
- // PRODUCT INNOVATION //
- The Level SystemContinuing the mission of bringing great coffee anywhere, welooked at how people get coffee at home. We found coffee came in basically two options.The first is functional, inglorious, crappy, every day coffee. The other is thesuper precious, café-style, premium, snobby coffee. The first is bad, but easyto understand. The later is good but complicated.
Instead, the level system is based on a relative scale ofnumbers—like one would find on a “spice” scale for restaurants menus. We canguess intuitively how intense of a coffee flavor we would like, and startthere, and as importantly, we know right away what all the other coffee levelsare probably like after we try just one of them. Now people don’t have to learn regions and roasts, and this creates a middle ground: high quality but accessible.
Of course that all sounds logical, and is, but also we wanted the system to bring a touch of fun, exploration and style to a category that is steeped in tradition where everyone plays by the rules or even breaks those rules in the same way. It’s not for traditional coffee lovers, for hard-core purists or for the exclusive micro café lovers.
It’s for the rest of the planet, the ones whostill like coffee, and just needed someone to help them find one that they love.
- Levels—Product Art
- Levels—Sampling event: 24-hour live show
- To kick off the launch of the Levels system, let's personally thank the first people in America to pre-order a sample of the new Seattle's Best Coffee on-line. It's the Declare Your Level Show: a first ever, 24-Hour live improv comedy event, hosted entirely on Facebook, with the world's best improv troupe The Second City. The event took a cast of 27 performers, over a 100,000 pre-orders were given out, and over 1000 custom skits were sent out to new fans, along with special celebratory levels films made fans who missed the live show.
- DYLS (The first-ever live broadcast)
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- DYLS (Thank you films for all those who declared but missed the show)
- // ACTIVATION (STORE LAUNCH) //
- 1000 Cups
- It’s one thing to say you are about great coffee anywhere,it’s another to go out and prove it. And to kick off this brand in Canada, and high-light our new store locations, that’s what we had to do. We hit the road with an epic trip that covered the continent handing out 1000 cups of fresh coffee in the most unlikely places we could find. The online event garnered a nice following as the story grew people met us in the mew locations and in each city the cups went faster and faster.
The whole project yielded an image bankfor use in artwork and communications, and of course help kick start the loreof the brand. The stories of the people we met—bush pilots, chain saw carvers, rodeo clowns, street artists and others—merged with ours to redefine coffeeculture. A limited edition coffee table book is the works.