Coffee Branding Analysis: 24 Brands to Draw Inspiration (+ Why They Work)
After years of dreaming, planning, and negotiations, you’re finally ready to start your own coffee company. Whether you are opening a coffee shop or selling coffee online, you need to set your brand apart from the crowd—your success depends on it.
There are literally thousands of companies selling (mostly) the same product. From your customer’s perspective, most coffee companies all look the same. Same clichés. Same phrases “fresh roasted, delivered to your door”. That’s terrible for marketing!
Coffee shops and roasters that use strategies like blending unique designs with storytelling, avoiding overused coffee clichés, and leaning into a bold personality helps them stand apart from the rest.
We analyzed 24 of the most business-savvy and memorable coffee brands that use these marketing strategies and broke down why they work.
In this analysis, you’ll discover…
- Why good design does NOT equal a good brand
- Clever ways to infuse storytelling into packaging
- How strong opinions, personalities, and values win in the coffee industry
Stay tuned at the end for lessons learned. Let’s meet the brands!
1. Onyx Coffee’s Elitism is So Bold, it Actually Inspires Trust
What Is Onyx Coffee?
Onyx is that somewhat elitist coffee friend you know will never, ever serve you sub-par coffee.
The first thing customers see on their website is their mission.
- “Onyx is on a pilgrimage seeking quality, truth, and accountability in coffee. We journey to find the finest and most unique coffees in the world.”
Onyx follows through with its mission and is fully honest with its customers about how the brand works. They even provide infographics that show the behind the scene process and gives transparency to their business.
When it comes to presentation, Onyx’s bold website and SCA award-winning packaging make it stand out against the crowd. Not only does it come in an ornate box, but all the packaging is sustainable and reusable.
Why It Works
Onyx Coffee took the ‘travel across the world’ cliche and turned it into something different while still getting the same point across. Instead, they used keywords like ‘pilgrimage’ and rare coffees’ to catch the customer’s attention.
By sending out a clear and consistent message right from the start, customers know what Onyx stands for and how they plan to reach it. The boxed package stands out from the typical bagged products and the elegant look elevates customers’ expectations.
Onyx doesn’t just talk about top-tier coffee, they relish it. Onyx offers customers rare, small-batch, and experimental coffee batches. They don’t stop there. Onyx also features collaborations and other seasonal coffees.
Onyx Coffee knows they have high-quality products, so they say it proudly and authentically.
2. Methodical Coffee Creates a More Open-Hearted Experience
What Is Methodical Coffee?
In a very masculine industry, Methodical’s floral packaging is a refreshing and memorable departure for folks who don’t quite feel the hyper-manly styles are for them. The same goes for their website which is simple, sleek, and to the point.
One thing this brand has in its favor is that Methodical Coffee thrives on communication with its customers. In fact, it’s one of their three pillars.
- “We believe that any successful business is built upon three pillars: exceptional product, customer service, and experience. We tirelessly work to perfect those three pillars.”
Methodical Coffee appeals to newcomers to the coffee industry as the website features many tips and tricks for roasting coffee at home. They also give the most experienced coffee snob a chance to relax with a quality comfort roast.
- “We roast our coffee to express the life it lived—the place, the weather, the soil—and to honor the skilled people who cultivated it.”
Why It Works
Methodical Coffee eases first-time customers into the industry through their coffee in both taste and design. The light pastel draws the eyes away from the same boring products on the shelf and the cool colors soothe overwhelmed buyers.
Through the calm advertising and atmosphere, it becomes an approachable coffee brand that customers trust.
Methodical coffee also never uses cliche terms to sell it coffee. The website only wishes for customers to experience and enjoy the life the coffee grounds lived. Through communication, passion, and community Methodical Coffee has built a nice reputation for its brand and continues to grow.
3. Fire Department Coffee: As Determined as the Heroes It’s Made For
What Is Fire Department Coffee?
Fire Department Coffee is a veteran-owned business that is run by active and retired firefighters. This is a brand with a hyper-clear target audience. They know what they want and who they serve, and they’re not afraid to admit it.
Inspired by the role coffee plays for firefighters and first responders who work long shifts with little rest, this brand aims to serve great-tasting coffee that keeps buyers going all day. Fire Department Coffee also takes initiative to give back to the people who inspired their brand. They are fully transparent about where the money goes and how it helps the first responders.
