A New, Fortified Brim Coffee Makes A Comeback

An object lesson in brand relaunching from Brim's reviver, Mark Thomann, CEO of River West Brands.

Brim Coffee | Illustration by David Cowles

Step 1 // Buy a flexible brand
"The longer a brand is dead, the more flexibility you have to relaunch it in a new way. Brim had been off-market for 15 years before we acquired the rights from Kraft. In 2008, our research found 80% of people recalled its slogan, 'Fill it to the rim with Brim.' That's worth millions in marketing--but it means I can't use Brim to sell a product too far from coffee. Most consumers didn't remember that Brim was originally decaf-only, though, so that gave me some freedom."

Step 2 // Redefine its market
"Brand awareness is a rocket booster--immediate credibility and authenticity. Still, I know the world doesn't need another coffee brand. Brim must be innovative, either through technology or positioning, to be relevant again. Maybe it's turning Brim into a private label for a retailer. Maybe there's a niche market. That's the key: Marry awareness with innovation. Use something old to create something new. Otherwise, I'm not adding incremental value to the category, and I'll lose."

Step 3 // Nod to its past
"I partnered with an early-stage company that developed a technology to add flavors and/or nutraceuticals to coffee beans--almost like Vitaminwater for coffee. Now we're developing Brim as a line of coffees with health benefits, like antioxidants and energy. The tagline writes itself: 'Fill it to the rim with the new, healthier Brim!' It's not a guaranteed success, but many other beverage categories--juice, tea, water--do well with fortified health benefits. Why not coffee?"

Illustration by David Cowles

Next in Reboot Nation: Are These New Logos An Upgrade Or A Downgrade?

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3 Comments

  • clevelandkate

    Ha, just having morning coffee at work and randomly thought of the slogan "Fill it to the rim with Brim," and what a solid slogan it was. Googled it for kicks, was perusing some nostalgic brown-and-orange product shots, and came upon this article. interesting read!

  • Ruthann1941

    MY HUBBY AND I USED TO DRINK BRIM COFFEE ALL THE TIME.  THE OTHER DAY HE
    AGAIN ASKED WHAT HAPPENED TO IT.
    WE WOULD LOVE IT IF IT COULD COME BACK AGAIN.
    WE LIVE IN PONTIAC, MI.
    THANKS.

     

  • Ekiedaisch

    Brim was acid free as I recall. Which is why I purchased it and loved it's flavor. I've been looking for it & asking for it for several years. Yes, please bring it back & include Montana to distribute it in. I'll be watching for it - thanks :)