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Burke & Burke

Small Business B2B Brand Strategy
Case Study

Social Bean Coffee Co.

Halifax, Nova Scotia


When you think of coffee vending machines in the workplace – one usually imagines coffee that has more in common with dishwater than a fresh-brewed espresso. Social Bean has changed this notion of coffee in the workplace, with freshly ground fair trade coffee brewed while you wait. The office coffee service provides an eco-friendly alternative to wasteful single-serve coffee systems commonly seen in workplaces, institutions, and public spaces.

Husband and wife entrepreneurs Doug and Tanya LeBlanc came to us with a great business concept and a great name – Social Bean. What they really needed was a brand, and a plan to promote this socially responsible answer to providing great coffee in the workplace.


The biggest challenge to Social Bean was getting the word out to local businesses over the noise of established (and much larger) office coffee services. This mom & pop startup had great products, and an innovative approach, but lacked the high profile to make an impact in the local business community.


Our branding solution captures the (pun intended) flavour of contemporary corporate culture (that doesn’t take itself too seriously) and highlights the social nature of sharing a welcome coffee break with coworkers in a socially-responsible way.

The Social Bean website shamelessly uses every bean pun imaginable to tell the story, allowing viewers to browse intuitively at their own pace, while educating and asking for the order at every turn.


Since launching the new brand, the LeBlancs have received rave reviews from clients, suppliers, and fruitful inquiries from prospects they had never imagined. Office installations have more than quadrupled since the brand launch, and Social Bean has become the model for successful brew-on-demand coffee franchise businesses in North America.

Recently, Doug LeBlanc has partnered with an application developer to create BeanCounter, a mobile business management tool for brew-on-demand coffee franchise operators. Burke & Burke developed the B2B brand and website, which can be viewed here.

What We Did:

  • Marketing Strategy
  • Logo Design
  • Headlines and Content Writing
  • Website Design & Programming
  • SEO Strategy & Integration
  • Print Collateral
  • Equipment Graphics
  • Trade Show Materials
Social Bean - Packaging Design Halifax

“A good website not only allows you to reach potential customers, but it allows you to portray that corporate image that normal mom and pop operations don’t have when playing with the big boys.”

- Doug Leblanc, Owner, Social Bean
Social Bean - Award-Winning Responsive Website Design Visit

Canadian Regional Design Awards
WINNER Web Design Category 2011

Copy Writing for web and print advertising

Bean Writing

The Social Bean website was flavoured with generous amounts of fun. In fact, we managed to use virtually every bean pun known to humankind.

Targeted Marketing Halifax

Three Targets, Three Tactics

Social Bean’s marketing targeted three distinct audiences – workplaces, educational instituations, and retail/service industries.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Consulting

Fresh-Ground SEO

A Google search for “office coffee Halifax” places Social Bean firmly at the top of its much larger competitors.


A well-designed website coupled with a robust SEO strategy helps percolate rapid growth for Halifax coffee company Social Bean.

Our B2B marketing tactics for Social Bean were featured in Canada’s Marketing Magazine, and the website was the overall category winner for Web Design in 2011’s Canadian Regional Design Awards in Toronto.

Burke & Burke National Recognition
Social Bean Stationery and Brand Design Halifax

Business Cards

Social Bean Consumer Advertising Halifax
Social Bean Print Collateral Halifax


Delicious specialty coffee with each cup ground fresh-from-the-bean, whipped and frothed at the push of a button.
Social Bean point-of-purchase (POP) Halifax




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