Extreme makeover: the coffee addition: how a three-unit, specialty coffee retailer took private labeling to the next level.The Forza Coffee Company label was born from a combined passion for Italy, the love of coffee, and the pursuit of making a difference in the three units within our communities.
Forza, in Italian, signifies "strength". Our logo--a roman coin--has the phrase "Forza di Vita," or translated, "The strength of life." In Italy, the local espresso shops Noun 1. espresso shop - a cafe where espresso is served
cafe, coffee bar, coffee shop, coffeehouse - a small restaurant where drinks and snacks are sold define their communities. Forza strives to establish itself as a partner in each of our communities, making each relationship a strong (Forza) one.
Brand Yourself Apart from Your Competition
In carefully researching private labeling, we've found that developing a private label allows the entrepreneur to go from the "Mom and Pop Mom and Pop
An adjective denoting a small-scale and family-like atmosphere, often used to describe these types of businesses and investors.
A mom-and-pop business is typically a small family-run business. " or corporate bland look and feel, to a killer brand.
In today's mature specialty coffee market, it is advantageous to develop a sophisticated label to brand yourself apart from your competition. The private label is not just a bag of coffee beans coffee bean
see sesbania. with your company name on it, but encompasses all aspects of branding. The journey of private labeling, if done correctly, can be extremely rewarding as you begin to fulfill ful·fill also ful·fil
tr.v. ful·filled, ful·fill·ing, ful·fills also ful·fils
1. To bring into actuality; effect: fulfilled their promises.
2. your dreams and vision--instead of living in someone else's destiny.
The rewards of private labeling? Financial freedom. The risks? Financial ruin. The solution to navigate this path, and substantially reduce your business risk, is to do diligent dil·i·gent
Marked by persevering, painstaking effort. See Synonyms at busy.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin d research, learn from those who have gone before, know your customer base, know your strengths, and partner well with those who can fill the gaps on your team to eliminate any weaknesses.
Utilizing Our Strengths, and Knowing to Lean on Others for Theirs
Our journey began as a licensed/franchised store. We were one of a dozen regional stores. While upscale and smart looking, our colors were a simple two-tone scheme. It had a nice, classic brand and exterior and interior design, though for us it wasn't unique. Our theme was easy to duplicate, the graphics and logos were not readily available, and our label did not jump out and go "WOW" at anyone.
When we decided to go independent we realized that our strengths lie in the designs of the stores, the development of personnel, training, and developing a culture of community inside our stores. My partner, Ray Jahn offered strengths on the financial side. His negotiations with vendors, products and materials has kept our cost of goods at an industry low, and driven our sales to increase between 16-22% a store.
We recognized our weakness and partnered with Dillanos Roasters, located in Sumner, Washington Sumner is a city in Pierce County, Washington, in the United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 8,504. History
Sumner was named after Senator Charles Sumner (6 January 1811 – 11 March 1874), and officially incorporated on February 7, 1891. . They are known in the industry for their coffee quality and consistency, and its extensive private label brand development. Dillanos worked with us in crafting a signature roast that we are proud to call our own.
Dillanos' private label design team, which included a graphic artist and senior marketing professional, developed five potential private label names and uniquely different cafe brand personalities. We chose Forza, a great Italian-themed logo and concept, complete with new colors, faux painting Faux painting or Faux finishing are terms used to describe a wide range of decorative painting techniques. From the French word for "fake", faux painting began as a form of replicating materials such as marble and wood with paint, but has come to encompass many other , marble etching etching, the art of engraving with acid on metal; also the print taken from the metal plate so engraved. In hard-ground etching the plate, usually of copper or zinc, is given a thin coating or ground of acid-resistant resin. , and black and white thematic the·mat·ic
1. Of, relating to, or being a theme: a scene of thematic importance.
2. photographs to transform the walls.
The wooden sneeze sneeze, involuntary violent expiration of air through the nose and mouth. It results from stimulation of the nervous system in the nose, causing sudden contraction of the muscles of expiration. guards around the espresso machines An espresso machine is used to produce the traditionally Italian coffee beverage called espresso. A professional operator of such a machine is called a barista. The knowledge required in making the finest espresso is considered to be a craft, similar to artisan baking. came down, and were replaced with a glass with our logo etched etch
v. etched, etch·ing, etch·es
a. To cut into the surface of (glass, for example) by the action of acid.
b. inside. New menus, signs and fun logos like "Ciao" went up, as the old ones came down. We held our breath as the first customers came in, and then one customer after another said, "WOW".
We used plastic loyalty cards before, and offered each customer the opportunity to exchange their "old card" for the "Forza Card". After the second day 1,400 Forza cards had been issued and exchanged for the old cards. Our customer base was on board with us, and now we went, "WOW".
Re-branding Success or Failure Depends on Your Staff
One of our first steps towards rebranding began with our staff. To be successful they had to be on board. Success or failure will depend on the staff. It sounds obvious, but too few owners include the staff for buy-in at key junctures of the brand change.
The staff greets the customer, interacts, forms a lasting relationship, and sells the owners' vision. Many of our baristas can name over 200 customers and their drinks. Many know their pet's names, the first concert the customer attended, and the health of everyone in their immediate families. These baristas are exceptional; several have competed at the national level and all are self-motivated, passionate about people, and extremely professional. We completed the new branding/labeling of Forza with their over-the-top enthusiasm and support.
Our baristas now wear a uniform: black pants with white collared shirts, and emblazoned on the back of the neck is the phrase "Forza di Vita". The uniform is complete with a black apron apron,
n a piece of clothing worn in front of the body for protection.
n a labioincisal or gingival extension of an orthodontic band that aids in retention of the band and in proper positioning of the bracket. , with Forza Coffee Company written on the front.
