Earn free Blanchard’s coffee just by tidying a store shelf

The local coffee roaster has come up with a clever way to keep their shelves in area stores shipshape.

Blanchard's Coffee shelf

Blanchard’s Coffee Co. is rewarding customers who tidy its shelves in area grocery stores with free coffee as part of a creative way to build customer ownership of the brand while sprucing up retail display shelves.

“We have all those retail stores that sell our coffee,” said Stephen Robertson of Blanchard’s Coffee Co.–stores like Kroger, Martin’s, Ellwood Thompson’s, Whole Foods, and more. Robertson said inevitably those shelves end up looking like “wild badgers” got into them.

Blanchard’s Coffee Co., like other wholesalers, have little-to-no control of how their product looks after it lands on retail shelves. So about a month ago, the Blanchard’s team began discussing ways to remedy the Wild Badger Effect.

What they came up with: while in their usual grocery store, Blanchard’s customers go to the coffee brand’s designated shelf and confirm it’s tidy. If it isn’t, customers simply neaten the shelf. Those customers can then go on Twitter or Facebook and share a photo of the tidied shelf with Blanchard’s, or email the coffee company to let them know what store they visited and when.

In turn, Robertson keeps a list of those that help maintain store shelves. Every three weeks or so, Blanchard’s sends those “ambassadors” a thank you reward. The last one, sent a week ago, included a bag of direct-trade coffee.1

Robertson said the new program not only helps Blanchard’s build an army of shelf stewards, it also creates a deeper connection between the customer and the brand. “It builds a little bit of ownership in something they were enjoying already,” he said. “It gives them a little bit of pride and incentive.”

It also gives Blanchard’s another way to reward a customer base the company is proud of. “Our customers are awesome,” Robertson said. “We have the greatest network of really cool people.”

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  1. Also included was a free tube of Arm & Hammer toothpaste. Robertson said that Arm & Hammer reached out to Blanchard’s asking them to help disseminate teeth-whitening toothpaste. 

photo courtesy of Blanchard’s Facebook page

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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

12 comments on Earn free Blanchard’s coffee just by tidying a store shelf

  1. downtown-watch on said:

    Unpaid labor at its finest. Please Blanchard’s, if I mop the floor in your store can I ‘ave a cupa joe?

  2. Well, technically it isn’t unpaid labor – it is barter incentive labor. We mop our own floors but you (and anyone) can come by the Roast Lab anytime you like, we’ve always got coffee brewing and we’re happy to share it with visitors!

  3. downtown-watch on said:

    Blanchard’s Coffee- “We mop our own floors, but don’t arrange our own coffee.”

  4. Susan on said:

    @downtown-watch – Save your protests for actual unpaid labor issues and quit hassling local brands. It doesn’t become you.

  5. Ron B. on said:

    As one of their brand ambassadors, I can say that a free bag of coffee or other swag from a local company that I love is worth the whopping 15 seconds the “unpaid labor” requires (18 seconds if I have to unlock my phone to send the tweet).

  6. Just an FYI, We’ve got a new round of coffee rewards going out to our Coffee Ambassadors today!

  7. downtown-watch on said:

    Blanchard’s Coffee: “We’re local, so we’re exempt from the rules.”
    Coffee Ambassadors: “We’re willing servants to the coffee god.”

  8. Toni rivera on said:

    I love being a coffee ambassador for Blanchards! I love the product AND love supporting local businesses!

  9. Neight on said:

    @Blanchard’s how do I sign up to be an ambassador?!

  10. downtown-watch on said:

    “Please! I’m soooo thirsty!”

  11. Mark B on said:

    Blanchard’s is terrific coffee, so happy when they got in more area grocery stores. And downtown-watch needs to get a life. Don’t buy the coffee, don’t straighten the shelves, just get a life that doesn’t involve passing judgement. “Exempt from the rules”?! Please.

  12. If you’re interested in being a Coffee Ambassador, you can visit our website and shoot us an email. We’ll get you rolling. Thanks!

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