Cafédirect is a 100% Fairtrade coffee, tea and cocoa brand based in London. It was the first of its kind back in 1991, and has been changing lives, influencing large corporations and inspiring customers and other stakeholders ever since.

The core problem facing Cafédirect at the time was how to connect with a broad range of target audiences and stakeholders online, as well as how to demonstrate the heart, soul and integrity of the brand in a compelling manner. I was hired to help solve this problem and take Cafédirect’s digital presence to the next level.

Over a period of 18 months, working in house, I delved deep into Cafédirect’s values, mission and ethics and worked on a range of digital campaigns with Host Universal that were aligned with the corporate strategy. I met and discussed concepts with growers from around the world, with the aim of humanising the coffee industry and communicating Cafédirect’s core values. I had the pleasure of meeting Julio Reyes Alvarado. Julio is a skilled cupper from Mexico. The reason for building the website was to celebrate the work that Julio and the hundreds of thousands of growers do by producing great coffee, tea and cocoa for Cafédirect.

I managed the development of the website, from initial website planning with personas, sitemaps, wireframes and user journeys, through to writing website briefs for a range of agencies. During the early stages of website planning, I hired Host Universal, Wheel (now part of DigitasLBi), and EHS Brann, now part of Havas Worldwide, to support the development of the strategy for both the website and the customer relationship management (CRM) database. Following extensive research and website planning, I briefed a selection of agencies. After a three-way pitch, I hired Lightmaker to create the new website. The work that Lightmaker undertook transformed the Cafédirect brand online. The new website was widely regarded as being the best in its class, setting a new standard in the industry. In addition to the work of developing the brand online, I managed the CRM database. Working with various departments across the business, the database grew from 14,000 people to more than 98,000 within 12 months.

Following the launch of the new website and a number of creative campaigns with Host Universal, turnover increased from £21.6 million in 2006 to a high of £24.3 million in 2010. The new CRM database went live in late 2006, and the website was launched in early 2007.

What they say?
“Stuart has a sense of drive, commitment and purpose which is very rare.

Add to these his creativity, his flair and his interpersonal sensitivity and you have a powerful combination which can drive step-change improvements in digital strategy and impact.

His work on updating Cafédirect’s website (together with Lightmaker) was quite simply sensational and rocketed the company’s web profile and presence from so-so to best-in-class.”

Clive Gardiner, Managing Director

‘It’s a rare pleasure to work with web consultants who believe that technology should never dictate to people and who really do understand the awesome power of a creative concept in digital media.’

Robin Smith, Communications Director

Your next step…
If you’d like to talk about how I can help your business take that next leap forward, please get in touch.