Why storytelling is important for specialty coffee brands

Josephine Walbank
February 25, 2022
storytelling specialty coffee

In recent years, consumers have become increasingly captivated by the stories behind their favourite brands.

Additionally, a growing number of them want to know their money is helping pay fair wages and support ethical practices. This trend is particularly evident in the specialty and independent produce sector, as 81% of global consumers say they need to trust the brand they buy from.

For specialty coffee roasters and coffee shop owners, transparency from farm to cup is essential. By sharing this story, you can help consumers better understand the coffee production process.

Not only will they learn about the producers, but they may form a stronger connection with the cup in front of them.

Telling an authentic and unique brand story can spark an emotional response in consumers, engaging them in a way that inspires love and strong brand loyalty.

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What is “storytelling”?

In terms of marketing, storytelling refers to the story behind a product or brand. This is usually told through packaging, advertising, and digital content.

Storytelling should inform consumers about how the company started, what it represents, and what it stands for.

In short, it should be completely transparent about the company’s origins, production process, and company ethos. 

For example, in the specialty coffee sector, a successful brand story should convey the entire journey of the coffee from seed to cup.

To achieve this, the story should inform consumers about the origin of the green coffee, including the country and specific farm, and explain how and where the coffee is roasted.   

Additionally, it should share information about the coffee farmers, as well as the roaster’s relationship with them. For example, whether the beans are Fairtrade or supplied through a direct-trade relationship.

Furthermore, the brand story should tell consumers about any of the business’ charitable initiatives and sustainability goals.

Why do consumers care?

Storytelling requires complete transparency, which is why it has become increasingly popular. It allows a brand to highlight its honesty and integrity, as well as its ethics. 

Interestingly, this trend can have a notable influence on buying decisions, as it comes hand-in-hand with the rise of sustainable and socio-conscious consumer habits. 

Now more than ever, consumers are aware of the impact of their purchasing decisions. Also, they recognise their responsibility to choose brands that are ethical and eco-conscious.

While it may require some work, adopting a strategy of storytelling could bring significant rewards to your business. 

Indeed, storytelling ranked as the number one business trend for 2020 according to Innova Market Insights.

A further study found 94% of all consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand that is fully transparent. Additional research showed most shoppers named authenticity as a key factor when choosing to support a business. 

This research supports claims that traceability, ethics, and sustainability have the most influence on buying decisions.

In order for a brand to broaden its customer base and retain existing customers, they need to share this story of responsibility and transparency.

Notably, consumers are willing to pay more for coffee that illustrates a strong, interesting and traceable backstory.

How to tell a compelling story

While the majority of coffee brands realise the importance of a compelling story, many struggle with how to convey it effectively.

Here are some examples of brands who do it well:

Trailhead Coffee Roasters

The packaging for Trailhead Coffee Roasters clearly showcases the brand’s ethical and sustainable practices, while containing high-quality specialty coffee. 

For example, the bag for their Guatemala Medium Roast encourages customers to learn about specialty coffee by sharing the beans’ roast profile and flavour notes. 

Printed across the packaging is important information about the coffee’s origins, while the custom illustrations clearly show they are an independent brand.

In addition, they clearly state the coffee is ethical, crafted, and sourced from women farmers, which further highlights their commitment to social responsibility. 

Rave Coffee

RAVE’s packaging is a combination of tongue-in-cheek humour, bright colours, and specialty coffee information.

Their coffee bags are eye-catching and engaging, as they are literally covered in details about its origins, properties, production process, and tasting notes.

The brand also clearly chows their charitable commitments to 1% for the planet, which means they donate 1% of all sales to environmental causes, ‌whether or not they make a profit. 

Plus, the website is interactive and a fantastic source of information about the coffee farms they work with.

Other factors to consider

Most important to remember is to make your brand story personal. Ensure that both your packaging and marketing speak to your unique identity

Be proud of your brand’s individuality, and the personalities of the people behind it. A growing number of consumers want to feel included in the knowledge, skill, and innovation the specialty coffee industry represents.

You can use your packaging to let consumers know where their coffee came from, which invites them to be part of your community. 

Furthermore, try to include the logos of your charity partners on coffee packaging. This can show consumers that others benefit from their purchase, and their money is funding a good cause. 

Last, but certainly not least, invest in sustainable coffee bags. There is no better way to highlight your eco-consciousness than by using recyclable or biodegradable packaging. 

Sustainability is rapidly becoming a top priority for consumers and businesses around the world. By investing in recyclable packaging materials, you are showing consumers you value their opinions and care about the long-term health of the planet. 

Once, the sole purpose of packaging was to get coffee from origin to consumers. Now, it serves several roles, including marketing, preserving freshness, and telling a story.

At MTPak Coffee, we understand the important role coffee packaging plays in today’s market. As such, we offer a range of sustainable options that can be customised to include as much information as you require, and showcase your unique brand.

Our multilayer options along with recyclable degassing valves will keep your coffee fresh, while showcasing your commitment to sustainability.

For more information about sustainable coffee bags, contact our team

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