We have replaced our delivery vehicle, something we do every 3-5 years depending upon economic conditions and what else we need to renew. When you think about it, as we have been doing, it’s quite a big deal. If we get it wrong we could have 60 months of regret. Clearly there are the basics - getting the right size vehicle so that you are neither burning too much petrol carrying thin air nor one so small that you can’t fit in sufficient orders for a single delivery. Then there’s the decision as to how you to advertise our business on this white blank canvas.
Many businesses take the least cost and most simplistic route. Company name, what they do and how to get hold of them. As a result, for example, one plumbing company van looks much like another, thereby turning a service into a commodity where price is king.
So how do we ensure that we don’t fall into that trap? How do we connect with you, our customers in such a way that you care about the products and services we provide? In turn, how do we do this in a very “analogue” environment? After all, there’s no Instagram video story playing on the side of the vehicle.
The great thing about these moments is that they make you reflect upon the raison d’être of the organisation. What is it exactly Cooper’s stands for? Well, fundamentally we’re all about people and making that link between those who produce what we sell and our customers who consume the product. In a fast moving world, we mostly focus on the person providing the end service and rarely think about all those in the chain whose efforts matter so much to our ultimate experience. I’ve written extensively about this in my book “Citizens of Coffee”.
Our new delivery vehicle offers us the opportunity to remind our customers on a daily, drip by drip basis of those whom they never see. They are not anonymous commodities but people like you and I with similar fears and aspirations. If we can create that connection then our business becomes a conduit for so much more than the purchase of your daily cup of coffee. We realise that we are part of a much bigger community, not just at a local level but globally. The more we share, the better the outcome for generations to come.
So, we decided to take a look at all those images of producers that I’ve taken down the years. Sadly, we couldn’t fit everyone on, but those that made it have extraordinary stories to tell. From Bolivia, Esteban and Everisto trying to keep a Co-operative going. Walmansur in northern Sumatra smiling from his farm door. Win Kyaw in Myanmar with his wood-burning roaster to name but a few.
The result we believe goes to the heart of what Cooper’s are about and we hope that you enjoy the spectacle of our van out and about in Jersey whilst at the same time getting a glimpse of the human beings behind your cup of coffee.