Mocopan Coffee explains why it’s time to be disruptive in the market and prove why the brand is anything but ordinary.
Back in the 1950s, hair was bigger, skirts were longer, and some may argue the parties were wilder. It was the decade Italian migrants cemented the tradition of coffee drinking in Melbourne culture, with Mocopan Coffee founders Agostino Monici, Sergio Coperchini, and Vic Panatieri helping disrupt the nation of tea-drinkers and instant coffee lovers with espresso coffee.
Fast forward 66 years, and the Mocopan name continues to be celebrated, but the company is ready to break its mould and share more of itself than ever before.
“We’ve got all our ducks in a row. Over the past three years, Mocopan has worked hard to ensure its coffee is at the highest standard it can be. We’ve built a whole new roastery and overhauled our facilities in Melbourne, up-skilled our quality control processes, and invested in the training and support of our café partners,” says Jason Clapperton, Head of Marketing at Mocopan Coffee.
“We’re doing everything we can to ensure that what we deliver is a consistent quality cup, and we’re confident we do. We’ve also come to terms with who we are and what we represent, and we want our branding and messaging to reflect that.”
When the Mocopan team took a trip down memory lane, it discovered it’s branding and packaging material – and largely that of the industry – was heavily draped in black, a colour Jason says no longer connects to the Mocopan brand.
“We reflected on the origins of the company in the 1950s and its marketing material, and we saw how much energy, fun, and cheekiness they had – our missing ingredient,” he says.
“So, expect vibrant, bright colours in our packaging relaunch. It’s not what you would expect from Mocopan, and that’s the point. We don’t want to be like everyone else. We don’t want to copy the cool kids. We just want to share happiness with our use of colour, stand out from the crowd, and give people an impression that we are a quality brand they can emotionally connect to.”
Jason says it’s that emotional connection that can impact a customer’s buying decision in 2.5-seconds flat.
“There is so much emotional and functional complexity in the coffee buying process – from the stories behind the beans to the people working through the supply chain,” he says.
“We also know that the reason customers visit a café is not just for a delicious cup of coffee. It’s a means of escapism. Customers want to take five minutes out of their day just to detach, relax, and immerse themselves in an environment they can feel comfortable in.”
Another realisation has been the understanding that Mocopan is a ‘special’ brand and not a ‘specialty’ brand.
“Someone I once spoke to in the specialty industry said that mainstream brands weren’t ‘special’ in any way. And no, we’re not ‘specialty’ as such – which to me is about having smaller cup sizes and more complexity of flavour in the cup – but we are ‘special’ in our own way. In fact, I’d argue that with our new roastery and the quality control we’re doing behind the scenes, we are more ‘special’ than ever,” Jason says.
“The quality of our coffee is as good as we can make it. There is nothing wrong with appealing to a lot of people, and the reason we do, is because we have a product people want and enjoy.”
Mocopan Coffee National Café and Distribution Manager Hannah Fielding says it’s exciting to share Mocopan’s personality with consumers and help them appreciate the brand in a new light.
“There’s more to this brand then people realise,” Hannah says. “At one point, we did consider whether it was worth continuing the Mocopan brand. But who are we to let it die on our watch? It’d be a tragedy. We have a responsibility to the founding fathers and our team who represent the Mocopan brand daily. The bottom line is, we just want to make it better, and that’s what we’ve been busy doing.”
Behind the scenes is a brand committed to extreme levels of quality control. Hannah says most Mocopan baristas wouldn’t know about the premium the company pays to ensure its beans are positioned “not too far left or right” on the shipping container to avoid moisture exposure, or the way the roaster holds “the exact volume of stock” in its warehouse based on turnover.
They’re also probably unaware of various detection systems including destoners and use colour sorters to remove foreign matter before roasting, such as sticks and stones, or the Colombian bullet once extracted from the destoner. It’s this level of detail, Hannah says, that the Mocopan team is determined to share.
“Disclosing such information hasn’t been a focus, we’ve just gone about our business but there’s so much more to roasting than just buying, roasting, and selling beans,” Hannah says. “It’s only since talking to people like Peter Stathos (Mocopan Coffee Operations Manager) that I discovered all these unknown facts. Now is the time to be triumphant about the many people and processes working hard behind the scenes.”
Mocopan will recognise its talented team with each bag of whole beans depicting the type of roast, origin, processing method used, flavour descriptor, and the name of the person who roasted the beans.
“It’s time to dial up the personalities of our brand and bring our people to the front. We have some of the most talented people in the industry working with us, such as veteran Peter Stathos, and it’s time to let everyone know.”
While there have been some critiques against the power of large brands over the years, Jason says it’s this power that ensures the Mocopan brand continues to produce a quality product.
“When you’re a small business, quality fluctuations can happen, but that’s not what customers want. Consistency is key. Apple computers are everywhere but that doesn’t mean they’re a bad product,” he says.
“We’re just a bunch of Aussies making quality coffee in a fun way, and we hope more cafés will see that. It’s important that our consumers know that there are humans behind the Mocopan brand and things are done with a personal touch.”
At the start of the year, like so many others, Hannah wished she could press “pause” on life to reflect on key priorities and take the time to complete unfinished tasks. Just a few months into the year, COVID-19 restrictions afforded Hannah and the Mocopan team time to step back, address the brand’s core needs, and find ways to address them.
As such, Mocopan will reveal its new website, branded takeaway cups, packaging and marketing strategy by the end of the year to ensure the brand remains “playfully disruptive” in the market, with a cheeky spirit Australians will continue to love.
“We’ve done so much behind the scenes and now it’s time to pull back the curtain, step out, and be proud of who we are as a ‘special’ brand, and we’re dam happy about it,” Jason says.
For more information, visit www.mocopan.com.au
This article appears in the December 2020 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.