Peet’s Delights.

Paula Thomas, Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes


Two fascinating insights emerged when researching today’s article which was prompted by last week’s impressive IPO by Peet’s Coffee in an otherwise challenging year so far for the retail industry, convenience stores and food service operators.

Firstly, while the CEO of Starbucks Howard Schultz was famously inspired thirty years ago by a visit to Italy where he loved the “theater, romance, art and magic of experiencing espresso”, it was seemingly a dutch man named Alfred Peet who was running the popular Peet’s Coffee Shops in nearby San Francisco who actually became the company’s mentor, and provided the practical guidance and operational expertise that Starbucks needed to get started. 

Many years after this helpful collaboration, Peet’s might just be setting its sights on becoming Starbuck’s biggest potential competitor globally, having astounded the markets last week by raising $2.5 billion in a market launch with just ten days notice given of its intention to list its stock on the market. And ironically, the firm is now trading on the market in Amsterdam, the capital city of its founder’s home country. 

Despite the global pandemic that has done plenty of damage to the retail trade worldwide in this first half of 2020, Peet’s enjoys a balanced product portfolio that includes packaged coffee bean products sold in over 14,000 US stores – a strategy that has driven investors to believe “that coffee is recession-proof”. Undoubtedly it’s an increasingly ambitious company in a high-margin market, so with the firm now valued at almost $17 billion, our curiosity was piqued, and today we’re discussing exactly what the company is doing particularly from a digital/loyalty marketing perspective to enjoy such confidence and devotion from customers and investors alike.

The original Peet’s store has been operating since 1966 in Berkeley, California. 

Peet’s Rewards

Peet’s earned a devoted following when it introduced the concept of gourmet coffee to US consumers, immortalising Alfred Peet’s as the “guru” responsible for the “big bang” that literally transformed the industry. The store’s devotees became known as “Peetniks” and now years later, his rewards program enjoys the same extended brand devotion. 

Peetnik’s Rewards 

Peetnik’s Rewards is a digital loyalty program that rewards customers for their visits to stores as follows:

  1. Each visit earns one point, however the firm has been careful to specify that members may not split a visit into multiple transactions for the purpose of accumulating additional rewards (an issue other programs experienced with this concept).
  2. Rewards are tripled to three points per visit if the customer buys at least one pound of coffee beans.
  3. Membership is conditional upon accepting email and push notifications from the program at all times. 
  4. Members must quote their phone number at time of purchase – or check in on their Peet’s app to identify themselves and qualify for points. “Order-ahead” purchases made on the mobile app automatically earn points per visit. 
  5. Somewhat surprisingly, Peetnik Rewards are currently only awarded for Peet’s Coffee coffeebars, and points cannot be earned for purchases made on 
  6. When fifteen points have been accrued in the member’s account, these are automatically converted into a member reward.
  7. After registering for the program and completing a first purchase with check-in, Peet’s rewards the member with a “welcome reward” valid for one complimentary drink to be claimed within fourteen days.
  8. A similar reward is given for each subsequent birthday after joining (we were amused to note that previous birthday are explicitly excluded).
  9. All rewards whether earned for visits or for milestones are valid for thirty days. 

Peetnik Rewards boasts scores of 4.9 from over 62,000 reviews on the app store 

Subscription Service

While not a feature (yet) within their loyalty program, Peet’s does sell its coffee beans to customers on a subscription basis online. Customers can choose from its small batch, single origin or signature blend series, and the brand uses a fun, gamified quiz to help customers find their favourite flavour and format. New subscribers enjoy 30% off their first order. 

Subscription packages range from one pound to three pounds of beans and are also available in gift format. 

Peet’s Coffee Quiz to find your perfect beans. 

Refer a Friend 

We’re also impressed by Peet’s generous offer as shown below – refer a friend with a generous $10 reward for each party.

In closing, Alfred Peet left an extra-ordinary legacy and will be forever known as the man “who taught the world to drink coffee“. With recent research conducted again in 2019 to understand the needs of American consumers, there is clearly an ongoing commitment to continuing to evolve the legacy of this iconic brand, highlighting for the industry the importance of ethical sourcing beans, as well as maintaining the highest environmental and sustainability standards.

With this ongoing commitment to delighting customers, let’s hope Peet’s Coffee continues to enjoy plenty of the success that their founder ironically helped their competitors Starbucks to achieve many years ago.

About Us:

Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty and digital marketing technology company specialising in the convenience store and foodservice industries. Our proprietary cloud-based technology platform allow retailers to create and manage their digital marketing campaigns with a proprietary process we call the “customer connection cycle’ to engage, promote and reward customers activities in real-time across digital and media channels.

How we do it:

We have developed the most advanced loyalty and digital marketing technology platform specifically for convenience store and foodservice retailers globally.

Retailers use our self-service dashboard to create and manage loyalty driven marketing campaigns that increase purchases with their existing customers, as well as effectively target and acquire new customers through partners or paid media channels.

One core component of live loyalty is gamification. We have gamified branding, loyalty and promotions. We believe this approach is essential in order to get customers’ attention and ultimately truly engage them with repeatable actions thereby winning their loyalty.

Check out some of our exciting/proven results here:

About Me:

Paula Thomas

Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes and Independent Loyalty Consultant

With over twenty-five years marketing experience, I specialise in loyalty marketing consulting, managing consumer loyalty propositions, strategy and operations. In addition to working with Liquid Barcodes, my clients have included Telefonica O2, Three Mobile, Electric Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and The Entertainer, as well as Avios – the global points currency for some of the world’s top airlines. I am also a former judge for the Loyalty Magazine Awards. 



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