Their coffee bags are designed to grab the customer’s attention with bold and daring designs. The website sticks to a red and black color scheme and a bold look which adds to the brand’s blazing personality.
Why It Works
Fire Department’s branding connects with consumers through its origin story and keeps customers coming back with innovative coffee blends. Their marketing tactics are clearly targeted to an audience of people who are either (1) related to firefighters, (2) have firefighters in their community, or (3) are firefighters themselves. It’s such a clear brand-value-fit for that audience.
It is no wonder why their product became so well known since their brand’s release in 2016.
With a bold, great taste and even better brand design, Fire Department Coffee puts a fire in the hearts of loyal customers.
4. Brandywine Coffee Roasters Invokes Creativity in Consumers
What Is Brandywine Coffee Roasters?
Brandywine is all about color, imagination, and the fun of making home-brewed coffee.
- “Creativity, Kindness, and Coffee is a little spell we like to start the day with around our roasting and printing operation. We aim to deliver a small bit of all of the above, plus a little wonder and joy with each screen-printed bag of coffee that is sent out to the multiverse.”
The Brandywine website is super colorful and makes viewers want to smile at the child-like joy this brand gives with each click. It is easy to navigate and full of life. They even give coffee brewing tips in comic form, which is a nice twist on the classic blog style. Each bag is hand printed with custom designs by local artists and designs are regularly rotated to give the bag fresh life.
- “We believe this helps emphasize that each coffee we release is itself a work of artists living within another work of art.”
Their ‘Coffee Magic for a Cause’ bags are carefully designed to invoke sympathy from buyers. Each bag is a special brew that is released to spread awareness and support issues that mean a lot to their brand and personal values. The website also promotes recycling their packaging with their upcycle rewards program.
Why It Works
When it comes to coffee branding, personality is everything. Companies should aim to stand out in the consumer’s minds. Brandywine oozes personality. They create a specific image for their brand and have a consistent following because it’s fun and memorable.
Brandywine targets an art-loving community that spreads love and hope to the world through their coffee. This shines through their packaging and cheerful language on their website.
Brandywine’s creative bag design captivates customers and the limited bag space promotes learning more about the brand online. The heartfelt message on each bag adds a smile to every customer’s face.
5. Couplet Coffee Aims To Break Barriers In The Coffee Industry
What is Couplet Coffee?
Couplet Coffee is an unapologetically queer coffee company that’s colorful and inviting. Being owned and operated by women and non-binary teams creates an accepting atmosphere. They lean into this acceptance when they say their coffee is for everyone, everyone, everyone.
- “We believe specialty coffee is for everyone– and we mean everyone. Carefully curated, sustainably sourced coffee just for you.”
Their mission is to make great coffee accessible to everyone without pretentiousness or fancy jargon. Customers could be experienced or completely new to the coffee scene, either way, Couplet Coffee aims to help give buyers a good cup of joe.
The coffee bags are colorful and abundant. It tells buyers about the coffee as well as the company’s mission. Being an interactive brand with open messaging and open minds creates a space for customers to feel welcomed.
Why It Works
Most coffee companies say they want to be “coffee for everyone”, but Couplet goes above and beyond to invite people from marginalized communities for whom “everyone” isn’t really true. At Couplet, everyone really does mean everyone.
As a newer coffee brand, Couplet is learning along with their customers and growing their business through limited edition coffee drops online. Testing the waters with these coffee drops and merchandise is allowing them to create a name for themselves before their full public launch.
Couplet’s messaging is extremely casual and Gen Z oriented. They also do most of their marketing through social media apps like Twitter and Instagram which often have a younger demographic.
Couplet Coffee strives to break down the barriers that coffee stigmas can cause. They are aware of how intimidating it can be to start learning about home-brewed coffee and embrace that notion. They are definitely a brand to watch as they continue to grow and create more products.
6. Amavida Coffee Roasters Gets Customers Involved In Global Sustainability Programs
What Is Amavida Coffee?
Amavida’s branding is very sustainability-focused, but it’s not just lip service. Amavida’s bold mission is lived out in their various initiatives.
- “At Amavida, we’re not satisfied being just another Fair Trade coffee roaster. We’re energized by pushing the limits of what it means to be an ethical and sustainable coffee company because we believe the pursuit of exceptional coffee is one of the most powerful ways to create positive change—in both coffee-producing countries and at home.”
Amavida is a certified B corporation, a Fair Trade Organization, and is certified by the USDA. They truly lead the way in the coffee industry and appeal to buyers who want to see the receipts that their coffee is ethically sourced and brewed.
