Costa steams ahead with Express brand

Costa Coffee, which was named as Marketing Week’s Brand of the Year at the Engage Awards 2011 earlier this week, is rolling out its self service coffee brand Costa Express.

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The brand will use sampling to promote the message that Costa Express self serve coffee machines offer the same quality and taste as the parent brand offers in its coffee house chain and franchised sites.

Its Costa Express branded mobile unit will visit roadshows and events around the UK.

Coffee Express CEO Scott Martin, who was previously CEO of Coffee Nation before it was bought by Costa owner Whitbread in March, says that the Costa brand lends a quality assurance to the self service coffee market that hasn’t previously existed.

Martin is adamant that moving into the self serve coffee market is not out of alignment with Costa’s positioning as a coffee house that prides itself on its “handcrafted” coffee and skilled baristas.

Last year Costa ran its first TV ad campaign to demonstrate the point that not everyone can produce a “perfect cup of coffee” and highlight the superior quality of coffee.

He claims that coffee dispensed from the machines will taste identical to that served by baristas in Costa’s coffee houses.

“There is demand for Costa on the go, but there is historically a view that machine coffee is a step backwards. We have ensured that there isn’t a sacrifice of quality and the Costa brand adds an element of trust from a consumer point of view,” he says.

Costa Express will sit under the parent brand, and allows Costa to target consumers in different kinds of locations such as train stations. It plans to open Costa Express in 3,000 locations over the next five years.

See the rest of the Marketing Week Engage Awards winners here.

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