The folks at Chameleon Cold-Brew are creating a cold-brew revolution! Based out of Austin, Texas, Chameleon is committed to sustainable sourcing, inventive air-roasting and brewing techniques. Chameleon is committed to bringing the best consciously-crafted cold-brew coffee to the masses, while simultaneously building a program to give back to their farmers that they work with. Enter Rachel Kusin — she is the Marketing Manager and mastermind behind all things social and marketing for Chameleon Cold-Brew. As coffee fanatics, we were more than excited to sit down with Rachel over some delicious cold-brew and chatted about working with her amazing team, finding inspiration for new content, collaborating with other companies, and the importance of knowing your brand’s voice. Read on to find out more about this consciously-crafted coffee brand.
Hi Rachel! How did you get started at Chameleon Cold-Brew and how is Chameleon different from other coffee brands?
My passion for food and beverage started with my first job where I worked on the marketing team for a fast-food chain. I enjoyed the brand-building activities but quickly turned from the fast-food world to something that better aligned with my personality. The natural food and beverage space is the perfect fit for me. It’s an energizing and creative group of go-getters who are revolutionizing the food and beverage industry!
I stumbled upon Chameleon through networking and immediately knew it was the right fit. My role at Chameleon ranges from the long-term product planning to managing the day-to-day marketing strategies, including all things social and digital media, PR and in-store activations to innovation and brand partnerships. I work with an all-star team of makers who bring Chameleon’s vision to life.
Chameleon Cold-Brew was born in 2010 in Austin when its co-founders experimented for months until they felt they had brewed the perfect cup of coffee. Chameleon Cold-Brew is a revolutionary way to drink and enjoy coffee. It’s brewed at carefully controlled temperatures for over 16 hours, using only filtered Texas Hill Country water. The result is a super smooth, less acidic, highly caffeinated coffee, which can be enjoyed hot or cold. Chameleon is committed to operating as a socially-responsible company and uses only 100% organic, fair trade Arabica coffee beans.
How does your workday look like working for a coffee company and what are some challenenges that you face on a daily basis?
A normal workday (or every day) begins with a cup of cold-brew! It’s the best way to kick-start my day and begin tackling projects. After the first cup of coffee, I check all of our social media channels to ensure all of our fans are happy and taken care of. I check in with the rest of my team to prioritize the day’s tasks and then get going!
The Chameleon Crew is a group of go-getters who are working in a fast-paced start-up world. We have an agile team that’s eager to take on the biggest challenges, and as a marketing team, we are constantly juggling multiple projects. My biggest challenge is to prioritize and energize our team to ensure we hit deadlines. Cue coffee all day long.
What is your proudest career moment so far and what is your favorite thing about working at Chameleon?
We recently launched a packaging redesign. The new design and look of Chameleon’s logo is a tribute to our Austin roots. We wanted to pay homage to our native city by revealing an updated brand look and feel inspired by the signage, murals and artisan spirit of our unique hometown. We added a new design with a holographic mosaic of our brand’s chameleon, “Dude,” to emphasize the customization of our cold-brews. It was truly a team effort to bring this vision to life. I was proud and excited to see the new design sparkle on the shelf at Whole Foods for the first time!
The team is my favorite. The Chameleon crew is diverse and eclectic. Each team member is full of energy and ideas.
“I was proud and excited
to see the new design
on the shelf at Whole Foods
for the first time!”
Let’s talk about Chameleon’s Social and Marketing Strategy. How do you and your team create content and stay ahead of the curve?
The content creation process is constantly evolving. We have weekly brainstorm sessions, filled with Pinterest boards, mood boards, magazine cut outs and inspiration from places near and far. We are constantly inspired by our fans and the other “makers” out there who exemplify what Chameleon is all about. My goal is to ensure that our posts on Instagram are eclectic, energetic and fun. We don’t want to take ourselves too seriously. It is coffee after all!
The goal is to plan out our content a month in advance, but as a start-up, we adapt quickly and plan accordingly. I have an amazing team of interns who help take our social channels to the next level. They are full of creativity and ideas and help contribute to Chameleon’s overall look and feel. Creating content can be a daunting task. It is important to experiment and have fun! We will test different types of media- everything from GIFs and 30-second videos, to a Boomerang and still photos. Social media is always evolving and brands should strive to evolve with it.
It seems that working with other brands is a huge part of Chameleon’s marketing. How did that come about and why do you think that’s important?
Collaboration with other brands is important to Chameleon. We partner with other like-minded brands that are important to Chameleon and our fans. Cross-promotion allows us to generate additional awareness and buzz around the brand and gives our fans a glimpse into the Chameleon lifestyle and culture.
We are creating a cold-brew revolution! Chameleon is committed to sustainable sourcing and inventive air-roasting and brewing techniques. We will continue to bring the best consciously-crafted cold-brew coffee to the masses, while simultaneously building a program to give back to our farmers that we work with.
What advice would you give to other brand social media managers/content creators?
The advice I would give to other content creators is to start with knowing your brand voice and clearly outline what you want to communicate to your fans. Once you’ve nailed down your messaging, make sure you understand your brand vibe from a look and feel perspective and then get going! Take risks and have fun- social media is supposed to show your fans what your brand is all about.
I would also recommend laying out the tools that will help you succeed the most. For Chameleon, Planoly was a game-changer when it came to planning our Instagram content and helping bring the Chameleon brand to life.