They partner with organizations that focus on strengthening economic and social development and creating sustainable coffee-producing communities. Amavida also has multiple outreach programs that consumers can get involved in.
Their website is very organized and down-to-earth. The easy navigation and complete transparency on their operations make a great impression on those interested in their product. Amavida’s packaging is also very colorful and grabs the customer’s attention with the geometric shapes and sideways labels, which make buyers pick up the product to read.
Why It Works
Amavida is the perfect example of coffee roasters using the coffee marketing pyramid to boost their sales and brand likeability. They never use cliches to grab customers’ attention because they don’t need to. They have good branding techniques, a captivating mission, and eye-catching packaging that does it for them—and it’s all backed by “receipts” of good work they’re doing at home and abroad.
Amavida pulls out the good in their buyers, and the customers notice. Amivida’s various outreach programs show that they truly care about the people, communities, and ecosystems that give them their livelihood. Not only do they allow for buyers to actively get involved, but it also puts Amavida in the spotlight as coffee with great taste and an even greater mission.
7. ReAnimator Coffee Brings Old Coffee Knowledge Back To Life
What Is ReAnimator Coffee?
ReAnimator Coffee Roasters are similar to the average coffee shop, in that they love the experience that coffee gives and strive to create great experiences with each sip.
- “At ReAnimator Coffee, everything we do is in the pursuit of experience…Coffee is not simply a utility, but a noble beverage. Just as we are driven to seek this knowledge, we are also driven to pass this knowledge on.”
This is where similarities end, however, because ReAnimator Coffee is no ordinary coffee brand. It is a brand that started in a basement in 2011 and quickly grew into five coffee shops and one pizzeria (you heard that right) by 2019. Through curiosity and determination, ReAnimator Coffee became a staple of their local community and online.
The website’s sleek and professional design adds to the appeal of the brand. The packaging goes through reboots every few years to keep it fresh and on the mind. The current packaging does a good job drawing the eye with lots of little doodles and shapes that represent the brand or coffee blend.
Why It Works
By refreshing the packaging every few years, ReAnimator Coffee is able to keep its products in the front of customers’ minds.
ReAnimator also does limited edition charity blends that benefit the local and surrounding communities. Boosting local reputation is also vital to companies who sell both online and in person. It is the locals who give the brand its beginning, so keeping a good connection with locals is one key to running a successful brand.
Their website offers multiple deals and discounts for customers to use when buying online. This prompts visitors to buy more from them as a whole. The website also tells a fun story about how the brand came to be and how it got its spooky name. By giving such a personal backstory to their brand, ReAnimator Coffee creates a special bond between the company and its customers.
8. Norlo Coffee Makes Simplicity Hip Again
What is Norlo Coffee?
Norlo Coffee is a certified organic and specialty-grade coffee that takes pleasure in its nordic roots. Ethically and sustainably sourced, Norlo believes every customer should receive coffee in its purest form.
- “We’re passionate about producing the very best quality coffee out there and how coffee impacts our health for the better.”
The focus on purity is central to the Norlo brand, with unmistakable imagery of Scandinavian fjords that give off a vibe of untainted, natural landscapes. For people who love nature and want to keep it pristine, Norlo strikes a cord.
The website is calm and simple while still getting the points across. While subtle, the website actually uses the color theme of the packaging, tying the two together. The packaging is 100% recyclable cardboard which reflects the quality and purity of the coffee. The coffee tubes with simple yet inviting design give customers a calming experience while they learn more about the product.
Why It Works
When it comes to coffee branding, simple often isn’t the way to go. There are too many simple designs that often get muddled together. However, Norlo Coffee takes simplicity to the next level by infusing minimal design with a distinct nature-themed art style.
Norlo Coffee follows through with its goals for a better and healthier coffee. The website gives research results as to how Norlo’s coffee benefits customers’ health. Having these facts to back up one’s claims is important to boost a brand’s credibility and reputation.
The recyclable tube packaging and award-winning design set this brand apart from the rest on the shelf. Norlo Coffee is a UK-based company that aims to honor the naturally delightful coffee of Norway. This respectable mission gives customers a look into the brand’s ideals and personal values. To put it simply, Norlo’s coffee is boldly uncomplicated.
9. 1895 Makes Brewing an Elegant Experience
What is 1895?
