From Your Cup to the Global Stage: 5 Reasons Why Coffee’s Future is Brighter than Ever

This month, I attended the most buzz-worthy conference of the year. No, it wasn’t SXSW (although the crowd in attendance was probably equally stimulated) – it was the National Coffee Association’s Annual Convention. And, yes, it was just as delicious as it sounds.

Between sipping samples from vendors around the globe, I absorbed a lot about coffee’s past, present and future. My lessons began with the legend of Kaldi the goat herder, who first discovered Coffea Arabica when his flock became unusually frisky after ingesting some bright red berries while grazing in the Ethiopian hills, and progressed to philosophical discussions on the increasingly dynamic, venture capital-backed Third Wave movement.

While coffee’s trajectory thus far is a fascinating one, the key insight I left with is that the industry’s future is exceptionally bright.

Here’s why:

1-      Health Halo in the Making. Coffee has a myriad of health benefits that are backed by sound science, but are not yet widely acknowledged by consumers. Dr. Alan Leviton, of Harvard University Medical School, shared data showing that regular coffee consumption (3-5 cups/day) is associated with decreased risk of Type 2  Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cancer or malignancies. Basically, the more coffee people drink…

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Digital Marketing

How Brand Sponsors Maximize March Madness

More than bragging rights are at stake this month. It’s March and the madness is real for 16 major brands that scored a chance to advertise the NCAA tournament as an official sponsor. This is a huge opportunity for companies to reach a very seasonal, niche audience of more than 10.7 million viewers and increase brand engagement – a must considering the NCAA pay-for-play investment totals hundreds of millions of dollars. Each sponsor receives access to NCAA logo marks, TV airtime, tickets, hospitality, and more, but standing out from the crowded “sweet sixteen” sponsors can be a contest itself.


Here are some quick tricks we’ve learned from brands making the most of March Madness sponsorships:

  • Leverage fan data: Consumers are more willing to give to their information to their favorite team rather than a corporate brand. Tap into the NCAA’s data from individual sports teams and make a connection directly with season ticket holders.
  • Build anticipation early: Brands that promote their involvement a week or more before the games begin tend to see higher engagement and brand mentions. With so many brands competing for the attention of fans, the sooner a…
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    Digital Marketing

    Feed Your Need & Get In On March Madness

    march madnessIt’s March and that means it’s time to embrace the madness of the NCAA’s national college basketball tournaments.  The win-or-go-home format with teams from all over the country vying for the ultimate prize, is reality TV at its best.  To maximize your enjoyment of the Madness, you’ve got to channel your own inner madness. Here’s three easy steps that can help you achieve your own, personal mayhem nirvana.

    (1)  Fill out a Bracket

    You don’t have to be an expert to make your picks. You select by seeding, evaluate by win/loss records or just pick your favorite team colors or mascots. It takes less than three minutes to establish your own vested interest.  Here are some of the best online sites, available:

    Yahoo Tourney Pick’em – fill out a bracket and receive a free 7-Eleven Big Gulp Drink coupon

    CBS Sports Bracket Challenge – Best bracket wins  a trip to the 2016 NCAA FINAL FOUR Tournament Challenge – top prizes include a $20,000 Best Buy gift card and a trip to the NCAA 2015 Maui Invitational.

    (2)  Watch the Madness

    Every second of every game is available in virtually any format you like. Content is digital and served up to meet your…

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    Digital Marketing

    3 Quick Tips for a Better LinkedIn Business Presence

    Traffic to your website

    When it comes to social media, B2B companies need to focus most on growing their presence on LinkedIn. A 2013 study form InvestIQ showed that LinkedIn accounted for 64 percent of the social media traffic to corporate websites. The company recognizes its value in this sphere, and is going all-in, positioning itself as a lead generation tool, developing the Sales Navigator. However, having an effective presence on LinkedIn is possible without a serious financial investment. Check out the tips below to get started.

  • Create showcase pages – Enhance your LinkedIn presence by using showcase pages. Showcase pages enable you to tout products or services on a separate page off of the company page. From a B2B perspective, it’s a great way to highlight and separate content for different customer segments. Your page should have three graphics – a cover photo, a logo and then a thumbnail, so make sure you have those ready to go before you get to work. Once you create a showcase page, promote them across Twitter any other social networks you are using. You can also add follow buttons, and sponsor your posts to extend the reach of your showcase posts beyond your network. Learn…
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    Hot Beauty Trends of 2015

    Buzz Bin 3.12 Photo 1Soy, papaya, greek yogurt and daisies. Sounds representative of a beautiful picnic in Central Park, right?

    Think again.

    They’re just a sampling of the latest skincare ingredients hitting the market, as I learned at the annual Cosmetic Executive Women Product Demonstration Thursday night and at the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) meeting in February.

    CEW members swarmed Thursday’s event, which sells out every year, looking to get their hands on the hottest beauty products from the best personal care companies.