To get them on board, we held a meeting during the early stages of changing our label with the staff. Only the managers knew of a change. We explained that we had chosen to change our own label, to make our own way and follow our dream. We outlined our plan and then borrowed the concept from The Bachelor reality TV show. We called each barista barista
a person who makes and sells coffee in a coffee bar up, told them why they were valuable to us, and offered each of them a long stemmed stemmed
1. Having the stems removed.
2. Provided with a stem or a specific type of stem. Often used in combination: stemmed goblets; long-stemmed roses. rose; asking each barista to join us in our journey with Forza.
They all accepted, bought in on our vision, and have driven our label with their enthusiasm further than we could have ever hoped by ourselves.
Sometimes we forget, and believe we are in the coffee business. We are not. First and last, Forza is in the relationship business.
It takes vision and the desire to pursue a dream to choose to go private label. However, it takes a team to make it successful. Make sure you have the confidence in a proven design team, a quality and consistent roaster roaster
a young fowl for eating; weighs 5 to 7 lb at 6 months of age. lined up, and the support of your staff.
RELATED ARTICLE: Are you ready to take the plunge into private labelling?
Whether it is specialty coffee, premium tea or widgets, you'd better do your research in private labeling before taking the first step. Why? Because it involves a sizable siz·a·ble also size·a·ble
Of considerable size; fairly large.
siza·ble·ness n. investment that can be a profit generator or a financial drain.
If it were only as simple as slapping slapping,
n massage technique that uses the flat palms of the hands percussively; a form of tapotement. See also tapotement. on a label and selling products with your logo on them, everyone would be doing it--but they're not.
Establishing Your Brand
The brand of specialty coffee you have been serving has established brand equity with your customers. When you create your new brand, however, you'll be starting from scratch. Chances are that your advertising or marketing spin will be minimal to nil, so you'll be relying on the quality of the product and your image introduction to do the selling for you. Many existing and potential new customers may not recognize your new brand name, and could make the switch to a familiar established brand down the street from you.
Selecting your roaster partner is a critical step in making the change affordable. With select roasters staffed to help your private label, you can find that unique look and color scheme to make your one- to three-unit chain stand apart. A number of roasters have the expertise, having found what does and doesn't sell, as well as why. They are ready to help make your new identity a success. Keep in mind that they have a vested interest Vested Interest
A financial or personal stake one entity has in an asset, security, or transaction.
For example, if you have a mortgage, your bank has a vested interest on the sale of your house.
See also: Right in your success.
All of those "small" elements can mean a lot to the bottom line. Disposable cups with your logo are only available from the major distributors in minimum quantities of 50,000 or 100,000. Do you have the cash flow to order that many? Do you have the storage space for that quantity? Can you work with your roaster on ordering and storing them, or gradually having them delivered with your coffee, as you need them? Can you afford new professional interior and exterior signage, decor and menu board changes?
Private Labeling Isn't New
Brand equity is what private labeling is all about. Private label brands have been part of the retail industry for decades. In Europe, on average, 45% of all products retail consultant John Stanley John Stanley could be
Both markets are considered fairly mature with little room for growth, especially in Europe. For that reason, many of the global private label giants are expanding to capitalize on Cap´i`tal`ize on`
v. t. 1. To turn (an opportunity) to one's advantage; to take advantage of (a situation); to profit from; as, to capitalize on an opponent's mistakes s>. less-saturated markets. A recent ACNeilsen report shows that the largest growth among the new markets are in Latin and Central America Central America, narrow, southernmost region (c.202,200 sq mi/523,698 sq km) of North America, linked to South America at Colombia. It separates the Caribbean from the Pacific. .
Traditionally, private label products have been strong in low-emotional involvement goods, such as butter, eggs, flour and sugar. These staple 1. (language) STAPLE - A programming language written at Manchester (University?) and used at ICL in the early 1970s for writing the test suites. STAPLE was based on Algol 68 and had a very advanced optimising compiler.
2. ingredients are part of larger recipes. The individual performance becomes unidentifiable Adj. 1. unidentifiable - impossible to identify
identifiable - capable of being identified in the finished product. In Europe, these prices can be 10-18% cheaper. The number jumps considerably, up to 25% less than the brand leader, on average, in the U.S.
As the private label market matures, more diverse products and services come on line. Specialty coffee was a logical, private label product to come to the market. Like other upscale products, the price equals or exceeds those of the established brands.
Consistency, Consistency, Consistency
The tricky part of private labeling is to keep close control over credibility. The product must perform in the same way as the branded products that consumers currently know. Once you've tarnished your overall image with inconsistent quality, it is that much harder to build back your customer base. Consistent performance is a vital part of private label success. Consistency in product flavor, consistency in quality, consistency in packaging.
For specialty coffee retailers, initial questions to seriously address include:
--Can you maintain consistency in flavor?
--Will the product always be fresh?
--Will you only sell your coffee beans in your units, or other locations as well?
--Will your coffee supplier provide the product in a timely fashion?
--Will the effort be profitable for you?
--Does your roaster provide private label branding development as a value-added service A value-added service (VAS) is a telecommunications industry term for non-core services or, in short, all services beyond standard voice calls and fax transmissions. ?
Private label specialty coffee can be an excellent balance to your coffee shop's brand equity, if you carefully do
Brad Carpenter, along with partner Ray Jahn, currently own three Forza Coffee Company shops in the Tacoma, Washington area. While both Brad and Ray were in the law enforcement industry when they started three years ago, Brad now dedicates all of his time to their specialty coffee business. Brad has been called upon to speak on private label/branding both locally and nationally.