Just Us! Case Just Us! is a corporation that imports, roasts and sells primarily organic coffee from fair traded certified coffee producers. Their vision is: “to be a leading Fair Trade business that builds on quality, professionalism and innovation for the benefit of all our stake holders. Since its inception, Just Us! had experienced healthy growth in the maritime provinces of Canada, mainly supported by its corporate values: social and environmental responsibility, sustainability, ethical practices in all the areas of the business and in all stakeholders, and product differentiation.
They even opened a fair trade museum to help educate the public on the social impact and benefits of fair trade. Once roasted and packed, the coffee and other products are shipped to retail outlets, supermarket chains, health food stores, coffee shops and churches. A substantial portion of Just Us! revenues came from wholesaling to large retail stores such as supermarket chains. Their coffee is also offered in the Just Us cafes, which were meant to be a place where customers could enjoy a cup of premium fair trade coffee and gather information about fair trade. The locations were not standardized as a typical chain.
A major competitor in the retail organic fair trade coffee market is Kicking Horse which also offers products that are certified organic and fair traded. Its main channels are: coffee shops, gourmet food stores, grocery chains and restaurants. The growth of fair trade product sales had prompted several major food brands to offer fair trade products, such as: Kraft Foods, Procter & Gamble and Nestle. Also, in Canada, large super market chains such as Loblaws were offering also fair traded private labeled products which was concerning for Just Us, since supermarkets is one of its most important channels.
In the coffee shop area, there was a lot of competition since some independent coffee shops and well-known chains (Ex. Starbucks) were trying to tap into the “fair trade trend”. Due to the original management team lack of marketing experience a new Marketing Director was hired and part of the initial issues she found was that Just Us! did not spend much on advertising. 2009 had been set at $20,000. There was a massive growth opportunity in the fair trade market in Canada but the economy was on recession, therefore, the expansion needed to be planned carefully.
The marketing director had several specific questions to answer to help develop a marketing plan to bolster the growth of Just Us! First off, how was Just Us! going to target new buyers given the current competition and what segment would those buyers belong to? College students were clearly a growing customer base and Just Us! already had a strong presence in three college universities. Therefore, marketing should be directed at the young, educated demographic that are willing to pay a premium for products.
Furthermore, the majority of their sales are business to business and their marketing needs to emphasize the benefits of fair trade to the end user. The case stated that the internet was a great tool for increasing awareness of fair trade products, along with initiatives that enhance word of mouth (p. 3). In order to reach new customers they should consider expanding their internet marketing, such as using search engine optimization/ search engine marketing. They can also utilize co-op advertising with other organizations that emphasize fair trade, organic, and environmentally friendly practices.
The fair trade museum should also be utilized to educate potential customers and will be discussed in more detail below. All Just Us! advertising needs to emphasize the story behind the products in order to educate new customers. Educating customers on the benefits of fair trade is the key to growth and will set Just Us! apart from competitors with brand recognition. In order for Just Us! to enhance the cafe’s performance they need to improve the customer experience and become customers’ first choice of “place outside the home to enjoy coffee. Surveys and focus groups should be used to find out what customers like to do in their cafes as well as what customers like about the competitors cafes (Starbucks and Trident) and incorporate those into Just Us! ’ cafes. Additionally, the current Just Us! cafes are stand-alone destination shops. Just Us! should open up new stores in large commercial shopping centers in densely populated cities with multiple Universities. This would allow Just Us to still market to the young educated demographic that have long customer lifetime values that they have had success with and reach new customers via foot traffic in the shopping center.
By keeping the overall educational theme about fair trade and brand awareness the same across all of the cafes should be able to convert new customers into loyal customers. Another questions the Marketing Director had to consider was how Just Us! can expand their loyal customer base? This could be achieved through improving the customer experience mentioned above. However, offering opportunities for the customers to get involved would create a concept of community among their customers and which could develop into a core competency and set them apart from their competitors. Just Us! ould achieve this by having guest speakers or workshops on fair trade in the stores or even get involved with community organizations to help educate people about fair trade. Customers could sign up to receive emails for upcoming events, new products, new services, and new social initiatives. These actions would all help expand their loyal customer base. The Marketing Director also needed to make several changes to the marketing program in order to benefit the cafes. The marketing budget should be increased to reflect the company sales and growth potentials. A larger budget will allow Just Us! o compete with similar fair trade coffee companies such as Java Factory and threatening new mainstream entrants such as Starbucks who can capture the market share quickly. The existing market media plan (Case exhibit 8) should be updated to focus on product differentiation and increase channel diversity. Just Us! should advertise in multiple newspapers, magazines, and outdoor locations to increase customer reach. Furthermore, Just Us! should promote more direct communication to events around colleges and young professionals emphasizing their fair trade and environment responsibility concept in order to foster community involvement.
A major customer segment for Just Us is students and young professionals who are mostly tech-savvy. Therefore, internet should be a main advertising vehicle to reach mass marketing. Just Us should use internet marketing tools including emerging social media (e. g. Facebook, Tweeter, blogs), mobile advertisement (e. g. Groupon), search engine marketing, and co-op advertising on sites offering similar fair trade concepts. Finally, the Marketing Director needs to utilize the fair trade Museum as a way to spread awareness as well as promote brand awareness just like they should in the new locations but take it one step further.
Just Us! could hold free concerts or guest speakers at the museum to attract potential new customers. They could also charge for the concert and allow free admission if you bring a reciept from a recent purchase at the Grand Pre store. Just Us! could sponsor a local race or work with local University fundraisers in the community. Once again, Just Us! needs to be involved with the community to educate people about fair trade and get their customers involved to create a sense of community that can lead to new customers and extend the lifetime customer value of existing customers.