Jimmy Cregan spent a year travelling in Australia where he fell in love with iced coffee. Upon his arrival home, he was frustrated that all the iced coffees available were very sickly and sweet. So in 2011, he took it upon himself to rectify this and launched Jimmy's Iced Coffee.
Since launching in Selfridges four years ago, Jimmy’s Iced Coffee is now widely stocked in Waitrose, Ocado, Tesco, Budgens and a number of speciality stores and cafes across the UK. In 2014 the company generated £1.2m in revenue. And he aims to be in every fridge, in the travel and convenience sector, across the globe.
Jimmy’s Iced Coffee challenged the taste profiles of UK iced coffee drinkers who were, to date, happy with sickly sweet iced coffees, and gave them the opportunity to try how Jimmy’s concept of proper iced coffee should taste.
Steely determination played a part. Before launching Jimmy barged straight into a buyer’s meeting at Whole Foods in an attempt to get them to stock his coffee…they were a little overwhelmed but they did stock his products eventually.
Like with Hello and Method, Jimmy’s Iced Coffee utilises a ‘real and human’ approach that makes the brand fun and personable.
The brand achieved quick recognition as a result of Jimmy exerting his strong and infectious personality from the start. Visibly in the choice of name but also he defined the brand with his choice of pack design and the creation of a viral music video "Keep your chin up", which Channel 4 eventually turned into a television commercial. He wants to become the "P.I.M.P of FMCG".
It’s Jimmy’s Iced Coffee’s authenticity coupled with great storytelling that attracts and engages the millennial generation. His storytelling is not product centric either – it’s informality and choice of language used is Jimmy’s own style, and this essence of Jimmy permeates the whole customer experience.
The brand was born into social media, as they didn’t have the budget for the traditional communication channels. Cregan says ”Social media has basically given everyone, whether it’s a brand or a person, a microphone, and they wouldn’t be where they are today without it.” He's a big fan, but he’s also very picky about what they post and the channels they use, no waffle allowed and they don’t like Snapchat or Vine, as they are “too much”.
Jimmy’s anti-mainstream marketing activities are a testament to the brand’s success. It has allowed them to break into the market and gain traction quickly.
At the end of 2015, Jimmy’s Iced Coffee began exporting to Hong Kong and they hope to launch in more markets in 2016. And a major drinks company has approached them with a takeover offer, so we will wait to see how that unfolds this year.
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Suzie is a semi-regular contributor to The Challenger Project and manages all of the eatbigfish social channels. She drinks gin in equal measure with her tonic and has a brother, father and grandfather all named John.