1895 is a coffee brand that has been around for a while. They have 125 years of experience in the coffee industry and give customers a unique experience when buying online. This brand uses beans from independent plantations and certified cooperatives to give customers an ethically sourced cup of joe.
Each coffee creation is made to appeal to various types of coffee lovers.
- “Here, the attention to the smallest details by our Master Roasters blends with the most modern innovations, to guarantee you a superior quality coffee.”
The beautifully designed website is able to guide customers in their coffee journey. If customers aren’t sure what they want, the website also gives customers the chance to create their own subscriptions based on their past preferences and preferred flavor profile. Customers are able to ask themselves what experience they want to discover. The packaging is bright and colorful with a simple design that draws customers to it.
Why It Works
This is another good example of taking the ‘journey around the world’ cliche and turning it on its head. The website says 1895 began as the coffee designers journey to discover the most prestigious coffee origins and continue the work of master roasters from all over the world.
This brand is for avid coffee drinkers who maybe want to spice up the day-to-day coffee experience. Through striking design and personalized choices, customers are able to freely go on an exquisite coffee journey through 1895’s special blends.
10. Cafe Virtuoso, A Brand That Shines In The Eyes of Customers
What is Cafe Virtuoso Coffee?
Through high standards and sustainable thinking, Cafe Virtuoso has risen through the ranks as a specialty brewing coffee company since their opening in 2008. Cafe Virtuoso is deeply invested in the lives of the farmers who grow their beans and the customers who support them.
- Their mission statement is all about, “elevating coffee, people, and the environment by supporting sustainable practices and bringing joy to those who love a good cup of coffee.”
Cafe Virtuosos proudly displays the fact that they are 100% organic and both ethically and sustainably sourced. This shows they are dedicated to their craft considering that most organic products produce lesser amounts, but higher quality.
The packaging and website both share a sunny color scheme and provide a classic feel that reminds customers of the original experience coffee brings. Cafe Virtuoso then takes this feeling and makes it uniquely their own.
Why It Works
Cafe Virtuoso’s earth-conscious products and recent promotions allow for customers to give back to the earth and produce less waste. Giving the customers a good, clean conscience makes them want to buy more from companies that practice goodwill.
This brand is committed to its customers and follows through with their promises of creating sustainable organic coffee. When a company acts on what they say, it compels customers to trust them.
11. Java Trading Turns the “Travel the World” Cliche into a Powerful Brand Experience
What is Java Trading Coffee?
Java Trading Company has been on the market since 1968 and prides themselves on having extensive knowledge about coffee from seed to cup. They have both organic and non-organic options that customers can choose from.
Java Trading is Rainforest Alliance Certified, uses sustainable farming techniques, and utilizes renewable hydroelectric energy and biomass furnaces to create their coffee.
- “Sustainability & Social Responsibility are our passion! With a tagline of “We discover. You enjoy.”, Java Trading Company is committed to ethical sourcing, fair wages, and sustainable business practices.”
Each bag and label acts as a guide to where the coffee blend originates, taking the customers on a mini journey in the beverage aisle. The website is fun and engages visitors with diary-style artwork and content.
Why It Works
This company also twists the journey cliche and makes it their own by saying, “Journey with us to discover the flavors of the world.” Though close to the original cliche, the passport and stamp-themed art style are original enough to pop out at customers who glance at their website’s homepage.
Java Trading has a compelling backstory and connects buyers to farmers directly which creates a connection between the brand, the farmers, and customers. This is something that is vital to every brand regardless of product.
Java Trading’s website is great at selling coffee through promotional and informational marketing videos. Java has a subscription program that plays off airlines called the frequent flyer program. When customers join they receive a passport to mark their coffee journey as they taste Java’s various products. These fun and unique interactions make the buying experience more enjoyable.
12. Turkish Coffee Lady Honors Turkish Coffee Culture In Every Sip
What Is Turkish Coffee Lady?
Inspired by Turkey’s rich culture, Turkish Coffee Lady highlights centuries-old culinary traditions used in old coffee houses. Each blend is curated to represent the colors and tastes of Turkey and intended to create cross-cultural friendships through these traditions.
- “Our organization’s main mission is to promote the 500-year old Turkish coffee culture, bridge cultures one cup at a time, and contribute to Turkey’s nation branding over coffee conversations.”
This company is almost entirely women-operated and dedicates 5% of sales each year to support women mentorship and leadership development programs of TCL Foundation.
