How do you take it? With soy milk… sugar? We all take our coffee differently.
Catering to our preferences for the last half a century, Costa Coffee has expressly served its customers’ needs to become one of Britain’s favorite coffee shops.
It operates 4,000 coffee stores as well as 10,000 self-service Expresses that generate quite a lot of foot traffic. But its digital presence has been hosting more and more traffic, too.
Costa Coffee’s digital presence includes a website and mobile app as well as a pretty popular customer reward program that has fueled customer loyalty.
After years of growth, the time eventually came to upgrade its tech stack. After a period of research, its dev team pitched a plan that would allow the coffee brand to enhance its digital presence and communication.
Brewing better content
It’s been a busy few years for Costa Coffee. Back in 2019 it was bought by Coca-Cola, joining a roster of giant brands in a move that was both exciting and stressful.
It was stressful because Coca-Cola gave Costa Coffee a 5-week deadline to replatform its content management system.
They had two options: they could replatform to Coca-Cola’s legacy content management system or decide on going their own way and choosing their own content platform.
Going for Coca-Cola’s option would have been easier but more limiting.
“We try to build a personal relationship around coffee,” said Gordon Lucas, global head of engineering at Costa Coffee, “so, while Coca-Cola’s stack is great, we had some questions on how our brand would work with that stack.”
New CMS, new markets
Costa was looking for a platform that could bolster its KPIs and facilitate its expansion into new markets in Japan and the US while tailoring its messaging for each of its other markets in Europe, the Middle East, and APAC.
When they came across the Contentful platform, they knew it was for them.
It was recommended by an internal developer and was soon approved by Coca-Cola.
Cosa Coffee can now communicate with their customers in their own language and their own style.
“Each site follows the same brand guidelines but they are unique to each market,” said Sezin Cagil, agile delivery manager at Costa Coffee. “For example, the Japanese market – we’re technical about their coffee, they want to see the details of where it’s sourced and there’s also nutritional information.
“In Germany, it’s all about the experience – the smell and sound. Teams working for each market have the ability to customize the content and modules to these market-specific preferences.”
Costa now has 15 localized websites that cater to each of its markets.
With Contentful, automation and its drag-and-drop feature help to build more localized websites, which can easily support the future growth of Costa.
Its tech team is better placed to quickly build, rebuild, or tear down new personalized experiences.
The good thing about Contentful is that it can be used by technical teams as well as non-technical teams such as creatives and editors in marketing.
“Because of the way Contentful is set up,” said Sezin, “and how we’ve set up our templates and models – marketers find it quite easy to use. They’re able to build sites, grow them and respond to needs autonomously.
“Over time they gain confidence and can begin creating and adjusting at pace. I think that’s really important to scaling.”
Meanwhile, the ability to create and review content at speed means minimizing mistakes and errors committed in copy.
“We work as a group,” stated Sezin. “We design with and learn from each other so it’s really important that every person has access to the tools and team members they need to get the project done.”