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: “I think we’re already seeing alcohol lose its health halo. Next, the assumption that alcohol is essential to a good, sophisticated life will fade.”—Joy Manning, Deputy Editor, Edible Communities (Medium)

“The doofus dad” TV stereotype is being remade for role-resisting Millennial parents. Inept at care-taking and almost everything else, the tired stereotype is saying its last “D’Oh!” as The Simpson’s Homer Simpson and Peppa Pig’s Daddy Pig get replaced with a new wave of capable fathers like Bluey’s Bandit. The switch could have a real impact on the way kids understand family life, with one research fellow explaining, “The media reflects reality and also constructs reality.” (SMH)

Apple's new subscription gaming service Arcade will cannibalize its own App Store downloads—and that’s a good thing. Downloads in the App Store are on the decline, despite mobile gaming maintaining popularity and raking in revenue. If Apple can turn Arcade into young gamers’ go-to for mobile play, they’ll be poised for success that could outstrip even Apple TV and Apple Music. (The Motley Fool)

Gen Z music artists are “post-genre.” Mixing several influences into one song has become a way for rising artists to set themselves apart, and thanks to self-upload services like SoundCloud, they don’t need music industry exec’s approval. Meanwhile, the Genreless Generation can curate blended playlists via Spotify to fit moods and occasions rather than “rock” or “pop” and are streaming has also globalized their content consumption, so U.S. genres are no longer a limit. (Vice)

Carl’s Jr. has a CBD-infused burger that costs exactly $4.20. The chain restaurant is giving fast food a Cannabis Infusion, but only at one Denver, Colorado location, and only for one day. The Rocky Mountain High Cheese Burger Delight packs 5 mg of the chemical that won’t get you high. CBD is the trendy ingredient du jour, with 57% of 18-36-year-olds telling us they’re interested in trying it, and the chemical has made its way into everything from lotion to La Croix-like beverages. (LAT)

Axe is challenging masculinity with “bathsculinity.” The brand has been blurring gender lines for the Genreless Generation for years now, and their latest series of YouTube spots is showing that men can take baths, too. They’ve enlisted comedian Lil Rel Howery, who takes bubble baths surrounded by candles in the humorous videos. And they couldn’t be more on-trend: bath time is seeing a surge as a salve for Millennial anxiety. (Marketing Dive)

Quote of the Day: “I think for a cohesive strategy and for really helping to build awareness as well as grow the market size for new things, there's definitely digital and social media. But also, there has to be this in-real-life element.”—Alicia Yoon, Founder, Peach & Lily (YPulse)

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