“This rebrand is meant to signify an important change in the direction of our company on many, many fronts,” says Alfredo Martel, Caribou Coffee’s senior vice president of marketing. The company also recently rolled out chocolate drinks, tea latte fusions, and a variety of oatmeal options.
“We’re a company that is looking toward our future with renewed enthusiasm and energy in everything that we do,” he says. “We’re really celebrating a lot of the core values that have always been part of Caribou Coffee, such as passion for quality, passion for human connection, a fun and sort of quirky point of view but with obviously a commitment to handcrafted quality.”
Aside from commitments to community and customer satisfaction, the coffee chain is strengthening further its commitment to sustainability. The company is making a bold statement that all of its coffees will be 100 percent Rainforest Alliance–certified by the end of 2011.
“That is no small feat, and it’s a pretty bold goal, but we feel that is a way for us to strengthen and revive and intensify the natural sort of wilderness-oriented aspect of our brand architecture,” Martel says.
At the end of the day, Martel says, Caribou is a company that relies on an agricultural product so leaders feel the commitment to sustainability and ecologically safe and sound practices is worth the extra effort.
Though the rebrand model was a collaborative effort, strategic marketing agency Colle + Mcvoy created Caribou’s new design for store items and the new logo.
“We created what the brand infrastructure and what the brand essence needed to be, and then Colle + Mcvoy put the pictures and the sayings and sort of the development of the creative platform there,” Martel says.
The new animal icon is made out of a coffee bean, and its antlers are in the shape of a “C.” “We’re also trying to have a mark that’s a little more iconic,” Martel says. “You want a brand that’s identifiable from far away and reads well and has clean lines. It’s easily recognizable.”
Martel says that another part of the brand evolution includes a new and improved customer satisfaction survey program.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to use that information to adjust and monitor and improve the first wave of results. It’s kind of like a typical consumer satisfaction that many quick-serve companies carry, but we upgraded ours and we improved it to be more specific to what we want to deliver and what we want to measure,” Martel says.
With heightened energy, a drive for 100 percent sustainability, and new menu items, Caribou Coffee hopes to be successful in its new leap toward the future. “We obviously want to become a brand that is more universally known and better known,” Martel says, “and hopefully gain new users and, of course, continue to please the ones that we have.”
By Jill Watral