Each coffee box is ornately designed to fit the aesthetic and culture of the city it is named after. The website is as eloquently designed as you would expect of a company modeled after 16th century Turkey. With elegant cursive and delicate designs, it is easy for visitors to get lost in time.
Why It Works
Avoiding the cliches and repetitive brand techniques, Turkish Coffee Lady sets themselves apart from the competition through elegant design and a crystal-clear mission to build bridges across cultures and traditions.
This brand is deeply set in its roots and honors the traditions of Turkish coffee houses. Having such a dedicated brand theme is great for advertising and attracting clients. Turkish Coffee Lady is not only a representation of Turkish coffee culture, but also woman empowerment and entrepreneurship, adding to the allure and likability of the brand.
Bridging cultures, building friendships, and sharing centuries of coffee tips is something that was made for the Turkish Coffee Lady.
13. Craft Coffee Canada Uses Umbrella Tactics To Create Diverse Brands
What is Craft Coffee Canada?
Craft Coffee Canada is a little different from the other coffee brands we showcased. That’s because Coffee Canada actually splits their beans into four sub-brands that focus on specific coffee brewing techniques and the beans best fit for them. These sub-brands include:
- Farm & Forest Organic Coffee Roasters
- Tug Craft Coffee Roasters
- Notch Coffee
- And lastly, Specialty Coffee Roasters
Craft Coffee Canada supports Canadian charities for each sub-brand. Tug supports mamas for mamas, which supports mothers and caregivers in crisis providing ongoing support to individuals and families facing various poverty-related struggles. Farm & Forest donates 15¢ from every pound of coffee sold to the Nature Conservancy of Canada for habitat and wildlife preservation.
The designs vary on the sub-brand but each one captures the buyer’s attention with creative logos and background design. The main website is very classy and simple. It is easy to navigate and gives equal information on each sub-brand.
Why It Works
Having distinct brands that focus on various specialties creates a more personalized experience for the customers. Buyers can clearly identify which brands and causes best align with their values in a sort of choose your own adventure experience, and the focus on Canadian local business has a clear audience of Canadians who want to advance the local economy.
14. Peace Coffee’s Nostalgic Branding Takes Customers Back in Time
What Is Peace Coffee?
Peace coffee has unique origins compared to most coffee brands. Typically, coffee brands travel, meet coffee farmers, and establish trades to make their coffee products. Peace Coffee, however, was founded by a nonprofit organization called The Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy and has helped farmers globally since the mid-1980s. The actual coffee brand wasn’t founded until 1996.
- “As soon as we had the right pieces in place to support cooperative farmers in coffee growing lands, we began an intentional expansion to sell organic, fair-trade coffee in local food cooperatives and natural food stores in the Twin Cities.”
Peace Coffee’s packaging is bold and displays the goodwill of the company. It is easy to get the customer’s attention with the big bubble letters associated with the 1970s peace movements and cuddly animals. Everything the brand stands for is on the front of each bag. The website is just as bright and colorful. The fun design and easy-to-navigate pages make it easier for customers to see what Peace Coffee stands for.
Peace Coffee’s website and packaging draw in customers and the good-intentioned products compels them to stay.
Why It Works
Peace Coffee’s sustainable practices and heartfelt origin story allow customers to build trust and compassion for the brand. They send a clear message from the moment customers pick up the product that this is a brand with a strong opinion about the way the world should work.
The colorful, simple-shape packaging designs are an ode to the sort of childlike peace and joy the founders believe we should all experience from our coffee and life in general.
15. Doma Coffee’s Down to Earth Meets Hyper-Quality Branding Attracts a Discerning, But Not Elitist Crowd
What Is Doma Coffee?
Doma Coffee is an organic coffee brand that uses fun and casual language to banter with customers. What started out as an inside joke soon turned into a fun community-based coffee company.
- “Our dedication to the craft and our commitment to sustainability connects DOMA to our customers. That dedication and passion will allow us to continue roasting quality coffees for generations to come.”
Made purely from a passion for coffee and fun, Doma gives customers a chance to join their family dynamic. A portion of sales is donated to charities that help the environment, women’s programs, and more.Each year Doma Coffee has a themed goal they want to achieve.
- “Our theme for 2020 was “Do What Matters,” and, man, that has turned out to be pretty powerful. Challenging times, indeed. What a great time to bring out the best in all of us.”
