Increasing consumer awareness about coffee

Week 41

Our business objective is to increase coffee transparency and enlighten customers of coffee related matters. We are particularly concerned by sustainable coffee production. We believe a mobile application is a suitable medium for this purpose. It is a well-known fact that in rather mundane commodities, such as coffee, ecological matters (as opposed to price) are not of the most concern to consumers. However, this is a demand we strive to create with our application.

 

Currently, consumers are not well acquainted to anything related to coffee production- especially sustainable coffee production. In addition to this, a vast majority of coffee consumers have traditionally either very rarely been bothered with finer or more tasty coffees or then enjoyed enjoyed “better” coffees on certain circumstances or at certain avenues (funerals and cafes for instance). The majority of consumers have also very rarely been bothered with reviews of different coffees. However, a very short while ago this was the case with beer, and to some extent wines also, and yet applications such as Untappd and Vivino have found a rather large user base. This is exactly what we hope from our application; to monetarize existing demand for an application such as Untappd for coffee, and to create further demand for such an application.

 

Our value proposition is to provide a medium for consumers to attain unaffiliated information on more ecological and better coffee products. As mentioned previously, we believe an application is an excellent approach. The infographic and Android mockups below demonstrate key aspects of our application. An extensive database combined with user ratings and thorough information provided by roasteries on the origin of their products are expected to be qualities that attract consumers.  Furthermore, our Lean Canvas sheets are posted below.

 

Until the next week,

Team Coffee

 

Infographic of our application.
Infographic of our application.
Mockup of coffee information.
Mockup of coffee information.
Mockup of a main page.
Mockup of main page.
Mockup of a coffee profile.
Mockup of a coffee’s profile.
Mockup of search.
Mockup of search.
Mockup of trending coffees.
Mockup of trending coffees.

Lean Canvas.

Lean Canvas.

Lean Canvas.

Deciding what to do and why

Week 40

Our plan was to meet all six of us, face to face, to thoroughly discuss our final topic for the course. We booked a room for two hours and all of us had thought of the pros and cons for all the topics before the meeting. Thus, for this weeks meeting we had a clear agenda; we wanted to choose our topic from the six best ideas we had so far. The six ideas were

  1. A marketplace for sellers and buyers of responsibly produced coffee
  2. A certificate/review system for shedding more light on the origin, responsibility, sustainability, etc. of coffees
  3. A unified coffee package label which could for example tell more specifically about the origins of the coffee
  4. An informative website which would display general as well as more specific information about coffee such as farming conventions and methods, generated pollution and other ecological problems, child labor and slave labor in different areas etc.
  5. A mobile application with the following features:
    • User tasting experience (like in Untapped/Vivino) rated by users
    • Tracking factor to tell how well the origin of the coffee is known
    • Overall rating system for ethiticity

Execution: We carried out an opportunity tournament to choose the best topic for us. The tournament took two hours and was tough. Below you can see an outline of the tournament.

ROUND 1

During the first round we chose three of the most interesting topics for us. The week before we had already named three of our favourite topics. Still, we wanted to make sure that no one had second thoughts about these topics. It turned out that the three topics we had chosen to present last week were still the favourite topics of the group.

The three most interesting topics for us were:

  1. A marketplace for sellers and buyers of responsibly produced coffee
  2. A certificate/review system for shedding more light on the origin, responsibility, sustainability, etc. of specific coffees
  3. A coffee rating mobile application  

The choice was quite easy as we all agreed. After this the game got tougher.

ROUND 2

Next we dropped one topic out, based on how well we thought we could carry out the project the topic in question. We didn’t want to choose a topic that we liked, but that would later on turn out to be too difficult for us. Because of this we decided to drop out the certificate/review system. At this point three of us were in the favour of the app, and three were in the favour of the marketplace to be chosen as the topic.

ROUND 3

Then finally, after a long conversation, we discussed how well do the last two topics actually solve our original problem. At this point we noticed that we actually had to revise what problem we were solving. We also considered wether we would have to change or modify the original problem we were solving. Together we formulated our mission statement as “Making the steps of the lifecycle of coffee more transparent”. We noticed that option two, the app, solved the problem better.

We indeed did get quite clear results from this week! We now have chosen which problem (exactly) we will solve, as well as how we will solve it.

