Bringing Keurig’s Commercial Brand to Life

How we partnered with Keurig to envision and launch their D2C eCommerce experience

We're seeing a lot of product brands we work with taking steps to stand up a direct-to-customer (D2C) model. Surprisingly, this move isn't typically driven by increased sales and revenue (traditional distribution channels are still going to make up 95%+ of their sales), but rather driven by a need to capture data and future-proof their business. Keurig is no different. They've had a consumer-focused D2C experience, but were now spinning up a B2B-D2C model to capture new audiences and data.

The simple approach is to launch an eComm platform and call it day, but there's a lot more to creating a successful D2C model than standing up a website.

D2C Challenge

Navigating distributor relationships can be tricky

What happens when you choose to sell direct alongside traditional distributor channels? Well, your distributors (the folks responsible for the other 95% of your sales) see you as a competitor and, often times, threaten to pull your product from the shelves. This dynamic can create a lot of internal tension between traditional sales teams and setting up your business for new ways of working years down the road.

D2C Challenge

Manufacturers need to learn how to be a marketers

Engineering and marketing cultures are almost diametrically opposed in how they see problems and solutions. One is pragmatioc and rational, the other deals in perception and irrational consumer behavior (we'll let you guess which is which). When manufacturering cultures start selling direct, they need to unlearn what worked for distributor sales and be open to what it means to build relationships and loyalty directly with customers.

D2C Challenge

Competing on price and conveniece is a difficult proposition to own

These things are rarely differentiators, but it's where most manufacturing brands start when they think about D2C. The level of investment in constant innovation is just too much in most cases. To compete in an Amazon-dominated world, D2C brands will have to focus on delivering value in ways only they can.

Why buy direct from Keurig instead of Amazon?

This is the big question. Working closely with Keurig to understand what it is that they can do better than anyone else and dialing it up to eleven was a key focus of the work we did.


Building Keurig's Northstar Vision

Creating an industry leading B2B commerce experience isn't a simple effort. From operations to sales – getting this experience right requires all teams to take a step back and have a vision for what they're all working towards. For this approach, we use our Northstar Methodology as an approach to co-create the vision across teams and develop an integrated roadmap that helps them get there.

Along the way we'll test our ideas with customers, bring stakeholders into a room to align on the problem, and work with them to co-create the solution.

We invented an experience that was uniquely Keurig

Keurig has something the Amazon's of the world could never have, an authority on coffee. We tapped deep into office coffee culture to learn what would make the experience special and designed tools and experiences that dialed it up to eleven.

Office Collections

We designed Keurig-exclusive Office Collections that help office managers set the right tone for life at work.

Design Your Space

Tapping into Keurig's expertise, our plan design tool recommends the right office set up.

Telling Keurig's Sustainability Story

We're elevating Keurig's renewed commitment to sustainability as part of the bid process.

Distributor Partnership Opportunties

Win-win opportunities for distributors are key to an easier D2C rollout.

The vision was a win-win for Keurig and their distributors

It wasn't just enough to deliver a great consumer vision. We also developed a strategy that balanced the needs of Keurig, their customers, and their distributors. By working closely with the sales team, we were able to define partnership opportunities and a "sales kit" that enabled sales members to have positive conversations around the future of Keurig's D2C program.

We helped shape the vision and multi-year program

Getting to a collborative, unified vision was necessary to help us define customer-centered needs and requirements. From there, we followed up with a rigorous process to prioritize our work and define the multi-year roadmap that brough "Life at Work" to life.

Consumer grade is the new commercial grade

Even in the business world, user and buyer expectations are informed by their digital consumer experiences with brands like Amazon, Google, and even Chick-Fil-A. The reality is that when it comes to creating digital B2B experiences and products that help people work better together, just "making it work" isn't enough – a proper user experience and product strategy are necessary to help shape experiences and platforms that are useful, usable, and noteworthy.

D2C Challenge

Designing the Field Service App

B2B relationships are much more dependant on servicing than their consumer counterparts. Keurig is no different. Whether we're talking about big office buildings, campus locations, or hospitals – servicing the hundreds of brewers that need installation, cleaning, replacing, and restocking requires a level of service that only Keurig can deliver.

The field service app was designed to make this job more proactive and efficient by provided a mobile experience and dashboard for field servicing to reps to manage fleets of brewers. Including this service experience as part of the sales experience was also a benefit that helped differentiate Keurig over others.

Branded Service as a differentiator

For us, websites and apps don't matter – what does matter is how these things improve the lives of people using them – and that was our focus. It was important that we started with the brand connection and customer pain points, then pushed deeper to define requirements, ways of working, and technology solutions that best supported employees, customers, and the Keurig brand.

Connecting Data and Commerce

Based large in part on our other work with Keurig Commercial, we identified a connection between data and commerce that helped transform the service experience in to a marketing platform. Through data-driven rep dashboard, we could arm the sales team with consumption habits to help provide proactive and personalized service.

Getting ahead of tech with user-centered requirements

There was work to do upfront since it started as an IT-driven effort that largely prioritized business and technology needs over user-centered requirements. Mostly through our use of prototyping and workshops, we were able to get ahead of the process and ensure that user-validated requirements were part of the product roadmap from the start.

The Result: A premium brand experience that only Keurig could deliver

Profile Photo: Ryan Mulloy
About the Experience Design Lead

Ryan Mulloy, Head of Experience Design

Ryan leads up CeCo’s experience design practice and has led engagements for some of the biggest brands in food and beverage – including brands like Keurig, Dunkin’, Toast, Panera, Bai Beverages, and more.

Connect with Ryan