Each package has a unique and funny label. The coffee bags are recyclable and compostable adding to Doma’s sustainability messaging. The website and packaging both have a styled-down feel and a comfortable look.
Why It Works
The funny personal stories and jokes really help customers feel like they are a part of the DOMA family. It’s clear from quality-oriented language that DOMA is not a company to let you down on flavor, but the personable vibe and unassuming coffee packaging design keep the company feeling like a good friend who’s just really, really invested in good coffee.
16. On The Go Jo Coffee Empowers Female Entrepreneurs Through Branding
What Is On The Go Jo Coffee?
On the Go Jo is proudly women-produced, roasted, and owned. They don’t just empower women at home. On the Go Jo promotes equitable and ethical coffee made by women producers from around the world.
On The Go Jo recognizes that coffee farming and harvesting is traditionally run and operated by men, despite women performing 70% of labor on coffee farms, according to the National Coffee Association. Every bag purchase supports women through community initiatives both locally and globally.
- “Although women around the world play a vital role in delivering coffee to our cups, their faces are still not seen and their voices are still not heard. We are here to transform the perception of women’s roles in bringing coffee to our customers.”
Their coffee club gives customers recurring perks they can use at checkout and personalized coffee purchases, and On The Go Jo’s packaging is classy and colorful.
Why It Works
On The Go Jo is invested in the lives of women locally and globally. In the midst of women-led movements aimed at improving gender equity, reducing gender violence, and creating equal opportunities economically, this is a brand that’s a great fit for a huge audience of strong-willed women who believe a better world is possible.
17. Thread Coffee Roasters Turns Subscription Coffee into a Mission-Filled Monthly Box
What Is Thread Coffee?
Thread coffee is a women-led and queer-owned company that was founded as a way to stand in solidarity with different social movements around the world through coffee.
- “We work daily to raise the bar on the quality of life by creating sustainable systems at home and at the origin. Our commitment to smallholder coffee farmers and our sourcing principles are rooted in dignity and solidarity.”
Thread Coffee is fully transparent about its operations and takes fair trade regulations to the next level. They establish long-term, direct relationships with farmers and Pay higher prices than the fair trade minimum.
The packaging is black and pink themed with bold designs. While many companies use black as a common color, the bright pink contrasts the black and makes the design pop out at customers. The website follows the same color scheme
Why It Works
Thread Coffee aims to be a link between social movements and coffee production, a cause-driven company that lives out its core values and mission: “dignity over profits”.
Coffee lovers passionate about women’s rights and representation around the world have an ally in this bold, femmenine brand in an industry that’s generally dominated by masculine designs and language.
18. Gas Station Coffee Turns the Truckers Classic Into Homebrew
What Is Gas Station Coffee?
Gas Station Coffee pays homage to the long road trips cross-country and the nostalgia of rest stop coffee. This casual brand reignites a traditionally casual beverage and brings it home.
- “We wanted to create a classic, great-tasting coffee that honors the American tradition of great road trips with family and friends. Our motto ‘Drive On’ salutes the strength and determination of America.”
Gas Station Coffee is FDA-registered and a member of the Plant Based Products Council. To make things more impressive Gas Station Coffee is certified Kosher, meeting all the requirements of Kosher Check.
- “Our mission is to bring you high quality coffee that you can drink any day, any time, and anywhere.”
The packaging resembles colorful gas station lights and road signs. Each blend has a fun name based on traveling and road trips further honoring the company’s origins. The website is simple and reiterates the long road it takes to make a good cup of coffee.
Why It Works
Gas station coffee is still a staple in every American’s mind. While most brands decry the low quality of the road trip brew, the company Gas Station Coffee leans into the nostalgia factor and pays homage to the good memories millions of Americans have of the roadside cup of coffee.
By making gas station coffee a beloved American tradition—rather than a relic of terrible flavor—Gas Station Coffee is able to attract an audience who looks back in wonder at the great memories of drinking terrible coffee on the road.
19. Huckleberry Roasters Uses Honesty to Gain Trust and Credibility
What Is Huckleberry Roasters?
Huckleberry Roasters started as a side hustle in a garage and quickly grew into a full-fledged coffee company. Their motto is to stay “in constant pursuit of serving tasty coffee and making happy people.
- “We strive to be a socially conscious business that invests in people and seeks out collaboration, both locally and globally.”
