Timothy’s emphasizes the everyday in new brand identity

The Keurig coffee brand shifts from talking about how coffee is made to how it helps people get through their day.


Timothy’s is looking to brew up changes in the affordable coffee space with the unveiling of a new brand identity and campaign.

Parent company Keurig Canada has made limited investments in the Timothy’s brand over the last forty years, says Stéphane Renauld, the company’s director of brand marketing. The new positioning aims to differentiate the brand within the value coffee segment, which has been slow to evolve.

“We decided to go a little more away from the coffee credentials and much more on the emotional side of coffee,” he says.

Creative by Lg2 positions the brand as empowering coffee drinkers by giving them what it takes to meet everyday challenges. Timothy’s new “You can handle it” tagline is based on the insight that coffee is a habit, a necessity that helps people get through their day.

The campaign spot shows people tackling the struggles of everyday life while holding a cup of Timothy’s, from the woman whose to-do list “has chapters,” to the man whose life has been turned up-side-down by his kids and the office worker (literally) buried under a mountain of paperwork.

Timothy's2Launching April 29, the campaign includes ads on TV, digital, social and out-of-home. There will also be influencer and in-store activations, as well as a new web platform aimed at driving awareness and consideration.

Most of the media is being focused on the Ontario market, where the coffee brand originates, with Spark Foundry overseeing the spend. Contextualized  OOH executions reveal how Timothy’s can help commuters survive a traffic jam or give someone walking in high heels the boost needed to make it to their destination.

The positioning speaks to Timothy’s customers who see coffee as a functional beverage and are not necessarily as interested in how coffee is made and the subtle differences between blends, Renauld says.

“What they need is the functionality around a good coffee in the morning that can help them through their day and struggles.” This is especially true today, he says, when consumers are feeling increasingly time-starved.

In addition to the campaign, the brand has made changes to its packaging. Blue, which has long been Timothy’s corporate colour, takes on an even greater presence. The design aims to clarify the three elements that matter the most to the target coffee drinker: the brand, the roast and the blend. The simplified look and new “uncluttered logo” have been shown to deliver more impact at shelf, says Renauld. In one experiment, customers were able to identify the brand five to six seconds faster on grocery shelves than before.

Previously, the brand’s packaging focused on the idea of travel, emphasizing things like bean sourcing from other countries. But research revealed that the world of coffee was not well understood and “gave the customer no reason to believe and choose Timothy’s,” according to Renauld. Much like the campaign, the packaging moves away from “coffee credential colours” to something that is more functional and fun.

National Public Relations is managing PR for the campaign.