Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Rebranding – Part 1

December 31, 2008

Building Vertical Communities

Single Artisan, Product Focused Website

In November 2006, we launched the terrakeramik.com online marketplace to introduce a single artisan, Terra Keramik of Switzerland, to the North American marketplace. Because we represented exclusively Terra Keramik, we created the initial website under the Terra Keramik brand with a focus on its 12 tableware products. The initial online marketplace was organized around beverageware, dinnerware, and a section called studio.

Business Challenges

We faced several business challenges with that product centric approach. For example, to launch the Terra Keramik coffee beverageware in North America, we had to build a premium brand from ground zero that appealed to the professional and home barista markets. We wanted to differentiate ourselves from the numerous online stores that sell $5 white and brown, machine-made, porcelain coffee cups displayed on “catalog pages” with little information about the product and no other subject relevant content or advice.

Rich, Relevant and Interactive Content

We wanted to provide useful information about the product, show how the products are used by professionals and home consumers, and provide a rich, interactive browsing and buying experience with relevant information about the entire coffee trade (growers, roasters, baristi, cafes, consumers). In effect, we wanted to build vertical online communities without duplicating the content and features already offered by successful online coffee communities such as coffeegeek, home-barista, coffesnobs, baristaexchange, and coffeed. We wanted to provide some of the basic and necessary information and tools that these much larger communities may lack, may be hard to find, or present them in a more user-friendly format.

Multiple Artisans, Vertical Communities

In late 2007, about a year after launching the Terra Keramik tableware, we introduced a second Swiss artisan, Glasi Hergiswil and its lead-free, mouthblown crystal glass products, to the North American market. This was followed by the launch of Café Kultur of Germany and its handcrafted espresso accessories. We now faced a third business challenge, how to convert from our online marketplace representing a single artisan with few products, to multiple artisans with potentially hundreds of products, each with its own distinctive brand and product lines. It reinforced our desire to build vertical communities and also compelled us to start thinking about creating an independent brand that would represent and support multiple artisans.

Rebranding – Part 1

In the summer of 2008 we began to organize our online marketplace around four vertical communities:

  • Coffee & Tea
  • Wine & Beer
  • Dining
  • Home Décor
  • The following screen shots show the terrakeramik.com online marketplace as of December 2008, organized around the above vertical communities.

    Home Page

    Home Page with neutral gray, top navigation bar showing the 4 communities and the studio (about us, etc.) tab.

    Coffee & Tea

    Coffee & Tea Community, highlighted in green on the top navigation bar. Pages with a 3-column CSS layout.

    Wine & Beer

    Wine & Beer Community, highlighted in red on the top navigation bar. Pages with a 3-column CSS layout.

    Dining

    Dining Community, highlighted in orange on the top navigation bar. Pages with a 3-column CSS layout.

    Home Décor

    Home Décor Community, highlighted in light blue on the top navigation bar. Pages with a 3-column CSS layout.

    Studio

    Studio tab, highlighted in cobalt blue on the top navigation bar. Pages with a 3-column CSS layout.

    My Account

    My Account section, accessible with the “Account” button above the top navigation bar. Pages with a 2-column CSS layout.

    Registry

    Gift and Wedding Registry section, accessible with the “Registry” button above the top navigation bar. Pages with a 3-column CSS layout.

    Stay tuned for details on building out the vertical communities

    We’re BAAACK!!!

    October 21, 2008

    We’ve been busy the past 6 months growing and expanding our online marketplace at terrakeramik.com and although we continue to be busy (especially with the holiday season only a few weeks away), we are excited to share with you some of the things we’re doing on this blog. We’ll be posting in the next few days, so check back! Thanks.

    New York Times “To Burundi and Beyond for Coffee’s Holy Grail”

    September 13, 2007

    Photo Copyright by The New York Times, Janet Jarman for The New York Times.