Huckleberry Roasters is still small but growing fast. They are not currently organic or fair trade certified, but they are taking steps to meet those requirements. Huckleberry still uses fair trade practices though and works to form long-term, direct relationships with farmers that are mutually beneficial to both parties.
The multiple colored pattern on the packaging catches customers’ attention and piques their interest. Their website is designed in a class manner but filled with colorful products and a personal story that is unique to their brand.
Why It Works
It is known that Huckleberry Roasters is still growing and doesn’t have many of the certifications that other successful brands have. So how are they growing so fast? It is because of the honesty they display on their website.
There are no gimmicks or tricks to convince the customers there is something more to their coffee. They are honest and outright with their current progress and where they want to go as a company. This transparency builds trust between the brand and customers (and the coffee’s delicious, of course!).
Huckleberry Roasters is a breath of fresh air in the midst of a sea of coffee companies who talk a big talk, but don’t walk a big walk.
20. Big Island Coffee Roasters Enhance Hawaiian Coffee and Culture
What Is Big Island Coffee?
If you thought starting a coffee company in garages or basements was strange, Big Island Coffee got their start on craigslist.
- “In 2010 we found a small coffee farm in a wild, disadvantaged region of Hawaii – Puna – posted on Craigslist and thought “why not?”. Over the next three years, we taught ourselves to farm, process, and roast Hawaiian coffee.”
As a strictly Hawaiin-based coffee, Big Island brings a new tropical experience to the morning cup of coffee. Coffee blends from each island of Hawaii give customers a taste of each island’s unique flavor.
Big Island Coffee prioritizes creating long-term value for local farmers while preserving Hawaii’s natural scenery. The roastery completely relies on renewable electric energy and has prevented over 29 tons of CO2 emissions. They partner with organizations that support wildlife rescue and habitat restoration such as Hawaii Marine Animal Response’s marine life rescue program and David Attenborough’s World Land Trust.
The website and packaging reflect the love and passion Big Island has for Hawaii’s natural blends. The brand’s mascot is the wild boar that roam the Hawaiian islands surrounded by native flora. This animal is on every product Big Island Coffee sells.
Why It Works
Big Island Coffee aims to dissolve the current Hawaiian coffee businesses that monopolize Hawaii’s coffee industry, and the “us versus the big guys” narrative is quite compelling. By creating a more affordable alternative that tastes better, the local cup of coffee is better priced and local farmers are able to make more livable wages.
Big Island Coffee does a great job at showing their receipts about sustainability and energy sourced roasteries. With each coffee bag made, Big Island Coffee boosts the local economy, workers, and community to create the best coffee blends in paradise.
21. Bean & Bean Coffee Promotes Gender Equity With Every Cup
What Is Bean & Bean Coffee?
Bean & Bean is an organic woman-powered coffee roaster from New York that is family-owned. The mother-daughter duo behind Bean & Bean’s genius strives to make more equitable solutions for women. With certifications from the USDA and Fair Trade & Direct Trade, it is easy to see why so many customers trust this company to provide safe and sustainable coffee.
- “Our goal is to source as much female-powered coffee as possible. When you brew our coffee, you’re also brewing change”
Bean & Bean donates portions of their profits to save sloths from deforestation and fund rescue efforts. It is no wonder it is their coffee bag’s mascot. The bags are decorated with a drawing of a cute sloth and colorful labels that inform buyers about the coffee.
The website is sleek, fun, and informational. Bean & Bean also gives customers the option to take a preference test to see what coffee blend they would like best.
Why It Works
Bean & Bean supports women by sourcing female-powered coffee. Being Family-owned and women-led boosts the brand’s credibility and gives a traditionally masculine industry a feminine touch.
Donating to charities and nonprofits are very beneficial but can sometimes be vague. Bean & Bean’s donations to out-of-the-box organizations separate them from other products. Their unique and specific approach tugs on customers’ heartstrings.
22. Cloudburst Coffee’s Airy Design Creates a Light-Hearted Experience
What Is Cloudburst Coffee?
Cloudburst Coffee believes “different” is better when re-imagining what Cold Brew, Ultra Caff, and Half Caff coffees should taste like. All of Cloudburst Coffees are certified organic.
- “Our purpose is to fuel passions and inspire creative expression by encouraging our customers to keep their heads in the clouds, not out of them. To aim high, dream big, and embrace what it means to express your true, authentic self.”
One way this company stands out is that Cloudburst Coffee sources its beans from micro-lots and co-ops who give back and reinvest in their communities. This allows for direct trade and eliminates the middlemen.
