The A&E Coffee Roastery “Most Valuable Patron Contest”
A&E Roastery originated with Adam and Emeran Langmaid, a husband-and-wife team who started roasting 8oz. bags of coffee at home for their friends in the 1990’s. This hobby quickly grew into a business, and the couple opened the doors to A&E Roastery in December 2001. Today, they still custom roast every batch in their original Amherst, NH roastery.
Adam and Emeran want to share their passion for high quality, small batch roasted coffee and specialty teas with customers. This is why in addition to striving for outstanding customer service and high-quality products, A&E is committed to offering of a variety of certified-organic, shade-grown, Fair Trade coffee from around the world. A&E Roastery feels strongly that supporting the farmers, as well as their environment, is an essential corporate responsibility. Thus, they provide farmers fair prices so they can have a living wage and maintain the vitality of their farms.
Fresh roasted coffee and teas, and baked goods are sold at the busy A&E Café located at the company headquarters in Amherst, NH. A&E also features an online mail order and wholesale element, offering 26 different coffees and 31 teas, shipped anywhere in the U.S.
The Playing Field:
The Game Plan:
The Starting Roster:
The Savoir Faire Marketing & Communications team created a contest in which 25 regular customers would be named part of the A&E Starting Roster. These names were suggested by Emeran, and were comprised of regular customers that have been loyal for the past 10 years, the first 10 people to respond to a May 1, 2012 Facebook post, and major non-local customers who purchased coffee and tea online. The 10 “wild cards” were filled on the first day of the contest, filling the “starting line-up”.
Selecting the All-Stars:
Each of the 25 customers were presented with the challenge of getting as many people to vote for them on the A&E Facebook page as possible during a period of 12 days. Those 9 customers that received the top votes were named “A&E All-Stars”. The nine winners were then grouped together for a second and final round of voting, commencing on May 21, 2012, and lasting 9 days.
A Major League Community:
SFMC created mock trading cards (modeled after mid-1970s Topps trading cards in the first round and mid-1980s Topps trading cards in the second round), with information about each patron on the back of the card.
After the “starting line-up” was announced, SFMC posted a link to a specialty made contest page. During this round, A&E allowed everyone to see who was voting as a way to encourage all supporters to join in. Each Facebook friend was allowed one vote per day. Numerous updates on voting were posted by SFMC, as well as many postings encouraging the community to “like” the page and join the voting. The first round of voting ended on May 19, 2012 (12 days after the start). After the first round ended, the nine “all-stars” were announced, placed on a newer trading card and showcased on the Facebook page as well as the company website. Each all-star received a gift bag with a T-shirt from the Merrimack youth baseball team that A&E sponsored, a coupon for a free latte, and an authentic, league sanctioned travel mug with $1 refills for the life of the mug (a $40 value).
Voting closed on May 29, 2012. SFMC tallied up the results and attended Merrimack Youth Athletic Association baseball game where the youth team (that Emeran and Adam’s son plays for) announced the winner. A three-minute video of the announcement and they players thanking everyone was made and released on May 31, 2012, marking the official end of the contest.
A Major League Community:
The nine-day period from May 10, 2012 to May 19, 2012 showed incredible fan interaction. One of the all-stars made a YouTube video in support of his candidacy. As well, many supporters encouraged their friends and loved ones to join the page.
Total Reach (Viral + Organic + Paid)
The highest numbers of reach for any seven-day period of any month in 2012 (before the contest) was 1,360, from Jan. 30, 2012 to Feb. 5, 2012. The highest numbers of reach for any seven-day period during the May campaign was 10,374, from May 16-May 22, 2012. This is an increase of 9,014 or (663%). Only 4% of the reach was organic, as the remaining 96 percent of the reach was viral – there was no paid reach.
By the end of the promotion, A&E witnessed nearly double the amount of fans for their page, saw their business increase, and was cited by a blog that tracks social marketing successes for A&E’s innovative promotion and comparing it to larger companies that cannot achieve such customer engagement.
Since that time, A&E’s fan page has reverted to pre-contest growth. However, fan interaction has continued to remain strong. For example, a post on Sept. 6, 2012, was a simple picture of a café mocha with the milk shaped as galactic scene (The headline was, “Our coffee is…outta this world! (Sorry…couldn’t resist!). The picture received 45 likes, 10 comments, and a share.
Moving forward, SFMC will continue to work with A&E to expand its fan base, engage its current fans, and work to convert fans into customers.