    The New York Times features an awesome article “To Burundi and Beyond for Coffee’s Holy Grail” about the search for coffee perfection in far flung places of the world. We mean awesome because the 2nd largest national daily newspaper (after the Wall Street Journal), a barometer for mainstream media, is recognizing the efforts and progress from bean to cup in the specialty coffee segment. And we mean awesome because it describes how some of our favorite specialty roasters (Stumptown, Intelligentsia, Counter Culture, Terroir) discover the next great coffees and work with local farmers to improve the quality. All four roasters sell both single origin coffees as well as blends, including many that are certified organic, fair trade, and shade-grown coffees. The New York Times article includes a beautiful slide show of farms in Nicaragua’s coffee growing region and a video on coffee cupping (analogous to wine tasting) featuring a barista from 9th Street Espresso, one of New York City’s best cafes. To view the article, you may need to sign up for a FREE New York Times online account (you don’t need to be a subscriber).

    We have been featured in…

    April 13, 2007
       
    TraditionalHomeApr2007 TRADITIONAL HOME

    Traditional Home featured our Terra Keramik tableware in its April 2007 issue (1/2 page). Pictured are our cappuccino cups [not the espresso cups as indicated], candleholder and teapot. We appreciate the wonderful article and beautiful photos! Thank you Traditional Home!

    Traditional Home is the largest “upscale shelter magazine” based on paid circulation of 950,000 (compared to House & Garden, House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, Metropolitan Home, etc).

      
    TraditionalHomeApr2007_Article
      
    ctcottages_apr20071.jpg CONNECTICUT COTTAGES & GARDENS

    Connecticut Cottages & Gardens (CCG) Magazine featured our Terra Keramik beverageware and dinnerware in its April 2007 issue (1/2 page). The April issue is dedicated to the “green” theme, i.e. eco-friendly buildings, interior design, and landscapes. Pictured are our espresso cups and dinner plates. Thank you CCG for the beautiful spread!

    Connecticut Cottages & Gardens and Palm Beach Cottages & Gardens are sister publications (both featured our products) that cover the “gold coasts” of Connecticut and Florida.

     
    popup_ctcottages_apr2007.jpg
     
    FreshcupMagazineFeb2007 FRESHCUP

    Freshcup Magazine featured our Terra Keramik beverageware in its February 2007 issue. Pictured are our espresso cups, cappuccino cups, coffee mugs and tea mugs. We appreciate the announcement of the opening of our online marketplace! Thank you Freshcup!

    Freshcup is a speciality beverage magazine focusing primarily on the coffee and tea trades. About 15,000 retailers subscribe to Freshcup.

      
    FreshcupMagazineFeb2007_Article
      
    APARTMENTTHERAPY.COM

    Apartmenttherapy.com (AT) featured our teapot on its blog on March 20. During the first hour of the posting, we received more than 500 visitors to our website! Thank you AT for blogging about our teapots!

    AT is an online community which helps people make their apartments better places to live and connects them to the resources they need to redecorate their homes. AT ranks as one of the 500 largest blogs according to technorati.com.

      
    ApartmentTherapy
      
    COFFEED.COM

    Coffeed.com featured our espresso cups and cappuccino cups in response to a question about cups for the upcoming US Barista Championships on May 4-7 in Long Beach, California. We really appreciate the posts from Matt Milletto and Mark Prince, as well as comments from others. Matt is consulting director of Bellissimo Coffee Group, director of the American Barista and Coffee School, and founder of Vivabarista.com. Mark is the founder and editor of Coffeegeek.com and a retired barista championships judge (see our earlier post about Mark and Coffeegeek.com). Thanks everyone!

    Coffeed.com is an online community for espresso and coffee “professionals and fanatics”.

      
    Coffeed.com
    We have superimposed Matt Milletto’s post, which actually appears further down in the post, after the first post to show it on the same screen shot.
     
    POURQUALITY.COM

    We met Luca Costanzo through the Coffeegeek.com online community and sent him a couple of Terra Keramik cappuccino cups for “testing”. Luca is a barista at First Pour (espresso bar) at Veneziano Caffe (coffee roaster) in Melbourne, Australia (also the home of David Makin, the 2006 Australian Barista Champion). Luca blogged about our cappuccino cups at pourquality.com

     
    pourquality.gif