A Startup Sounds Off: Big Brands Have Lost the Love

The Millennial founder of Brooklyn Diamond Coffee talks big brand versus small brand love, startups’ success on social media, and more…

Small businesses have been winning over Millennials, and eating into big brands’ profits. Yesterday, we told you that top 10 branded food brands have lost 4% of their market share in the last five years to young, entrepreneurial companies. 

Black Diamond Coffee is one of those young companies, and one of the first to ignite the current cold-brew coffee trend. We talked to founder and Millennial entrepreneur Lottie Terzi about how small brands are standing out and starting trends, why big brands are losing love, how social media is leveling the playing field for startups, how she connects with her Millennial consumers, how social feedback should shape brands' futures, and what trends she sees coming next:

YPulse: Tell us about Brooklyn Diamond Coffee. How did you start this brand?

Lottie Terzi: I started the company in 2013 and it was really started as a necessity because I loved coffee—in particular cold brew coffee—and I couldn't find it anywhere in the city. Now cold brew is really hot, but at the time no one knew about it so I started making it myself. I started giving it out to my friends, my family, and everybody loved it. It was so much demand I didn’t know what to do. I was doing deliveries alone, I had just moved to NYC, I was in college, and I didn’t have a car so it was really very complicated. So I decided to open the store, and actually there was availability in the South Street Seaport that summer. Magnolia and Pinkberry [were there] and it was amazing—you see these established companies and they're next door to you, so it really gives you hope and makes you feel like you can do anything. At the end of that summer, I opened the first…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Most social media is an echo-chamber for immaturity.”—Male, 30, MD

Violent video games don’t cause violent behavior, according to “one of the most definitive [studies] to date.” At a time when several states are considering tacking on extra taxes to violent video games, the Oxford Internet Institute’s study found that playing content considered violent did not cause 14-15-year-olds in the U.K. to act more aggressively. The study’s co-author says that previous studies have been influenced by “researcher biases” that led to studies that gave “undue weight to the moral panic surrounding video games.” (GamesIndustry.biz)

A new rosé brand is winning over Millennials with its Instagrammable bottle. The Wonderful Company, known for brands like Fiji Water and Pistachios, brought a new wine brand to market just in time for Valentine’s Day—and it’s already outselling their other labels. JNSQ (an acronym for the French phrase “je ne sais quoi”) sells rosé and sauvignon blanc that come in glass containers designed to look like retro perfume bottles. Influencers and a national marketing campaign helped propel the brand. (Adweek)

Minecraft for mobile made more money than ever in 2018. According to Sensor Tower, the gaming sensation’s mobile version raked in $110 million last year, rising 7% from last year. In addition, 48% of that revenue came from the U.S., followed by just 6.6% from Great Britain. All eyes may be on Fortnite, but the Minecraft Effect still has a hold on young gamers, and Gen Z & Millennials still rank the game as one of their favorites. (Venture Beat)

Nostalgic Millennials can soon set sail on a Golden Girls-themed cruise. The experiential, adults-only cruise will include themed activities like a “One Night in St. Olaf Dance Party,” a game of Ugel and Flugel, and a costume contest for fans dressed up as the main characters. There will also be plenty of trivia, bingo, and cheesecake on this five-night experience aboard the Celebrity Infinity. This isn’t the only cruise ship catering to adults recently; Virgin’s first cruise ship is 18-and-up-only and even has a tattoo parlor on board. (People)

Daquan, the meme account with 12 million followers, is teaming up with All Def Media for a slate of original content. The premium videos will signal a departure from what Daquan is known for: gritty, homemade content that ranges like blurry SpongeBob SquarePants screenshots transformed into memes via clever captions. The new videos will debut across All Def Media and Daquan’s social channels, which include Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, IGTV, and YouTube. (Tubefilter)

Quote of the Day: “I think social media can bring light to issues that are of importance such as animal rescue and environmental awareness.”—Female, 22, MI
 

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