Helping a Major UK Brand Move Across the Pond

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Where would we be right now without coffee?

Actually, don’t answer that. It’s too horrible to contemplate. The good news is, there’s more great coffee coming to America, and FortyFour recently had the honor of playing a role in getting it here.

You perhaps haven’t heard of Costa Coffee. That’s because you’re not British. In the UK, Costa Coffee has been a powerhouse brand since the 1970s, spreading its popularity into Asia and the Middle East. Known for their signature coffee products and artisanal quality, it’s a rival to That Other Big Coffee Brand in many places that aren’t the US.

It’s time for the US to get on board. Costa was acquired in 2019 by Coca-Cola, which not only recognized Costa’s great success worldwide but also saw the huge potential for making inroads here in the States. To make that happen, Coke turned to FortyFour, their longstanding e-commerce partner.

Translating From British and Designing for the Future

To introduce the brand to the US, we began by launching a US website to convey the rich heritage of the Costa brand, leveraging existing brand attributes while adding an American style. By injecting modern design while also filtering through existing brand resources, we stayed true to the UK brand while elevating the look and feel of the site to better appeal to US consumers.

Our clean, modular design is built not just for now but for the future, as Costa will be greatly scaling up its product offerings over time. This build-for-future mindset is ever-present in our UX capability, as we strive to equip clients with solutions that can adapt and scale.

One if by Land, Two if by Sea, Three if by E-Commerce

One challenge FortyFour met head-on was the fact that, although Costa UK’s success can be partly attributed to their brick-and-mortar cafés, Costa wasn’t launching any cafes in the US. Costa is instead launching with a D2C strategy to digitally introduce consumers to its products before they become widely available in stores—a nontraditional approach in which brand awareness is being led by e-commerce. 

We also developed a key messaging strategy to introduce the Costa Coffee Smart Café, a self-serve kiosk that produces high-quality Costa Coffee on-the-go. By differentiating this product from your typical, substandard to-go coffee machine, we’ve helped position the Smart Cafés as a key brand touchpoint for US consumers.

FortyFour will continue to guide Costa’s introduction into the US market so that American consumers can enjoy a delicious cup of Costa Coffee wherever they may be. With plans to add more products to Costa’s catalogue, including a subscription service and B2B e-commerce purchasing capability, we look forward to executing Costa’s needs in the future

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