Isn’t it nice when you can look at a company, especially a new one, and say, “yeah, they’ve done that really well.” Well every time I see anything to do with Jimmy’s Iced Coffee (be it on Twitter, Instagram or just a carton of it in a shop) that’s what runs through my head.
I can’t remember exactly when I first saw a carton of Jimmy’s Iced Coffee but I know it was in Waitrose. Renowned for stocking up exciting new products (take Laverstoke Park Farm’s Buffalo Milk and The Collective Dairy’s range of gourmet yoghurt as an example), I knew it was probably worth a pop.
But there was more to it than that.
Since it was started in November 2010, Jimmy’s (I’ll just call it Jimmy’s from now on, adding the Iced Coffee every time really isn’t necessary) has set about getting itself known as a brand in a fantastic way.
Most importantly, the coffee actually tastes good. And so it should because it’s made from top quality stuff: British semi skimmed milk, demerara sugar and Arabica coffee.
What’s also apparent is the energy and dedication that is put into promoting it by Jim (yes, he is the Jimmy in the name) Cregan and his team. The emotional investment from them all is huge. The whole idea came from a road trip across Australia where the craze for quality iced coffee is strongest. Having begged and pleaded with a number of Australian iced coffee companies to let him be their UK franchisee, Jim decided to give it a shot himself and enlisted his sister to help. They mixed up tons of different recipes in her kitchen until it tasted right and then Jimmy’s Iced Coffee was born. And that’s a good story. It’s a proper story. And that’s what forms the basis for a brand. If the story is good, people are willing to give it a go.
And they really do go the whole hog in promoting the brand. Jimmy himself is often seen dressed as a carton of his own iced coffee handing out samples to passers by. Don’t believe me? Look.
Impressive. What’s more impressive is the story behind that truck they’re handing the samples out of. Jimmy was on Radio 4 with the head of Isuzu UK, Nikki King, and she was so impressed with their brand and their energy that she donated an Isuzu truck to be used as a mobile cool box. One ‘Pimp My Ride’ session later and a fully branded Jimmy’s Iced Coffee cool box was on the road:
Like I said. Impressive.
But what really hooked me in was the design of the packaging. The first time I saw it I genuinely thought (and yes, this does make me sound silly), “that iced coffee looks cool”. I know that sounds superficial. I know that will probably make you roll your eyes. But that’s what it did.
There was something about those cartons that reminded me of being young again and drinking cartons of milk and play school. There was something that reminded me of that video for Blur’s “Coffee And TV“. And the actual design is perfect. It looks like a brand that’s been around for years and that’s down to the typography and the perfectly designed logo. You can almost see the Jimmy’s logo above the sign of a chain of American diners. It’s perfect.
And that’s it. That’s Jimmy’s Iced Coffee. I haven’t had any encouragement to write this, the design agency I work for has had nothing to do with their brand and I certainly haven’t asked for anything from them. All I’m asking is that if you see it, give it a go. Even though they’ve started paying their tax, Starbucks and the like shouldn’t have a monopoly on iced coffee and we should encourage British businesses like Jimmy’s to grow and prosper. Especially when they’ve put such an effort into their brand.
They really have done it well.