    Brands like Burt’s Bees, Dial, and St. Ives explained the need for constant formulaic reinventions with natural ingredients like the ones above. At both events I also heard about the newest trends shaping the beauty market, outside of product claims.

    Here are three you should know about:

    1.    Online beauty sales outshine traditional stores.

    When we were kids, our moms depended on department stores for skincare. Today, if you’re not shopping at MAC or Sephora, you’re buying beauty online. In fact, about 47% of Americans purchased more beauty products online in 2014 vs. bin 3.12 photo2

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    Digital Marketing

    Top 3 Social Media Conferences for Booze Communicators

    Just about every day, I receive emails from new social media and digital vendors and read articles about changes to various social channels that will affect my clients. On that note, I’d like to send a personal shout out to Facebook for their latest efforts in the endless quest to make my job harder.

    It is my job to keep up with all changes and new capabilities in social media channels, content curation, analytics, measurement and beyond. To do this job well, all social media managers need to attend top social conferences to stay on top of trends and technology, and take part in the meeting of minds and networking that inevitably occurs.

    social media conversation

    In researching those that best fulfill these needs, here are the top 3 social media and digital conferences for communications professionals working in the beverage alcohol arena:

    1. Social Media Week (Jun 8-12, 2015 in Los Angeles): Reaching beyond the booze world, social media week brings together thought leaders from various industries to discuss social movements and trends. They offer some of the most interesting speakers and topics, and the range of seminars is always…

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    Digital Marketing

    Mobile-Friendly Websites Will Now Rank Better In Mobile Search

    It’s official, Google announced last week that they will be updating their mobile search algorithm to include “mobile friendliness” as a ranking signal.
    From Google:
    Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.
    If any business has been hesitant about “going mobile” this should be major influence in motivating the build of a mobile-friendly site as mobile traffic will now be impacted by this algorithm update.

    3 other reasons why you need a mobile friendly website coupled with SEO

    01. User Experience and Brand Reputation
    Not having a mobile friendly site will hurt the user experience as well as brand reputation. Google did a study on what users want from a mobile site and here are a few key points: 50% of people said that even if they like a business, they…

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    Digital Marketing

    Brands Looking For Love on Tinder

    Well maybe not true love, but who on Tinder really is, right? From NGOs to top consumer brands, digital-savvy marketers are infiltrating this dating app to reach their young target audience when they least expect it – while browsing for their next “date.”

    If you’re single, most likely you’re on Tinder, or have at least heard of it. If you’re in a relationship, you have probably sat next to your pal as they swipe through their potential dates, toasting when they get a match. “Tinder-ing” is hard to avoid. Not familiar with Tinder? That’s okay, continue reading to get the scoop and perhaps try to get out more.

    pic 1

    This fast-growing mobile app was first introduced as more of a casual hook-up app because it offers up potential matches based on your proximity. It first finds your locations through your phone’s GPS, leverages your information from Facebook to create your profile (first name, age, selected photos and then any pages you have liked in the past). You are then served up potential matches based on a few criteria you select upfront. This is where the real fun begins — you just need…

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    Chocolate Cupcakes and Corporate Identity

    Last week, Fox News published the Hungry Girl’s guide to outsmarting Valentine’s Day overeating. It’s dedicated to recipes options that won’t “ruin your budget, waistline, or the mood”.

    Valentine’s Day aside, the majority of religious and civic holidays have become synonymous with overeating. The national Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders even describes over-eating around the holidays and on special occasions as a “normalized” part of American behavior.

    All you have to do is google “holiday overeating” and you’ll find hundreds of articles describing tips to avoiding binge eating and over indulgence – as well as one that includes five ways to avoid a post-holiday heart attack. But this got me thinking – are the holidays the issue? Or, are we causing the problem?

    Let’s talk about food-specific holidays. According to The Nibble, a magazine dedicated to specialty foods, there is a food dedicated to just about every day of the year.


    Photo Credit: Flickr – Farrukh

    Here’s a taste of your food holiday options:

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    Digital Marketing

    4 Reasons SNL’s Anniversary Rebrand Worked

    We celebrate birthdays, wedding anniversaries, work anniversaries and other important personal milestones as a way of sharing and reflecting on where we’ve been and reaffirm our future, so it would make sense that businesses do the same.

    Business anniversaries create great opportunities to communicate a brand’s story with the world – it’s a chance to share why the business began, where it’s been, what it does, what makes it different, and thank employees and consumers who’ve helped it reach this milestone. Whether it’s making it through the first decade or celebrating 100 years, communicating a major milestone with a rebrand can be very effective.

    This weekend, NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” celebrated its 40th anniversary with an evening special and preceding red-carpet event, in addition to revamping the show’s logo and introduction several months in advance. Here’s four ways that SNL’s rebrand worked:

    1. Make it a celebration event: NBC’s SNL did a good job of turning its 40th anniversary from just another date on the calendar into a much anticipated event and television special, leveraging an opportunity to share its story and celebrate the show’s success with the people who helped it get to where it is today. The three-hour…

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