Peet's Coffee - Changing the ways China enjoys coffee


Peet’s Coffee

The goal of this project was to guide this iconic coffee brand to China market entry by promoting new rituals and behavior – home brewing.

The experience of enjoying a cup of coffee took China over by storm. That new phenomenon attracted all industry players to China – but Peet’s had a slightly different vision. Consumers in China are establishing their coffee routine, which means ordering one in a coffee shop.

Peet’s has sought to change this experience: promote home brewing and own the bean market. And they had a claim to fame – Starbucks, the most popular coffee chain in China, started off with Peet’s beans. There was only one problem – Chinese consumers do not make their coffee, lack equipment and know-how.


Peet’s Coffee was seeking support for their market entry and to develop a campaign for Alibaba ecosystem. The goal was to engage with Chinese coffee drinkers and get them excited to consider home brewing.

We knew that Chinese consumers are very social media-driven. A beautiful cup of coffee is an opportunity to create content, show off and impress. Moreover, Chinese coffee drinkers do prefer complex, milk and latte art heavy concussions that are not easy to make at home.


We wanted to appeal to increasingly individualist and social media savvy Chinese coffee consumers. Our idea was simple: Everyone can order a coffee and snap a pic of it. It’s not new. It says nothing about you, neither is it something that can impress others these days…. Impress yourself more than others – learn home brewing pretty easy!’

With that message, we decided to transform Peet’s e-commerce flagship store into an engagement and education platform in collaboration with Taobao and Tmall.


We hijack all search queries for ‘coffee’ on Taobao/Tmall e-commerce platforms. Customers are then led to Peet’s engagement platform – ‘Brewniversity’. There can they learn about bean origins, differences in roasts, taste notes, brewing tools and methods. 

The Brewniversity features live streams, coffee trivia and gamified brewing courses, turning coffee lovers into amateur baristas. We incentivised to spending time in the Brewniversity, creating one’s virtual coffee shop with unique logo design and even customized mugs that can be purchased directly. Customers who reach certain levels receive framed certificates for their home or a coffee shop if they might want to open one day.

Every customer engagement in Brewniversity is rewarded with coupons and trial coffee brewing sets. In return Peet’s collects valuable CRM data about customers tastes and preferences, allowing them to better serve them and gain market understanding at large.

This launching campaign and the engaging platform not only work to engage Taobao shoppers but supports the entire customer journey. 

Customers get engaged in games, live streams, and personalization. At each stage, we incentivize sharing so that the word of Peet’s Brewniversity spreads across the ecosystem and other media channels. 

This multi-channel strategy succeeds by combining engagement with education, giving customers a sense of achievement and ownership – something to impress yourself and others.