Gevalia to extend engagement push with new site

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Gevalia Kaffe will push forward with a lengthy branding and loyalty effort when it launches a revamped Web site and social media efforts in August.

“We have been in a transformation mode this year in trying to change the business and making it a more contemporary model,” said Sharon Saias, senior brand manager, Gevalia.

The mail order coffee company is introducing its new site — designed by its online agency RazorFish — in August. As part of an effort to improve customer interactions and engagement, the new site will allow customers to design their own coffee delivery programs.

“One thing we are really looking to do is put more of the control into the customer's hands,” Saias said. “The Web site is going to be a total transformation for the way they engage with us — from enrollment and acquisition through the relationship or experience. It's not just CRM but it does have a lot of CRM capabilities because we're able to do a lot of different communications like trigger e-mails or e-mails based on customer purchases or profiles.”

Gevalia also plans to dip its toe into the social media waters in August, with presences on Facebook and other social networking sites. Kinetic Fin will be assisting the brand with its social efforts. In addition, Gevalia is working on going viral with “forward to a friend” offers.

The goal, Saias said, is to attract more qualified customers and keep them for longer. Gevalia currently has hundreds of thousands of members, she said, with an average age of 50 and high average education levels. Lately, Gevalia has started targeting slightly younger consumers, age 40-45 as prime prospects.

The company's intensified retention efforts started about a year and a half ago with an in-depth consumer research project. The findings led to a variety of new programs for the coffee company, including its first-ever loyalty program, Gevalia Perks, a merchant-supported shopping rewards program that launched in April. Perks delivers personalized online shopping offers to members, who are asked to fill out a profile when they sign up.

“A lot of current customers felt they weren't being appreciated and were feeling a little ignored,” Saias said. “In the last few years Gevalia has been more focused on transactions than on building relationships, so we've made a conscious effort in the last 18 months to develop a CRM effort and loyalty program with the intention of keeping more customers.”

Draftfcb, a long-time Gevalia agency, has played a major role in the brand's new CRM and branding efforts. The agency has been running a multichannel strategy to get the word out about Perks and other new offers at Gevalia.

“We wanted to create a much better experience for Gevalia customers, so we revamped the whole early engagement and cross-sell and up-sell process to make it more personalized and interesting and engaging,” said Mike Brzozowski, EVP CRM, Draftfcb. “Our main intent was to drive enhanced retention within the program and provide customers with ancillary benefits that would make them feel really good about being part of the Gevalia program.”

The outreach includes a “Welcome Kit” for new members, designed to clarify the ordering and shipping process. Welcome Kits include samples, coasters and other freebies and are joined by a seasonal newsletter. Draftcb is also manning an e-mail push to existing Gevalia customers to promote Gevalia Perks.

Brzozowski noted that many of Draftfcb's clients are moving dollars out of broad-based awareness activities and into CRM. “Because of the renewed interest in accountability and the strategic use of data, we're finding that CRM is playing ever-increasing role as part of the marketing budget and focus of a lot of clients,” he said.

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