Wednesday, 5 November 2014

UCC & Make Decent Coffee: I don't think that they get social

So I feel a bit sorry for Matthew Kay at Klood, he'd done a good job at managing me, getting my review, and then coming straight back and following up when I wrote it.

I'm not sure UCC really get social though - this was the reply from Dan McGrath the Marketing Manager at UCC to my review after Matthew chased him, I've included it in full with my reply at the bottom, as I didn't get any response.

I agree with Dan that yes, the fact that MakeDecentCoffee is a part of UCC is noted on the MakeDecentCoffee's website, you can find it tucked away subtlety in the privacy policy and the terms and conditions but you certainly won't find it in the about or the manifesto.

They do have a small team doing a good work rate of synthetic posts on their facebook page, lots of easily accessible stories and images pulled from the internet, and nicely made graphic design based posts that doesn't actually require a 'real' coffee shop (which is how the page tries to feel).  

This on the otherhand is the facebook page for Stag coffee, they opened in Cardiff February/March this year, run by the same people who do the Men's grooming place down the high street.  If you want to see a 'real' coffee shop Facebook page, have a look: it's full of random stuff going on, real pictures of what is being prepared in the shop, and reviews posted that they have read and loved.  You can see real food in there, what they are living and doing, and and more importantly it works: my wife dropped in there this week and it was absolutely rammed. For owners that said when I saw them at opening that 'they didn't really get twitter and social' they are doing a darn fine job.

It's not about being slick, it's about being authentic.  If your operation is meant to be super slick in the real, then your social operation should be super slick.  If you're an ex pub manager who REALLY wanted to run their own coffee shop, then just putting out there the food you are trying, and trying to keep coffee fun is spot on.  If your social is super slick, and not matched up in the real, it'll quickly become vacuous. 

So my recommendation to UCC is not to make out like you have a friendly local coffee shop based in  a big industrial park in Milton Keynes (which incidentally is where I grew up).  It's not wrong, but it is spending a-lot of effort blowing things into the blogosphere that people will very quickly filter out and ignore.

Could be anywhere

Only made here

----- Original message -----
From: Stephen Broadhurst <>
To: Dan McGrath <>
Subject: Re: Make Decent Coffee
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2014 09:09:34 +0100

Hello Dan

Thanks for taking time to write, I'd love to come down to MK and have a cup of coffee and a proper chat, I'm back in the UK from 13th of October and have relatives there so it's pretty easy for me mid week, would sometime that week or the next work for you?



----- Original message -----
From: Dan McGrath <>
Subject: Make Decent Coffee
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2014 12:51:24 +0000

Hi Stephen, 

Thanks for taking the time to review MDC on your blog. I’m glad you enjoyed three of the coffees and appreciate the detail you went into. Thank you also for your feedback - we appreciate this and it will be considered as we review and improve our website and products.  

Make Decent Coffee is part of UCC Coffee UK & Ireland. There is a small team dedicated to Make Decent Coffee and we believe in the mission. We want people to experience great coffee at home and our goal is to teach people how they can achieve it and to sell to our customers the materials required.

We don’t intend to mislead anyone with Make Decent Coffee - the fact we are operating under a trading name is noted on the website.

Our THREESIXTY range has recently been listed in Waitrose, which means it is no longer exclusive to Make Decent Coffee. However, we are currently working on adding new additions to the range that will only be available on the website and at Make Decent Coffee events. A festive one should be available before Christmas.

I hope this helps clear up any of your concerns, do let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with.


Dan McGrath
Marketing Manager

T : 07917 045727
W :

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