Over the last 5-10 years, coffee has become just as influential online as any fashion influencer. Coffee shots grace social feeds globally. This month, we’re talking to global businesses that have not only witnessed, but have driven that digital shift.
First up, we chatted to Sophie Evans, Marketing and Events Manager at New Zealand’s Coffee Supreme.
Naturally, Sophie has a coffee in hand.
Founded in Wellington 26 years ago, Coffee Supreme might be a small team, but now spread across New Zealand, Australia and Japan, not only does it have a big heart, its coffee is adored globally.
It also happens to be the beans we use in the Linktree office, so we were super delighted when Coffee Supreme signed up to Linktree. You could say they already power 50% of the work that goes on around here!
These guys lead with their values – something that comes through in every interaction, whether that’s with the barista in one of their outposts, in the packaging on your bean subscription, or in the tone they set online through communications.
As they put it, “Coffee brings us together around the staff lunchroom, around our different neighbourhoods, together with customers, friends, and family. It brings us together with people who live in different countries and come from different walks of life, yet all speak the same language – the language of goodness, in good company.”
Those are the kinds of values we at Linktree can get behind. Let’s see how they impact marketing the brand. Over to Sophie!
As coffee roasters, have you felt the online explosion of coffee?
“It’s awesome. We love seeing our products, coffee shops and wholesale partners on the ‘gram. Also, it’s a super easy way for us to spread the word about new openings. It feels pretty special to be able to support our wholesale partners like this.”
Branding is critical in the competitive coffee industry and you guys are world-class. What makes your brand stands out?
“First of all, thank you! I think we found our aesthetic and tone early on in the piece and we’ve stuck with them since. Thanks to our pro Brand Dept., we do everything in-house. I reckon this plays a key role, everything that leaves their office has Supreme’s fingerprints all over it.”
The Auckland Coffee Supreme team
How does your team adhere to the brand?
“It sounds kind of lame, but I think it’s safe to say the Coffee Supreme team live and breathe the brand. Lots of the team have been around for 8 – 15 years. Heath Cater, our Group Operations Direction (yeah, he is a bit of a GOD) has been with Supreme for 22 years. We don’t have any formal process of learning the tone etc, but the Brand Dept. do run a tight ship and oversee anything that has the Coffee Supreme logo on it.”
Do you think about drinkers or baristas with your marketing?
“We’re constantly thinking about both. Coffee Supreme is for everyone, and that’s not just some cheesy slogan we’ve coined, we really do believe it. We see our wholesale operation as a series of partnerships. By promoting the Coffee Supreme brand, the public recognises the Supreme logo and (hopefully) seeks it out when picking cafes. In turn, cafe owners benefit. It’s really a win-win.”
"Coffee Supreme is for everyone, and that’s not just some cheesy slogan we’ve coined, we really do believe it."
We loved your marketing around Father’s Day. What was the process there? Any tips on how other brands of household items can tap into cultural moments?
“To be honest, we always hum and haw about engaging with commercial celebrations. On one hand, it can feel a bit gross, but on the other, if people love Coffee Supreme, why shouldn’t we create an affordable gift that we know they’ll love – and have a bit of a laugh at?”
"To be honest, we always hum and haw about engaging with commercial celebrations."
“This year’s Father’s Day promotion was born during our weekly Brand and Marketing Skype. We threw around a couple of ideas and landed on the offering because we wanted to provide some sort of customization for the gifters. Plus, we have a couple of dads on the team who struggle to steer clear of a dad joke.
“In terms of advice for other businesses, do what feels right for you. And make sure it’s an inclusive offering.”
Turns out dad jokes are universally loved afterall.
You recently raised money for Kenyan coffee farmers – how did that come about? Any tips for other businesses?
“Our partnership with So They Can came about through a friend of a friend of a friend…or something like that! Given that we travel to and source a lot of coffee from Kenya it felt like an organic connection. While there’s always room for improvement, I don’t think we would change anything about this partnership. We used to get really excited and support this person and that person, but since last year, we’ve allocated a budget (a pretty generous one, too) and focus on three charitable initiatives each year.
“Again, do what feels right. And of course, as with greenwashing, do it because you want to, not for social clout.
What marketing tools or tech do you use?
“Our team is split across Melbourne, Auckland and Wellington, so we absolutely crank Asana. I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to it, but it also manages to keep the stress and anxiety levels at bay, especially when approaching big events.
“We’re a creative bunch and we tend to get really excited and have several things on the go at once – Linktree has helped us to promote all of the going-ons, simultaneously. FYI, they didn’t pay me to say this!”
"Linktree has helped us to promote all of the going-ons, simultaneously." Sophie Evans, Coffee Supreme.
How do you handle negatives on social media?
“Turn it into a win. It’s pretty much impossible to avoid human error, mistakes will be made, but it’s important to turn it into a positive. If something goes wrong and we receive a message, we own the mistake, apologise, fix it and send them a handwritten note and maybe a little treat. Everyone loves a handwritten note and chocolate!”
It’s that exact human touch that helps Coffee Supreme garner such a loyal audience, online and offline, including us at Linktree. Thanks for chatting to us Sophie!
Coffee Supreme’s Linktree is a great contents page for their important places. Their top link sends you directly to their homepage, while their next link down hooks you straight up with shoppable product, turning curious followers into customers.
They also link to their blog, to a recent podcast featuring their founder and to job vacancies. Coffee Supreme are using PRO, which means they get to use social icons, to direct their audience to Facebook, from the bottom of their profile.
They’ve rolled Linktree out across their Australian presence too. Check here!