A Case Study in Building Buzz in the Blogosphere: Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company

Case study of Joffrey’s Java Beta Test

Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company had a desire for a web campaign with international results and millions of impressions on the Web. Their goals were to drive traffic to their site, increase buzz and branding in social media and the blogosphere and create a promotion which played into their brand essence. They were confident about the product and were willing to put it out there for the Web influencers to try out.

Every online retailer is trying to get their products blogged about, so there is a huge amount of noise in this space. The key to breaking through is wrapping your promotion in a way that resonates. You need to give a story that speaks to a worldview, is authentic and plays into both your brand and the Web.

The inspiration behind this campaign came naturally to me – I’m always beta testing new Web apps and it’s a bit of a Web 2.0 cliché to have your software in perpetual beta. Joffrey’s Java Beta Test was soon born, targeting bloggers and a tech savvy audience. The fact that Joffrey’s product is actual, tangible java (the coffee variety) made the name stick.

You can check out the site to see how it works, but here’s the gist: Bloggers signed up to try a free sample of Joffrey’s “Jamaican Me Crazy” flavored coffee and were given a trackback link to their blog from the test site. The test was received well by bloggers not only because of the free coffee sample and the link, but because the test was packaged and presented in a way that resonates with their worldview.

All articles, stories and impressions generated were a result of developing and launching the idea and site, which continues to spread positive news about Joffrey’s in a self-reciprocating manner between real people on the Web. Joffrey’s was open to allowing us to tap user generated content and bloggers to spread word about their product to massive effect.

The reach of the test:

I’d like to share with you a quote from the coverage on the ActiveRain blog that really sums up the campaign quite nicely and is a view from someone external:

“For the past few weeks, Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company has been running a very clever promotion to “beta test” their Jamaican Me Crazy flavored coffee.

So what makes this promo different, cooler and a lot more interesting than the usual freebies we see on the net each week?

#1, they’re targeting a very specific audience, bloggers & techies to help spread the word…

#2, they’re talking to bloggers & techies in their own language…

#3, they’re giving away 2 excellent, tangible freebies…

#4, they’re using the power of social marketing (word of mouth) to spread the word about the promo…

# 5, the result… they’re getting lots of attention from bloggers and social networking sites…

Joffrey’s has done everything right, putting all the pieces of social marketing together to pull off a clever, simple, fun and powerful form of buzz…”

Check out the full post, along with 70+ comments.

Here are some links to just a few of the reviews of Joffrey’s coffee throughout the blogosphere:

And here’s a video review that I thought was quite clever from the Marketing Over Coffee guys:

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In addition to all of this coverage and buzz, the survey results of 1,000 bloggers and their views of coffee preferences were compiled. These results were shared with all of the beta testers:

Coffee trends in the blogosphere:
Results from Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company’s survey based on 1,000 bloggers:

  • Average age of Java Beta Tester: approximately 31.5 years old

Coffee preferences:

  • 93% prefer regular, 7% prefer decaf
  • 59% prefer traditional coffee, 41% prefer flavored coffee
  • Cups of coffee per day:
    • 1-2 = 45%
    • 2-4 = 35%
    • 4+ = 20%
  • Sweetener and cream preferences:
    • Cream + sweetener = 50%
    • Black = 25%
    • Cream only = 19%
    • Sweetener only = 6%

The campaign is a win for Joffrey’s, a win for bloggers and leaves a good taste in everyone’s mouth. It’s a great example of positioning a tangible product in front of a crowd usually writing about ideas, Web sites and things that are intangible.

SlideShare of the campaign:


Check out some great coverage of the beta test in business trade publications here and here.

Also, see the next step in this campaign – Coffee 2.0 – java inspired by 1,500 bloggers.

Be sure to view the SlideShare presentation of this campaign.

See PR Week’s writeup.

Related posts:

100 Shared Viewpoints, Commonalities and Experiences of Bloggers
The Marketing Must Be Built In
Creating Buzz Online: A Short Guide
10 Things All Bloggers Want