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:  Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.”—Kate McManus, VP of Marketing, Delicato Family Wines (Wine Spectator)

Young consumers are “killing the shopping spree.” Whether they’re signing up for the growing number of clothing subscription services (Rent the Runway, Le Tote, Urban Outfitters, etc.), shopping second-hand, or just culling their closets—young shoppers are quitting fast fashion in droves. Some are inspired by Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking brand of minimalism, while others want to help the environment—and still others are just seeking a wide range of things to wear at a lower price. (Vice)

Airbnb is launching “adventures” for experience-seeking young travelers. The site that started with accommodations and moved into one-off “experiences” (like dinner parties) now offers multi-day excursions, complete with guides, gear, meals, and accommodations. The platform already features over 200 trips in 40 countries, including a tiger-tracking expedition in Kenya and a trek through the canyons of Oman. (Fast Company)

Tyson Foods is taking on the fake meat market with plant-based nuggets. The pea protein nuggets are the first in a line of “Raised & Rooted” products from Tyson Foods. The brand's CEO explains they’re catering to the “growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein”—aka young flexitarians, not full-time vegans. But can a company known for its meat sell the idea that “this [trend] is about ‘and’—not ‘or’”? (The Verge)

Snapchatters can shop Levi’s new Pride Month jacket via selfie filter. The Shoppable feature is first enabled by scanning a QR code found at select stores or by getting a special Snapcode from a friend. Then, users can try on the special-edition trucker jacket via augmented reality, customizing it with one of two washes and a selection of six pins and patches. Once they complete the look, users can purchase the Pride Month Jacket—without ever leaving the app. (SJ)

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition revamps the original. The new smart speakertakes many cues from the adult version’s second generation (it’s louder and rounder) but adds special features just for kids that go beyond a rainbow-striped color scheme. The device will come with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service that includes popular Alexa skills like Pinkfong’s Baby Shark Adventures, as well as an enhanced parental control suite to address growing privacy concerns. (VarietyCNET)

Quote of the Day: “Young people still have an incredible interest in the Olympic Games…But the way they are consuming the Olympic Games—the type of content they are watching and the ways and the platforms on which they are watching—are fundamentally changing.”—Kit McConnell, Sports Director, International Olympic Committee (Bloomberg)

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