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November 17 , 2009

Case study: Engine Digital and Swiss Water Coffee Co.
Digital in the driver's seat for new campaign

While it is often thought that a rebrand or shift in focus for a company should start at the traditional roots of marketing and communications, Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Co. turned to Vancouver’s Engine Digital to drive the process using only online and digital techniques. The following case study serves as an example of ‘traditional’ being turned on its head and the power of digital marketing in effectively implementing brand evolution and change. 


Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Co. provides water-based coffee decaf process to grocery, private label and retail brands across North America. The majority of decaf available for purchase today is decaffeinated through a chemical process that most consumers are not aware of. The Swiss Water process offers a unique and natural option.

In 2009, Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Co. looked to transform the brand from a business to business provider into a consumer-facing brand that would entice a target demographic of primarily women, to change their family’s buying habits. To activate consumer demand for its process, Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Co. partnered with creative digital agency, Engine Digital to help evolve the brand tone and design.

The Problem:

Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Co. had been branding and marketing using only simple POS placed in cafes as well as a few radio spots running that were scientific in focus. To activate consumer demand for its natural decaffeination process, Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Co. and Engine Digital needed to address 3 distinct marketing challenges:

  • Evolve the brand tone and design to make it consumer friendly, specifically for women, ages 35-54
  • Educate and acquaint consumers on the Swiss Water Process™
  • Avoid the perception that their communication strategy would degrade demand for the decaffeinated coffee category in general.

The Solution:

Engine Digital recommended that Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Co. avoid a campaign focused on scientific information regarding decaffeination and instead suggested a lifestyle and inspiration based campaign that would position Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Co. as a part of a healthy lifestyle. The campaign was designed to prompt consumers to ask for Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Co., create a demand and foster brand loyalty.

The Process:

Engine Digital developed a strategy that hinged on the “decaf lifestyle”. This approach ties consumption of coffee decaffeinated with the Swiss Water Process™ to a healthy lifestyle and was specifically targeted to the female demographic.

The re-brand began with an online banner ad campaign that was so successful that it resulted in the re-design of the entire Swiss Water corporate website. Additionally a microsite was built out to reflect the new consumer focused look and feel to the brand. Following the website design, social media integration was executed on Twitter and a Swiss Water wellness blog was launched.

By leaning on a combination of video, flash demos, rich photography and controversial copy, the content produced by Engine Digital was less scientific and more user-friendly. The content served to demystify the process and clarifies why the Swiss Water Process™ is a better option for those desiring a healthy lifestyle.

The Results:

The re-brand was so successful that Swiss Water has now completely shifted over as a business-to-consumer company. The concepts behind the Engine Digital campaign have been incorporated into Swiss Water’s internal marketing and communications. Engine Digital is now helping Swiss Water roll out similar campaigns in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the USA. Additionally, Swiss Water is now moving towards brand alignment with other healthy lifestyle brands. 

Website – Post Launch
Hard Metrics

  • Visits up since 18.5% in Canada
  • Visitor Loyalty has improved by between 4% and 15% (Page depth, recency, time on site) - this are measures of the increased interest in SWDCC and its content

Soft Metrics

  • Suppliers are enthusiastic about the site. There is a perceived improvement in the amount of support Swiss Water is providing to its supplier network
  • The site is now a repository for campaign creative. Campaign assets can be rolled into the web architecture to improve the sites feature set and usability.
Contact Us
For rates, opportunities, media partnerships, or to other information please contact our media sales department.

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Mark Henry
Sales Manager, x 224

Peter O'Desse
Senior Account Manager, x 223

Steve Lloyd, Publisher, x 225

Amy Bostock, Editor,
x 221