How #NationalCoffeeDay Helps Tell Your Brand Story

coffee art

If you haven't heard, today, Thursday, September 29, is National Coffee Day.

I learned that this morning lying in bed, checking my email and scrolling through Facebook and Instagram posts.

Just about everyone had shared a post in honor of our favorite source of caffeine addiction. As usual, I thought about this from a marketing perspective. "Holidays" are often utilized by social media and content marketers as a way to lend their voice to a trending topic, and for good reason: days like National Coffee Day go viral.

But doing this expertly is another story. In order to get successful results with timely content, you have to stay true to two things: your brand and your audience. Here are some great examples of brands and publishers doing just that. 

 Via The Penny Hoarder

Via The Penny Hoarder

The Penny Hoarder shared a blog post with all the places that were serving up a free cup o' Joe. TPH is an online publication that teaches you how to live your life more frugally, so this was a perfect application of timely, highly-sharable blog content. Because who doesn't love free stuff?

Starbucks took a different approach. 

 via Starbucks

via Starbucks

Instead of simply offering a free cup of coffee for National Coffee Day, Starbucks is going the corporate social responsibility route. When you buy a cup of their new Mexico Chiapas coffee today, they are promising to give a whole rust-resistant coffee tree (!!!) to a farmer in need.

Why is this important? Well, as Starbucks puts it, coffee rust is "coffee's biggest enemy." Their tactic enables their coffee-fiending following to feel good about their cup for the day because they're giving back in a way that helps farmers and the coffee industry.

On Instagram, Disney shared this cool video of Jack Skellington latte art:

What's this? What's this? It's #NationalCoffeeDay! ☕️ (🎥: @ohmydisney)

A video posted by Disney (@disney) on

Disney employed some tried and true social tactics for their approach to #NationalCoffeeDay branded content. They utilized the currently trending over-head "tutorial" video with similarly trendy content—latte art.

Even though their content isn't the newest of ideas, it works because of one important factor: Jack Skellington. Disney used a beloved character (and they have many of those) to connect their brand to an unrelated "holiday." They cleverly used copy to conjure up the memory of Jack's famous ditty "What's This?" from "Nightmare Before Christmas."

It's also almost October, which makes Jack Skellington a smart character for Disney to use as he's their Halloween poster boy. 

Refinery 29, an online publication for Millennial women, compiled a "Coffee Lovers In Pop Culture" video that contained clips of Millennial gal faves from "Miss Congeniality" to "FRIENDS."

This video—published natively on Facebook—works as the perfect timely social fodder. They expertly re-purpose content that their target audience (nostalgic twenty and thirty something ladies like myself) will want not only want to watch, but to share. 

The Takeaways

When jumping on the #NationalCoffeeDay bandwagon (or any other day, for that matter), it's important to remember two main things: your brand and your audience. 

Brand storytelling is the concept of creating a narrative that people can connect to. It takes you from being a faceless, nameless entity and connects your audience to you as people.  

The brands and publishers above did a great job of using brand storytelling to stay true to what they are all about, and what their audience is all about. They created content that was more about who they are as a brand than any specific day. 

When setting out to create stellar branded content, keep one short phrase in mind: DO YOU. 

Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for another cup of you-know-what.