Companies have realized and tapped into the power of social media for decades, with firms spending large sums in the attempt to have its products and / or services relevant and relate-able for certain targeted groups. And of course Keurig Mountain Coffee, now a $4.5 billion dollar company, is no different.
A part of the market that Keurig has traditionally been weaker in is that around college aged students. Its done a remarkable job in bringing pod coffee brewing to the home market, and to a lesser extent the small office market, but being able to get customers earlier in their lives has proved more difficult. The company knows that in those formative years many opinions about brands and beliefs about firms are formed and often stay with that consumer for the rest of their life. So the ability to influence and form a positive mind set around the Keurig brand early will pay long term dividends.
So the company has been running its Keurig College Tailgate Tour, which has planned over 30 campuses around the country. And instead of introducing a brand new product, with the added complexity, challenges and risk this can bring, the firm has gone with its trusty Mini Plus brewer. Initially launched back in 2008 this is one of its brewers that has not sold as well as hoped and has often been over shadowed by its more popular Elite and Platinum brewers.
The common reason for the firm struggling in certain demographic markets has probably been the fact the company has had a focus on the family coffee machine, and / or brewers that sit at the higher end of the market and generally have more functions and features than competitor machines. Certainly when you see Keurig brewers in product placements in film and television it has often been the B70 or Platinum machines used. I certainly can’t recall ever seeing a Mini or Mini Plus gracing the screen (big or small).
But rather than just going with the Mini Plus as it was, with its limited range of colors, the firm has put in place cosmetic changes with the brewers sporting the applicable decals for the college it is visiting as part of its tour. This approach not only helps tap into college pride for current students, the alumni have also been active purchasers of the newly badged machines.
In addition to having a brewer that is really ideal for the college dorm, the company has been offering sizeable discounts on pod purchases along with free giveaways, and other promotional events such as pod tossing and treasure “pod” hunts.
The tour has of course fully utilized mass social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and included a promotional series with former NFL star Emmit Smith.