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Featured in Brand Matters this month:

Why brands need to be more authentic in 2021! 
Our newest member of the Grey Coffee team Charlie shares her experience joining Grey Coffee during a global pandemic. We also take a look at what is happening over on our Instagram account, our favourite book this month and more news from Grey Coffee.

This is a new format for us so please feel free to feedback with any thoughts or suggestions  you may have.

Why Brands Need To Be More Authentic In 2021

For many the global pandemic has changed the way we do business. One of the biggest shifts we have seen in 2020 is this idea that brands need to be more authentic. It’s no longer good enough to simply deliver a great product or service; the reality is your audience is looking for something much deeper than that.

Not only must you provide great value, your audience is looking to make purchasing decisions from brands and businesses that they share similar values with. During the height of the pandemic we saw two types of brands. Quite simply there were the ones ‘that cared’ and on the other side of the spectrum there were the ones ‘that didn’t’.

Companies like BrewDog shifted to a digital focussed e-commerce strategy to support the sales of their beer. They saved as many jobs as possible for their hospitality workforce and repurposed them elsewhere in the business. On top of that they started producing hand sanitiser in mass, completely free of charge and supplied as many hospitals as possible across the UK. In recent months they have offered up empty BrewDog pubs and bars to be used as vaccination centres and also gone through a sustainable transformation which has been widely marketed.

BrewDog Ad Campaign Visual

On the other side of the coin you had the likes of Tim Martin the boss of Wetherspoons advising his staff in a YouTube video that they should consider finding new jobs. It was unclear whether his 40,000 strong workforce were paid. One thing is for sure the amount of backlash on social media would have cost their brand and reputation an awful lot of money. During the lockdown we saw posts from people that even though they were so desperate for the pubs to re-open they would never step foot in a Wetherspoons again. This kind of damage is always going to take time to bounce back from.

The two brands mentioned provide a good example of how your brand values can and will impact your brand on a much deeper level. Whilst it’s good to recognise it in much bigger organisations we need to be able to translate these values to businesses that are much more relatable.

Your brand values should be built around your values as a company and to simply use buzz words suggesting you are ‘innovative’, ‘passionate’ or ‘trustworthy’ is not enough of a statement. Your values need to be underpinned by a compelling vision and culture that you build and drive from the heart of your company. Not only this it needs to be backed up with meaningful action. 

For brands to be successful in 2021 you must deliver great value to your customers, that inspires them to want to be part of your story. The covid pandemic means that everything you do and say as a brand is currently magnified. Brands that act with authentic actions and consistent communication will be rewarded with a great deal of loyalty from their customers.

| Latest news and insights from the Grey Coffee blog

Grey Coffee Team Member Charlie
Joining Grey Coffee During a Global Pandemic

As the newest member of Grey Coffee embracing a Design Intern role I wanted to share an insight into me, my creative experiences so far and let you in on the truths about starting my first graduate role (remotely) in the middle of a global pandemic.

Read the full post here

Grey Coffee - Instagram Image Post


If you are not following Grey Coffee on Instagram each week we break down branding topics which are widely confused and sometimes misleading. We make sure they are relatable, easy to understand and provide valuable insight and actions as to how you can adopt brand strategy for greater success in 2021.

Grey Coffee Mobile Website Visual

New Website Launch

In 2020 we took the opportunity to review our Brand positioning and re-launch the Grey Coffee website. Our new website has been updated with many of our recent projects, we create helpful design resources which you can download directly from the website and we intend on developing this further throughout 2021. 

Grey Coffee - New Co-Working Space - The Hub Stamford

New Studio Space

One of the biggest changes for Grey Coffee in 2020 is that we closed our Kelham Hall studio and followed Government instruction to work remotely. We have many fond memories of Kelham. It was a great home for many years but we have had to adapt accordingly. Whilst currently we are still working remotely as things start to become more normal we are looking forward to working a few days a week at a co-location work space in Stamford.

Book Cover - This Is Marketing - Seth Godin

Our Top Reads

We read a wide variety of books from entrepreneurship, brand strategy and other areas of interest. We intend on sharing with you our pick of the month. For January we have chosen This is Marketing – You can’t be seen until you learn to see by Seth Godin. We enjoyed this book because it provides a good perspective on marketing in today’s world. It explores how the values and desires of our audience needs to be considered to run successful marketing campaigns.

What we do 

At Grey Coffee we build brands and design commercial interior spaces.

We really believe that the customer should be at the heart of every brand experience. We design customer touch points that are highly aligned to your brand DNA and tell your story. We design brands, commercial interior spaces and online touch points that transform new customers into returning customers and really do impact business growth.

Our design expertise spans across hospitality, leisure and retail sectors.

Soul Deli: Cafe Interior Visual

Are you part of the great independent coffee shop revolution?
We can help you with brand design and also tell your brand story through the coffee shop interior design! We have experience working with start-up business through to established multi-site operators.

Bar Interior Design: Visuals from Grey Coffee Project Bolatti's

Looking to create a particular vibe or interior concept for a new bar?
Take a look at the Speakeasy bar we designed. We can help you design a compelling brand Identity and also support you with the bar interior design.

Forest Holidays - Interior Transformation - Delamere Forest Project Visual 1 - Grey Coffee

Ready to hit the market with a new leisure retreat or fitness concept?
We have experience working with Forest Holidays and luxury gym concepts like Fitism.
Our Commercial Interior Design services can provide you a full end to end service from concept start to fit-out and handover.

Interior Concept - Pistachio - Project Visual Bar & Restaurant - Grey Coffee

Is your restaurant talk of the town?
We can help you with your restaurant branding and restaurant interior design. We design restaurant interiors that are true to your brand story.

Talk to us
| We’d love to hear from you

All good relationships can start over a cup of coffee.

If you’re ready to explore the grey area between your business and customer let’s start with coffee, have an initial discussion and then we can start to bridge the gap between design and business.

Contact Us – We’d love to speak with you.

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