How did it go and what is next?

We were all very happy with the tournament. Everybody got the chance to present their opinions without hurrying. Surprisingly before the last round, the winner was not clear. During the last round many of us were changing our opinion about the best topic, since there were so good points made by others. We learned that it takes time to make a decision when there are six of us. In the future we will book enough time for the big decisions we need to make together.

We already named responsibility areas for all of us and booked the next meeting for the next week. Now that we know that our solution for the problem is a mobile application, we decided that for the next week we all will read more about already existing coffee related applications. We also got the writing of the project plan started and divide the workload.

All in all we are very happy this week, and most of all we had an excellent conversation when choosing the topic. We are excited to really get the project started!

This week we had two major things in our agenda:

  1. Meeting on Monday 25.09 with the whole team for trying to come up with solid and concrete ideas on how to proceed
  2. Meeting on Friday 29.09 for planning for the first presentation

Both of our meetings were quite fruitful. If not for any other reason, then only because we got to know each other a bit better! Also, we came up with multiple good solution ideas to our problem.

Before the meeting on Monday we studied on our own to have some general knowledge on the subject and to have at least something in mind. In the actual meeting we simply threw out ideas much like in the facilitation-lecture. Some of these came from already existing real-life applications like Untapped and Vivino. We had an interesting discussion and more ideas followed. Discussing about coffee is naturally easy for us since we are all coffee lovers and many of us also care about the ethics aspect of coffee! In the end we had a good list of ideas to continue working on.

Most notable ideas and revelations in no particular order are as follows. These are not necessarily direct solutions but ideas the final solution could possibly incorporate:

  1. A marketplace for sellers and buyers of responsibly produced coffee
  2. A sort of a certificate/rating system for shedding more light on the origin, responsibility, sustainability, etc. of specific coffees
  3. A unified coffee package label which could for example tell more specific info about the coffee. This could be easily implemented by a simple QR-code. Interested customers could simply scan the code and see the info via an app
  4. An informative website which would display general and more specific things about coffee such as conventions and methods, generated pollution and other ecological problems, child labor and slave labor in different areas etc.
  5. A sort of rating system for the following things. These could for example be incorporated in an app the users can download on their phone and where the coffee sellers can enlist their products in:
    • User tasting experience (like in Untapped/Vivino)
    • Tracking factor to tell how well the origin of the coffee is known
    • Overall rating system for ethiticity

horisontti

Obviously, none of these ideas are anything ground breaking or revolutionary. The technology for these ideas is already there, at least for the most part. It is certain that the demand for ecologic, organic and ethic products will be growing in the following years, so these kinds of solutions would help knowledgeable customers to find the kind of products they want.

At the end of the week we are ready with the preparations for the first presentation and everything seems great so far. Next week we will be facing a bit trickier challenges. The presentation itself should be a wrap, but the main task is to work on narrowing down our ideas to a single best one and coming up with a good project plan. As a team we definitely need to have a better understanding of the subject as a whole, so more immersion is needed. More specifically, we will need to thoroughly look into whatever idea we choose to continue with and familiarize ourselves with the related tech. That should keep us busy!

Until the next week,

Team Coffee.

First meeting

Our main issue is to add transparency into the life cycle of coffee. What makes up the price of coffee? How much money goes into farming, transportation and roasting? How can we ensure, that the farmer gets enough for their work? These questions and more are floating around in our minds. The concrete problem we face is that people don’t understand what parts make up the price of coffee, but rather often just buy the cheapest or rely on certificates without knowing where they come from.

The stakeholders (or people affected by this problem) go all the way from the coffee farmers and their communities, to transportation companies and their employers, to the coffee roasters and companies, to the end users who buy the coffee. So the stakeholders group is extremely broad and varied.

On the first lecture, we asked people whether they had ever bought Organic coffee. A surprisingly large amount had never bought organic coffee or didn’t even drink coffee! We thought that this might be because of lack of information about what is different in more expensive/certified coffees.

Straight from the get-go, everyone was really eager to start planning. The second assignment we did at the lecture revealed to us, that the best ways to inform people about the life cycle of is either certificates, direct trade or actual concrete information on packaging or through QR-codes. Overall we are psyched to start the course and begin our  exploration to the world of better coffee.

Team Coffee reporting for duty!