Mobile data shows just how regional coffee brands really are

We know coffee enthusiasts are typically loyal to specific brands, but what can mobile data reveal about these brands’ marketing reach? Our analysis of three coffee retailers, Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and Caribou Coffee, shows that while some brands appeal to certain age groups or gender, coffee customers may be engaging with brands that speak to their regional preferences.

First let’s look at demographics.  

Although all 3 brands skew female overall, Coffee Bean has the closest gender balance while Caribou indexes most heavily female. If you look at Caribou’s marketing programs you see evidence of this skew – for over 20 years, the sales from their seasonal blends have gone toward charitable groups that benefit women and girls.

Although all 3 brands tend to cater to older customers who can afford a $4 cup of coffee, Starbucks rises to the top in youth marketing with the largest percentage of customers under 25 years old:Starbucks’ success with younger customers might be a result of its robust social media campaigns, particularly on Instagram, as well as its famously large menu of items.

Now let’s see what app ownership can tell us.

When we look at how each of these coffee brands index for other brands, we notice that Starbucks most indexes for national brands, while Coffee Bean and Caribou Coffee most index for regional and local brands, respectively:

These stats may indicate that coffee drinkers who frequent regional coffee brands also prefer other regional brands.

Marketers can leverage mobile insights like these to identify unique audiences for targeting and conquest competitors by understanding what brands their customers are doing business with.

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