PACKAGING   |   POSTED ON 01.07.2014

A brand strategy to Keep growing

Created by siblings Abigail and Jamie Forsyth, Keepcups first launched in Australia in 2009. 5 years later, they have offices in the UK and US and sold 3.5 million reusable coffee cups in more than 30 countries.

Wanting to do something to reduce the amount of disposable cups that were thrown away every day from cafes, Abigail thought that plenty of other people could be persuaded to drop the disposable habit too. Five years after her epiphany, the KeepCup company have managed to divert 3.5 billion disposable cups from landfills.

KeepCup’s most important client isn’t the customer at all

This barista standard reusable cup replicates the sizes of disposable cups, making it less prone to disrupting a busy barista’s production line. This is particularly important in morning peak where every second counts. Keeping the baristas happy is very important for KeepCup, as they’ve always consider their feedback crucial in KeepCup’s evolution. And as long as they’re happy with the product, the sales just follow.

KeepCup brand strategy is building a story about sustainability by showing its potential customers that removing over 4000 tonnes of disposable cups from the waste stream, saving enough energy to power 5000 homes for a year or leaving 50,000 trees left standing in a forest somewhere is “a lovely thought”. Nevertheless, it was the use of funky primary colours which seemed to get most of the early buyers more excited. So now they’re pitching hard on looking good, and hoping that people keep using them because they feel good.

Their current packaging is made from 100% recycled card and printed with vegetable based inks locally in Melbourne, London and Los Angeles. Cutouts and silhouettes allow multiple points of sales perspective when stacked and allows for interaction with consumers. The boxed packaging can sit neatly in hipster cafes and high end design stores. Walls of stacked KeepCup boxes have become an iconic installations at trade shows.

And if you think the world’s largest coffee chain, Starbucks, is beyond Forsyth’s ambitions… it’s not! “Once we’ve built the brand value in the US like we have in Australia, we’ll be talking to them” says Abigail Forsyth.


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