The Coffee Club wins Brand Transformation of the Year - Australia award

A stylish new logo, new contemporary store design, and enhanced focus on convenience.

Facing the risk of becoming irrelevant amidst an abundance of independent cafes and larger names such as 711 and McDonald’s, The Coffee Club undertook a transformation to become the most personal, easy, and rewarding Australian café experience. 

In 2019, under the direction of then newly appointed CEO Nick Bryden, comprehensive research found that whilst 94% of Australians knew about the brand, a mere 20% had experienced it, with an average loyalty age of 62 years. 

With the guidance of the brand agency Accompany, The Coffee Club underwent a facelift: receiving a distinctive icon based on a stylised ‘C’ to invoke conversation, community, and care that is also simple, contemporary, and stylish. Its revised visual identity also aimed to promote a distinct premium and gourmet image compared to other coffee chains and fast-casual restaurants. As well, new uniforms, plate ware and cup ware were brought in to invoke a casual, youthful and stylish vibe.

In addition to new signage and dishware, The Coffee Club’s store designs were revamped to embody a ‘suburban garden’ feel to express the Australian lifestyle, featuring share-tables, greenery, terracotta tile finishes and distinctive corrugated steel black bulkheads. 

During the pandemic, small box kiosks and modular drive-thrus which delivered the distinctive The Coffee Club experience were developed to provide comfort and convenience to customers.

Meanwhile, the brand worked with creative and media agencies GPY&R and Carat to reposition The Coffee Club towards younger audiences in two key categories - family and delivery. 

The Coffee Club targeted young families by revamping its kids’ menu, introducing new communication channels with popular blogs like Mamamia and Popsugar, and launching a new platform ‘Your Happy Place’ geared towards mothers and families. 

The Coffee Club was offered via delivery aggregators and quickly became the leading breakfast and brunch brand on the delivery front. As well, it led the market with the launch of its virtual brands Burgers with Bite and Sir Benedict to create additional profitable sales for its franchise.

Prior to The Coffee Club’s reboot, the brand had no digital connection with its customers, which the brand immediately remedied as part of its transformation plan. A digital app was developed and launched, which acquired over 120,000 users within six months of launching. 

Amidst the pandemic, the app accounted for 14% of The Coffee Club’s total system sales and is growing rapidly. Along with delivery and e-gifting services, 11% of sales now come through digital channels, further proving the brand’s rapid growth in this aspect.

Coffee Club

Internally, The Coffee Club built a store leader and shift leader program and revised its service program Service with Heart, aimed at making the experience for customers, franchisees, and their employees personal, easy, and rewarding (PER). The company also launched Workplace by Facebook, achieving 85% participation on the platform despite launching during Covid-19.

“Making a positive impact on society has been part of our culture and there are many facets to sustainability that we have changed within our business,” the company added. Within The Coffee Club, over half (57%) of corporate roles are held by females. 

As well, it sources RSPCA-approved Australian poultry, whilst 100% of The Coffee Club’s coffee is purchased under the Sustainable Coffee Program.

Apart from introducing single-walled coffee cups in 2020, which saves an estimated 69 tonnes of paper per year from landfills, the “Simply Cups” upcycling program was also introduced to The Coffee Club in November 2020. Based on current takeaway beverage consumption, the program saves an estimated 10 million takeaway coffee cups from landfills every year.

Despite the pandemic, The Coffee Club achieved impressive results, outperforming cafe/restaurant cafe by 15% (measured by the Australian Bureau of Statistics), and witnessing a 5.3% rise in net promoter score (NPS), with a reduced average loyal age from 62 to 52. The brand also retained a same-store sales growth (SSSG) comparable to 2019 amidst dine-in trade restrictions of 30-40% of seating capacity. Prior to Covid-19, the brand saw six straight months of SSSG following four years of decline.

For these astounding efforts and results, The Coffee Club received the Brand Transformation of the Year - Australia award at the recently concluded Retail Asia Awards, presented by Retail Asia. Now in its 16th year, the awards event lauds exceptional retailers, projects and executives who have introduced remarkable initiatives and solutions that have further changed the retail industry.

To date, The Coffee Club has over 450 stores in 14 countries across Asia Pacific and the Middle East. “Our mission is to bring the iconic cafe culture that Aussies know and love to the world,” the brand said.

Watch the interview below to know more about their winning project:

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