Congratulations to Scott D. of Franklin, of Tennessee, for winning second place in HALO’s Fall 2017 Scholarship Contest. Scott won $1,000 towards his education at the University of Tennessee, and although he is studying chemical engineering, he understands the importance of thinking like a marketer in every field.’
“As a chemical engineering student, my classes require me to always look for a solution. In the future, I hope to apply that thinking to be an innovator and help create useful and marketable products,” Scott said. “I spent this past summer doing a research internship at the University of Tennessee’s Center for Environmental Biotechnology. While doing research on bio-luminescent bacteria, I learned about potential new applications research in molecular engineering is opening doors for being interested in science and marketing. I like to think about the future applications that are possible and what audience innovative products can be marketed to.”
Read his winning essay below.
Essay Topic: Describe your favorite use of promotional products by a company or organization. What was the product? Why was it a positive addition to the brand’s marketing campaign? Explain how it was integrated with other marketing pieces and how it affected your relationship with the brand. (Example: You received your favorite bag while volunteering in your community or you saw a “street team” promoting a new beverage with samples and water bottles.)
Coffee – Convenience and Customization at Your Door
Coffee, consumed every day by more than 50% of Americans, is America’s beverage of choice (“Coffee by the Numbers”). My brand of choice is Blue Bottle Coffee. Blue Bottle began as a small coffee roasting company based out of Oakland, California in the early 2000s and has grown into a café network with a fleet of roasters. This year, Nestlé paid $425 million for a majority stake in the company (Gretler). In 2014, Blue Bottle acquired an internet based coffee service called Tonx (Honan). The service focused on roasting unique single-origin coffees and delivering it to your door within 48 hours of roasting.
The integration of Tonx’s delivery service with Blue Bottle’s focus on roasting consistently high quality coffee allowed Blue Bottle to create a unique experience for coffee lovers and begin offering the Blue Bottle Origins subscription. It allows customers to choose an amount of coffee to be delivered every 1-4 weeks. The customer is notified when their bag has been shipped along with a tracking number. Each shipment is a different type of bean from a different part of the world.
Included in each shipment is a picture from where the coffee originated along with a description of the farm, the roasting process, and the flavor notes associated with it. Telling each coffee’s story provides customers with a unique experience that truly connects them to the product and allows them to appreciate the time and care that went into bringing high quality coffee to their doorsteps.
Blue Bottle has utilized several marketing tools to reach its target audience. When the service began, Blue Bottle allowed customers to exchange gift cards from Starbucks for credit towards their own products. Blue Bottle also offers free trial subscriptions, allowing potential customers to sample their product. Getting to try their high quality coffee is what ultimately converted me into a Blue Bottle Origins subscriber. In addition to the quality of the product, their friendly and fast responding customer service helps form a positive relationship with customers. They will answer any questions about their products, including tips to help you brew a better cup of coffee at home.
I have been a Blue Bottle Origins subscriber for three years and encourage anyone who enjoys coffee to try it for themselves. The addition of the coffee subscription service has allowed Blue Bottle to extend the reach of their customers and share their coffee all across the world. The service is now available in Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.
“Coffee by the Numbers.” News, National Coffee Association, 28 Feb. 2014,
Gretler, Corinne, et al. “Nestle Is Said to Pay $425 Million to Buy Blue Bottle Coffee.”
Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg, 14 Sept. 2017, www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-
Honan, Mat. “Blue Bottle Coffee Buys Coding Talent for Next-Level Delivery.” Wired,
Conde Nast, 3 June 2017, www.wired.com/2014/04/blue-bottle-tonx-handsome/.
“Who We Are.” Blue Bottle Coffee, bluebottlecoffee.com/our-story.
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