An International Brand’s U.S. Retail Launch: Designing the Screen

At-home coffee brewing has always been a mainstay of U.S. families. The sector has seen everything from percolators to Mr. Coffee, but nothing altered the industry as much as the debut of single-serve capsules. The global marketplace for coffee pods and capsules is forecast to grow at 7 percent –8 percent annually and reach $23.6 billion by 2024, with a lot of this growth coming from North America.

K-fee®, a Germany-based brand famous throughout Europe for its brewing systems and coffee pods, is a portion of the java capsule phenomenon. When K-fee was ready to introduction into specialization mass-market stores under its own name, beginning with end-cap screens at Bed Bath & Beyond, the business chose Medallion Retail to design and produce their own first POS display.

Rising to the retail display challenge

Walk into any Bed Bath & Beyond and you will see how enormous –and competitive–the coffee market is. Our challenge was to present the K-fee Twins II & Latte system to an audience which probably had never heard of the business and was more comfortable with K-fee’s closest rivals, Nespresso and Keurig. The K-fee display required to stand out and stand apart. Additionally, it had to impress Bed Bath & Beyond’s direction and show the brand is worthy of a national rollout in their shops.

According to Jennifer Lieberman, National Account Manager, Krüger North America,”It was of utmost importance to educate the U.S. customers about our distinctive duo-pressure system and compatibility with the Starbucks Verismo system. The Medallion Retail team completely understood K-fee’s message from the start of this project and executed it successfully.”

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“Every aspect we wanted addressed in this screen was superbly executed per our specs, and the end result conveyed our message and brand image exactly how we wanted.”

K-fee has three factors working in its favor to break in the U.S. market–all of which are highlighted in the screen. The first is that the brand’s high-end picture, which sets it apart from Keurig. For this, the Medallion Retail team pulled luxe influences from K-fee’s packaging and branding to strengthen the elegant warmth of their brand character. Additionally, K-fee’s compatibility with the Starbucks Verismo capsules provides the European manufacturer an extremely common name to market, so that needed to get prominence. Finally, we had to demonstrate that K-fee’s in-house Mr & Mrs Mill coffee capsules and Milly Moo Milk Capsules–that are very successful in Europe–come in a range of varieties and intensities. Between Starbucks Verismo and Mr & Mrs Mill, K-fee includes a coffee capsule to suit every taste.

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However, the crème de la crème is K-fee’s unique duo-pressure system, a characteristic that the screen showcases. K-fee owners love the machine provides the best of both worlds: low pressure for brewed coffee and higher pressure for smooth and espresso lattes–something no other machine in this price point can do.

Since the screen was a limited run for 150 test markets, value technology was crucial. Materials were carefully chosen to communicate the brand’s aesthetic and to remain within budget. Security was another important consideration. The customer wanted to promote hands-on involvement and interaction. All pieces had to be protected, including fastening the screen to the base. This last element involved analyzing a range of solvents to get the ideal balance of glue and aesthetics so the retail display can be shipped fully assembled. When the unit arrived in the store, the one thing that had to be done was to open the box and lift the screen on the end cap. The consequence of repeated testing ensured that nothing got damaged or dropped off during shipping. There wasn’t 1 report of breakage or denting. All display units came exactly as produced.

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Adapting a global brand to U.S. shopping habits

While delicious java is a language spoken throughout the world, successful retail display styles differ from country to country. In Europe, shoppers prefer to read and participate with text-heavy displays. The opposite is true in the U.S.: here, shoppers enjoy their information delivered visually with short snippets of text. Medallion Retail avoided long paragraphs, opting rather for inserts with short paragraphs and bullets that are put in plexiglass holders. And though the plexiglass protects the integrity of the inserts, in addition, it permits K-fee to interchange messaging if it need to examine alternative visuals or replicate.