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Principles of Marketing

Closing Company Case

Principles of MarketingClosing Company Case

Batdorf & Bronson

Coffee is a global drink loved by so many. From the simple espresso in Italy to the cinnamon added in Mexico, coffee is a global beverage. The origins of coffee date back to the ninth century. Legend has it that in a remote part of Ethiopia, a goat herder noticed his goats dancing about and full of energy. He realized they had eaten some nearby small red berries. Once the herder tried the berries, he too was dancing. The small red berries ushered in the discovery of coffee as a drink we cannot seem to get by without.

With a love for coffee and the thoughts of goats dancing in their heads, husband and wife Larry and Cherie Challain opened their first coffee bar—Dancing Goats in Olympia, Washington, in 1988. But as any coffee entrepreneur knows, a coffee bar is only as good as the coffee it serves. In a quest to serve the freshest coffee in the world, the duo acquired Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters.

Roasting good coffee starts with finding the best coffee beans. The Challains know that to get good coffee beans, it is important to go to the source. By developing direct relationships with coffee farmers, Batdorf & Bronson is assured of the most sustainable and environmentally sourced beans in the industry.

For example, the Ethiopia Sidamo Guji is a grade 1 natural-processed bean grown on a privately held farm—Kayon Mountain. The farm is owned by Ato Esmael and his family. This organic-certified farm produces all-natural, sun-dried, and fully washed coffee. Sun drying means that once the beans are picked and washed, they are dried on raised beds for 12–20 days.

It has been over 30 years since the Challains served their first cup of coffee. Through their quest to improve the coffee experience for patrons and to elevate the growing experience, the Challains expanded their footprint. The duo knows that coffee beans are best served fresh. Freshness means being close to the source. The journey from the family farms to your cup is made easier through their additional roasting facility in Atlanta, Georgia. Being centrally located on the West and East Coasts means that beans can be roasted at either facility and be within a day’s delivery of their own Dancing Goats coffee bars in Atlanta and Olympia as well as into the hands of their retail coffee partners across the country.

Both roasting facilities in Washington and Georgia can serve customers. Every Monday, orders are taken from the Dancing Goats retail partners. Batdorf & Bronson waits to receive orders on Monday before beginning roasting. For those who have not experienced the difference between freshly roasted coffee and all the rest— there is no comparison. Coffee is roasted on Tuesday, and retail partners receive their shipments on Wednesday.

Batdorf & Bronson is diligent about the roasting, brewing, and extraction process for all of its Dancing Goats Coffee Bars. It is equally concerned for its retail partners across the country. To provide the support needed by its small independent coffee bars, it provides instruction from its on-staff master baristas.

The experience of an adult coffee lover visiting a Batdorf & Bronson roasting facility is similar to that of a kid winning the golden ticket to the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory. While your GPS is calculating the yards before turning into the parking lot, you can smell the coffee roasting. Upon entering the facility, you feel as though you are entering a sophisticated laboratory. Scales, thermometers, pristine roasting chambers, and carefully calibrated espresso machines are everywhere. Bags of green coffee beans are piled high and deep. The beans have recently arrived from the family farms located in coffee regions around the world.

To be a retail partner with Batdorf & Bronson means that you have a team behind you. It provides training for baristas, sample bags of new beans, and roast profile sheets describing the growing and harvesting process for the coffee you are serving your local community residents. Batdorf & Bronson is as diligent with every cup of coffee served to a customer as it is with every bean that is harvested and purchased for its roasting facilities. Because of this laser-like focus on quality, a cup of coffee brewed with Batdorf & Bronson beans is like no other coffee found at your typical coffee shop.

For customers who frequent the Dancing Goats Coffee Bars, they know the quality they can expect with their brewed coffee and espresso-based coffee drinks, and for that quality Dancing Goats is the go-to coffee of choice. For those who experience the Batdorf & Bronson difference at local coffee bars nationwide, the fresh taste and exceptional quality provide a reason to choose handcrafted, small-batch coffee shops over traditional “fast-food” coffee chains.64

To learn more about this coffee company, check its website here.

Case Questions

1 .
Batdorf & Bronson is a coffee roasting facility. Dancing Goats Coffee Bars are retail stores. How does the ownership of a retail store help the supplier (Batdorf & Bronson) understand its customer?
2 .
Batdorf & Bronson has direct relationships with the family farms that grow the beans it buys, roasts, and distributes nationwide. How does this relationship with the coffee growers benefit its retail partners?
3 .
When Batdorf & Bronson provides a master barista to help train and educate retail partners, what is the value proposition it provides to the coffee bars that buy beans from it?
4 .
How is Batdorf & Bronson fulfilling the marketing concept?
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