Caribou Coffee

Creating a coffee on Pinterest

Caribou Coffee is the second largest specialty coffee and espresso retailer in the US. In addition to handcrafted beverages, Caribou serves up inspiration to fuel their customers’ days. Caribou started using Pinterest to inspire customers, filling their board with Pins worth staying awake for. They’d share memorable quotes, inspiring photos, their favorite flavor combinations and coffee drinks and great Pins they curated from other people. 

But Caribou also wanted to be inspired by their customers, so in preparation for launching their newest coffee, Real Inspiration Blend, they asked their Pinterest followers to help. Pinners added inspiring images with the hashtag #InspireCaribou on Pinterest, and Caribou looked at the Pins to decipher what the new blend should be—notes of mango for an image of a tropical rainforest, a hint of smokiness and marshmallow for a picture of friends around a bonfire, silkiness for a picture of water running across pebbles. The end result was a fragrant blend of Latin American and sweet Ethiopian beans with notes of fruit and wine in every cup.

“We could not have imagined the kind of input, enthusiasm and fun we had working with our fans to create the Real Inspiration Blend. The participation and excitement was more than we could have hoped for,” said Michele Vig, Vice President of Marketing.

Michele Vig
Vice President of Marketing, Caribou Coffee
“Based on what we are seeing on Pinterest, we are reminded of many things we already know about our customers: our customers are creators who have a variety of hobbies and lead interesting, dynamic lives. We are so lucky and excited to be a part of their experiences in our coffeehouses and on Pinterest.”
A larger-than-life launch

Caribou unveiled its Real Inspiration Blend with a five-story, interactive “Living Pinterest board” in the Mall of America. Fans used Twitter and Instagram to snap photos with the hashtag #CaribouInspires, which were then displayed in real-time on the giant screens.

In addition to the interactive exhibit, Caribou produced a fully integrated marketing campaign, including a case study video of how the Living Pinterest Board was made; a special Pinterest board telling fans how the blend was created; a media event with a Roastmaster explaining the origin of the new coffee to local media; print advertisements to drive traffic to CaribouInspires.com; and social media posts to engage fans on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

The campaign was a huge success, garnering more than 11 million media impressions, and achieving a Facebook clickthrough rate that was 73% higher than the industry average and a Twitter engagement rate that was double the industry average.

Getting closer to customers

These days, Caribou uses Pinterest to learn about what their customers are interested in and applies those insights to future programs. One example is their summer sampling program, which takes place outdoors, where they know their customers love to be. Another is a sustainability program called “Grounds for Your Ground,” which allows customers to take free used coffee grounds from Caribou stores and work into the soil of their personal gardens. 

“Based on what we are seeing on Pinterest, we are reminded of many things we already know about our customers; our customers are creators who have a variety of hobbies and lead interesting, dynamic lives. We are so lucky and excited to be a part of their experiences in our coffeehouses, and on Pinterest,” Vig said. 

Suggestions from Caribou Coffee
  • Use Pinterest to get ideas for new products from your most loyal fans
  • Create boards that tell a story through carefully arranged Pins
  • Use Pinterest analytics to learn what resonates with your followers
Details

Goal
Engagement

Regions
North America

Industries
Restaurants

Products used
Pinterest Analytics