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Blogging – It’s about community…and coffee

Computer, coffee cup holder, and community provider

Computer, coffee cup holder, and community provider

When you think of blogging, what comes to mind?  For me, blogging brings to mind community and coffee.  Let me explain.  As I’ve written before, I’m a big fan of Joffrey’s coffee.  What started off as a Java Beta Test turned into a free coffee sample for this new blogger and about 1,500 others to try their product (by the way – the test is over in the event you try to still find it).  The Web 2.0 strategy behind it all was a great example of how the web can be used to entertain while reward AND not be a bother.  It was permission based; pull and not push.  A few months later the outcome of Joffrey’s Beta Test led to a new flavor, Coffee 2.0.  Clever idea – AND a great product.
At basically 5 cents a cup, this varietal will kick your morning into high gear and has a very smooth flavor.


OK, so in that promotion, not only did I learn about a great product I would have never been exposed to, I was also welcomed into the Blogosphere because any blogger who signed up on the Beta Test was sent a free sample.  I was reinforced that blogging has a few perks aside from a few kind comments.  I was exposed to community.
I was also exposed to Adam Singer, the digital marketer behind Joffrey’s promotion.  Well…not exposed literally.  I took advantage of the community feel that blogging gives you and I reached out to Adam and commended him for a great promotion.  He emailed me back in about 10 minutes and a friendship was formed.  Later I found out that Adam has a blog of his own and is an accomplished musician as well.  I now read his blog, The Future Buzz and I enjoy his music.  And from time to time we’ll Twitter or email each other.  Coffee brought community.


Had I never taken the initiative to start my own blog I would have never come across a great new marketing tool(s) in social media.  I would also be lacking from a great community I’ve come to really enjoy and from knowing the many individuals who have been kind to me and many others.  I’m talking about people like John Wall and Christopher Penn from Marketing Over Coffee; CC Chapman from Managing the Grey (thanks for the card); Lisa Johnson from Reach Group, Albert Maruggi from Marketing Edge; Chris Brogan – Social Media Extraordinaire; Jim Tome of eHealthcare Marketing, Mark McGuinness now of Lateral Action, Whitney Hoffman of LDPodcast, Zena Weist of Nothin’ But SocNet, Beth Kanter of Beth’s Blog, and of course, Adam Singer, who I mentioned earlier, with The Future Buzz.  Now, I could have mentioned a few more (and I deeply apologize if I left anyone out), but these individuals I expressly mention because they typify SOCIAL media.  They preach it.  They live it.  They help it.  They advocate it.  And I know this personally because I’ve gotten a comment(s) or email(s) back from each. What kind of cool world is this!  Between blogs, podcasts and the social networks, these are the best of the best.

It will be a long time, perhaps never, that I would ever aspire to the level of prowess these individuals exhibit.  But as a role model to me, I hope I can return the favor and help those with what I have learned (which is a lot more than I knew a year ago).


A Community Connected to Many

A Community Connected to Many

We are a community.  Whether blogger or blog reader, there are millions of us who write or read and pass on our thoughts, opinions and expertise to benefit mankind.  Now more than ever we need this kindness that is exhibited online and make it a reality offline.  Akoha looks to lead this charge of making the world a better place and I eagerly anticipate the public release of their “pay it forward” mission cards.  But each of us must participate in that charge as well.  Just remember that when the guy in the lane next to you cuts you off – don’t allow his actions to cause you to do the same.  With the same good intentions you have when you blog or comment, take those same intentions and put them in the real world.

Our current economic situation is forcing us to take a good hard look at the mess that’s been made.  Because checks and balances were not correctly in place, a new level of accountability will undoubtedly be put in place.  As we look to the future, we must rely on each other, just as our 2.0 Community already does, and start being more accountable to how we treat each other in the real world as well.  Start tomorrow and make the world a friendler place – it all starts with a cup of coffee.


Another example of great marketing


About 5 months ago, John Wall at Ronin Marketeer made me aware of a “Java Beta Test” that Joffrey’s was doing.  Joffrey‘s is an online tea & coffee company that had a great idea that I wrote of earlier.  They offered free samples of their coffee to bloggers and had them write about the product.  Risky venture, but not if your product is at the caliber of Joffrey’s.  Their Jamaica Me Crazy was fantastic!  Great strategy and great innovative technique to allow multiple bloggers to get in on the action.  At last count they have over 1,500 blogs they’ve involved.


I admit that I had every intention of buying a bag of Jamaica Me Crazy…but you can fill in the rest of the story. Life just comes too fast some days.  So, jump start to yesterday.  Five months after this beta test and I get an email from Joffrey’s alerting me to their new site and to check it out.  They never invaded my email box after the initial experiment.  They backed off unlike many others who call you 2,000 times after a whitepaper download.  But they followed through on the contacts they made during their Java Beta Test and discreetly reminded everyone they were still around, had a new site design and indirectly brought business back around to their site.  Plus they offered a 25% discount to me and my readers.  Details below…

To make it even more satisfying, I wrote a letter back to the email issuer, Adam, Director of Digital Strategy with Pierson Grant, who is the strategist team for Joffrey’s.  I wrote my compliments…and got a reply within 15 minutes or so.

We need more companies like Joffrey’s and Pierson Grant – for people who know how to use the great responsibility of social media and who do it well.

Once again, my coffee mug is raised in their honor!  Now, here is the email I received with that special offer:

Coffee Trends in the Blogosphere:

Results from Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company’s survey based on 1,000 bloggers:

  • Average age of Java Beta Tester:  approximately 31.5 years old

Coffee preferences:

  • 93% prefer regular, 7% prefer decaf
  • 59% prefer traditional coffee, 41% prefer flavored coffee
  • Cups of coffee per day:
    • 1-2 = 45%
    • 2-4 = 35%
    • 4+ = 20%
  • Sweetener and cream preferences:
    • Cream + sweetener = 50%
    • Black = 25%
    • Cream only = 19%
    • Sweetener only = 6%

SO, for you coffee lovers, use this code:  DCWEBLAUNCH085 and receive 25% off your order through Joffrey’s.  As the kind folks at MarketingOverCoffee.com like to say, “Enjoy the coffee!”


How to get FREE coffee – online


Lately there has been a bit of talk on the podcasts and blogs about the power of FREE.  Some see the word as a gimmick, but let’s face it – it’s one of the most attention getting words of all time.  Especially when FREE comes just before something you really enjoy a lot.  Like coffee. 

John Wall of Marketing over Coffee and Ronin Marketeer made me and others aware of a unique test called the Java Beta Test offered by Joffrey’s.  This creative stroke of genius has Joffrey’s, a coffee company out of Florida, engaging bloggers everywhere to write about their coffee.  All bloggers need do is check out Joffrey’s beta site, submit your blog and try to be one of the lucky ones to be sent a sample of their beans.  So far, a little over 1,100 bloggers have signed up to try the coffee.

With so much ingenuity and competition out there, my hat goes off to Joffrey’s.  I haven’t even tasted the coffee yet, but when I received my packet this morning along with a letter that cleverly explains their playful brand, I was hooked.  So was my wife who loved the name “Jamaican Me Crazy.”  To engage bloggers in the hopes of them writing about their product was a smart strategy, great marketing – and it is working.  Do a blog search on them and you’ll see many posts surfacing already.  Nice approach and I assume great coffee.  I’ll find out tomorrow morning.