The website is very organized with a classic feel while still sticking to colorful themes.
The packaging is colorful and fun to look at. The design chosen does a great job of displaying the brand’s cloudlike essence.
Why It Works
Cloudburst Coffee is an experimental brand for customers who want to try new things.
The packaging relays the whimsical experience customers get when they experiment with Cloudburst’s coffee.
Their coffee inspires trust in the company through fair and direct trade since more profit goes directly to the farmers and millers who source the coffee beans. Customers want to see that brands care about the workers who make everything possible.
23. Black Rifle Coffee Company Creates Veteran Friendly Coffee
What is Black Rifle Coffee?
Black Rifle Coffee is a veteran-owned and operated brand for individuals on the frontlines and at home. Ironically, Black Rifle Coffee started as a recreational roasting hobby for the founder and only created coffee blends for friends. Like many businesses with great products, it quickly grew into the company it is today.
Black Rifle Coffee acknowledges that veterans are often disadvantaged when they leave the service and return home. As a veteran-run company, they know veterans don’t want handouts, they want opportunities and Black Rifle Coffee gives them that.
Black Rifle allows customers to receive special discounted pricing on roasts and gain access to exclusive products, member-only content, partner discounts, and more via their coffee club.
The packaging varies on the blend but consistently has military themes and bold colors. The website is just as bold with dark colors and a stern theme one expects of the services.
Why It Works
Black Rifle’s target culture is unmistakable: military-forward, machismo, and gun-loving. Love or hate the company’s bold political statements in their Coffee or Die Magazine, you can’t ignore the success they’ve generated around strong opinions and a big personality.
The packaging makes it easy to identify who the product is for and who the product benefits. Like in most occasions, first impressions matter in business, and Black Rifle Coffee came to impress.
Black Rifle Coffee addresses the lack of care veterans receive when they come home and discusses how coffee is a constant for them. Giving veterans a chance to make more for themselves and grow after leaving the service generates sympathy from buyers. Customers want to buy more of the product because they know it makes an impact locally and globally.
Proudly serving premium coffee to people who love America, Black Rifle Coffee gives active and retired veterans opportunities to continue to serve their country through great coffee.
24. Dean’s Beans Gives Back To The Earth With Each Cup
What Is Dean’s Beans?
Dean’s Beans uses specialty coffee as a path for positive change and to create a meaningful impact.
Dean’s Beans only purchases shade-grown coffee to support healthy environments for coffee growers and protects critical migratory bird habitat. Shade-growing methods retain the natural flora around and over the coffee plants, providing nourishment and erosion control necessary for a healthy growing environment.
Dean’s Beans also practices direct trade where money stays with the farmers instead of going to millers and exporters. Each blend has different charities and organizations that are donated to with each purchase.
The packaging’s uncommon muted color scheme grabs the customer’s attention. The back of the packages includes informational graphics that show how the coffee blend was made and how buying it helps the original farming community. The website is very simple in design but makes up for it in information and storytelling.
Why It Works
Dean’s Beans is for coffee lovers who value every part of the coffee process and want to give back to the earth.
In 2006, Dean’s Beans was one of the first companies in Massachusetts to install solar panels to support environmental stewardship and energy independence. Currently, they are offsetting up to 79% of their fossil fuel electricity with solar energy.
Using renewable energy and sustainable packaging and shade-grown processing boosts Dean’s Beans credibility and reputation as a brand that truly gives back to the earth.
Lessons: How to Create A Memorable Coffee Brand
- Compelling brand messages that are sincere and not a “dime a dozen” phrase are better. You want to connect emotionally with your audience, and to do that, you have to truly live your messaging a positioning—it can’t just be marketing.
- The industry is muddled with boring cliches and boring branding. Especially now that everyone is also competing for online coffee sales, it is a lot harder to make your brand stand out when you use these cliches.
- Values are essential to a company and when you have clear values it is easier to gain dedicated followers. These are the core of your company! Be bold, relatable, and have personality, because that is what sticks in the customer’s mind.
- Sometimes scaring away a few people can lead the right people to you. You want these right people to become loyal fans of your brand. You could even get “Casual Fans” who aren’t fully into your brand but like what you stand for or what you sell.
Hey 👋 I'm Garrett Oden
Freelance Coffee Marketer
I'm a coffee industry native who works with coffee brands around the world to create and execute captivating marketing strategies.
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