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Dutch Bros CMO Tana Davila has to make sure to balance the consumer perception of Dutch Bros as a cool brand while making sure to increase general recognition of the brand.

Dutch Bros’ Tana Davila makes branding magic for the ‘cool kid’ of coffee

The restaurant’s CMO balances consumer perception with general recognition

After being named one of America’s Favorite Chains according to 2024 data from NRN partner, Technomic, Dutch Bros just might be in the perfect sweet spot to win the cool factor vote. While the company keeps growing at a fast clip — Dutch Bros grew sales by more than 24% in 2023, according to Technomic — one of the biggest opportunities for the brand is still brand awareness. Dutch Bros CMO Tana Davila has to make sure to balance the consumer perception of Dutch Bros as a cool brand while making sure to increase general recognition of the brand.

Davila joined the Grants Pass, Ore.-based coffee chain nine months ago from P.F. Chang’s, where she spent eight years, most recently as chief marketing officer. After joining Dutch Bros, she quickly latched onto the more youthful culture of the brand that goes beyond just a love of coffee and energy drinks.

“I think part of my job is to make sure we are empowering our broista to deliver the brand,” Davila said. “My job is to drive traffic to our shops. We are doing that at a macro level, and then making sure the team at the shop level is doing that, so that when you come, you’re going to have a great experience and you’re going to come back.”

Davila described the Dutch Bros brand and broista culture as very “come as you are” with an aura of positivity that’s backed by the company’s dedication to giving back to communities and coming up with heartwarming promotions. For example, on Black Friday last year, the company put together a shoe charm giveaway, and this year for Valentine’s Day customers could get a friendship bracelet if they bought two drinks.

“These events just perform extremely well — people are lined up before the shop opens to get these pieces of Dutch Bros swag,” Davila said. “There are many different ways for the brand to extend itself and really be more of a lifestyle brand than just a beverage company.”

The Dutch Bros brand has become well-known for its unique product innovation. The company recently launched protein coffee, which has been very well-received. The “Poppin’ Boba” drinks are another example of a well-received and on-trend menu expansion. Davila said that as CMO, it’s crucial for her to be able to “continue to deliver news” so there’s always something new for fans to try.

Influencers, of course, have the biggest reach within the Dutch Bros fanbase, and Davila said that partnerships with micro-influencers have become more important for the Dutch Bros marketing strategy. One of Davila’s favorite examples most recently is the company’s partnership with Dance Moms star GiaNina Paolantonio.

“She had posted a TikTok of her and Charli D’Amelio, who were in Target with Dutch Bros drinks — and Charli reps Dunkin’! — and then we approached her about it,” Davila said. “She has since done some content for us, and it's performed very well. It’s a good example of the type of approach that for us feels very genuine and authentic. That’s what we want to encourage.”

Contact Joanna at [email protected]

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