Costa consolidates brand activity

Costa is aiming to create a “more consistent” brand experience across its three divisions by bringing together responsibility for all brand activity and CRM under one creative agency.


A fully integrated campaign is expected to launch in summer 2013 bringing together all aspects of the Costa business as well as a major campaign for its Costa Express vending machine business this spring.

The coffee chain has consolidated its advertising accounts for its Costa Enterprises division, which includes Costa Express and its at home coffee range, Costa’s retail division and the Costa Coffee Club CRM business into Karmarama. The agency has previously only handled advertising.

Kevin Hydes, Costa marketing director, told Marketing Week that the aim is to have consistent approach to branding across its portfolio. Costa split the business into three divisions two years ago to support its growth ambitions.

Hydes says: “We can’t take customers for granted, there’s no room for complacency in our business. Our focus is on every single customer and every single interaction they have with the brand – whether that’s in stores, machines, online or at home – it’s critical.”

“A third of all adults go into Costa every month so from a retail perspective Costa is a really mature brand but Express is still young and less people have experienced it. It’s in its relative infancy and we have to be sensitive to that and really get across the quality Costa message and deliver consistency and great experience across the whole brand.”

As part of the move Costa plans to ramp up CRM activity through its Costa Coffee Club scheme and better use the data to build a more emotional connection with customers, according to Hydes

The three-year-old Coffee Club scheme is currently used to gather feedback from customers to help improve the store experience but Hydes wants to use it to “drive greater value on a functional level … and drive people even closer to the brand.”

More than three million customers used the points based CRM programme in the last six months and it was used in 40 per cent of transactions.

Costa reported a 6.9 per cent rise in same store sales and a 27.3 per cent rise in sales at its Enterprise division over the nine months to 29 November.

Karmarama developed campaigns including Costa’s recent ‘spinning heads’ ad, the controversial monkeys TV spot and the ‘Coffee drinkers prefer Costa’ campaign, since winning the account in 2006. The international business will still be handled by Joshua G2.

Costa and Karmarama are former Marketing Week Engage Award brand and agency of the year winners. There’s still time to enter the 2013 awards before the 29 January deadline. You can find more information here.

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