Kona Premium is a Hawaiian premium Kona coffee producer since 1998.

I came across this brand many years ago after falling in love with Hawaiian pineapple flavoured coffee and looking for a reliable supplier. Being based in Australia, it’s actually very hard to come by at a decent price (more on this later).

I would love to see that brand taking off and get the success they deserve, so here’s how I would grow Kona Premium.

Website

Let’s start with the obvious — their website looks like straight out the 90’s, and it is bad.

I can’t overstate how building trust is important for ecommerce, and this website looks borderline scammy.

The good news is they are powered by Wordpress, so it should be fairly easy to swap around the themes for a more modern one.

There are TONS of options on sites like ThemeForest. I do like the Halena theme for its minimalist look and simplicity that would like fantastic for a coffee brand like Kona Premium, especially if they modernise that hawaiian vibe.

The only way to subscribe to Kona Premium (and hear about their upcoming promotions) is to tick the newsletter box during the order process.

This is a missed opportunity. For new visitors, purchasing coffee might be a big commitment, but subscribing to a newsletter is an easier ask. Kona Premium can then easily and cheaply market their products to a growing audience of subscribers.

Make that subscription form prominent on the website and irresistible (what’s in for the subscriber) with 10% off the first order, or exclusive content.

My next (obvious) problem is that every single product photo looks… the same.

There is a tremendous opportunity in investing in a hype packaging for each flavour. An eye-catching packaging would look gorgeous throughout the website and build excitement for the customer.

A brand that does it fantastically is Starbucks (see a few examples below).

Starbucks Coffee

In a similar fashion, Kona Premium can absolutely giver a traditional and colourful touch to their brand by partnering with local artists such as Nick Kuchar who is incredibly talented with a unique retro style.

While we’re on the packaging: Pumpkin Spice coffee seems to be a hit from September to Christmas, as shows Starbucks with its seasonal menu. Kona Premium should absolutely create a Christmas theme packaging for this particular flavour and heavily promote it during the festive season. This can also turn out to be a great gift idea.

SEO

I simply can’t believe my eyes — after being in business for over 20 years, Kona Premium’s website only receives an average of 87 organic visitors a month according to Ahrefs.

There is some serious work to be done here.

For one, the website is incredibly thin in terms of content. Case in point: the Our Story page that should be selling the brand and history is a mere… 196 words. That’s not nearly even enough to allow Google to rank this page properly.

If we dig deeper on a page per page basis, we notice that only two pages receive any organic traffic. And trending downward.

Other pages’ average position sits between 20 to 70, meaning that with a little bit of work they can rank in the top 10 and start getting valuable traffic.

One of the main products that Kona Premium sells is… Premium Kona Coffee.

However, as we can see below, the search volume for that keyword is very low.

One interesting fact however: if we narrow our keyword to just “Kona Coffee”, the search volume jumps to over 20,000 searches per month.

So, just perhaps, Kona Premium should target that second keyword instead.

What I find interesting about the term “Kona Coffee” is that Google pushes both a commercial and an educational page to the top of the result with a lot of questions in between, meaning that Google is still not sure about the intentions of the user (do I want to buy Kona coffee or get educated about Kona coffee?).

I believe there is a big opportunity for Kona Premium in creating educational content around the Kona Coffee topic and answering the questions suggested in depth. Kona Premium can establish itself as an expert in the field, attracting backlinks from other websites when looking for answers about Kona Coffee.

Another interesting assumption: Kona Premium is above all a coffee from Hawaii — an inherently premium coffee well sought-after by coffee lovers. The keyword “Hawaiian coffee” pulls a comfortable 3,800 searches a month on Google.

But as you can see below, while Kona Premium ranks for some related keywords (e.g. gourmet hawaiian coffee, where to buy hawaiian coffee etc), the website gainss absolutely no organic traffic for such keyword.

Why may you ask?

Interestingly, Kona Premium has a product called “Hawaiian Coffee” that should in theory rank well for that term.

But as you can see below, the page is incredibly thin in terms of content. A mere two lines to describe the product. Guaranteed to fail.

Let’s dig further into their product line and start with my favourite coffee of them all: Pineapple Flavored Coffee.

As you can see above, Kona Premium ranks pretty high for the keyword, despite no description or user-generated content such as reviews.

Fluffing up the description, adding customer reviews and seeking backlinks from coffee related websites talking about this unique product should get Kona Premium at the top of the page.

Hazelnut Flavored Kona Coffee

Compare the search volume between “Hazelnut flavored coffee” and simply “hazelnut coffee”. The latter drives 3,600 searches a month!

I would suggest to rename that product immediately and stir the product description in the same direction.

Furthermore, Kona Premium ranks for “Kona Hazelnut coffee”. The problem is that nobody is searching for that keyword. Worse, Kona Premium doesn’t get any organic traffic for that term, even though it is a very niche and relevant term.

Again, the lack of description on that product page doesn’t help.

Pumpkin Spice Flavored Coffee

Again, same story for the Pumpkin Spice Flavored coffee. Coffee lovers simply do not use the term “flavored” in their search, which negatively impacts Kona Premium potential here.

A change of product name is in order.

Blog

One way to both improve the thin content problem of the website and build a strong brand is to start a blog.

Where to start? Rank for keywords that your competition is already ranking for.

Kona Premium has a long list of competitors (over 50!) and a simple content gap analysis with the top three competitors shows 24 keywords ranking in the top 10 that Kona Premium doesn’t rank for.

That should be enough to get started!

On top of this, a regularly updated blog shows customers (and Google) that you are active and well. Always a reassuring sign.

Shipping

I get it — Australia (where I live) is far from Hawaii. But, believe it or not, Kona Premium’s shipping price is more expensive than the coffee itself!

Not only their international order information is unclear at best, requiring a lot of work from the customer themselves, but this is potentially one of their biggest missed opportunities.

Hawaii is a touristy place, with a lot of Australians (among other nations) visiting on a regular basis and who probably fell in love with Hawaiian coffee at some point. Why not take advantage of those customers with a better shipping price policy?

I know I would be the first to sign up.

Facebook

Kona Premium does a great job putting a face behind the brand on their Facebook feed. While it feels amateurish, it is truly authentic, which a lot of die-hard customers will appreciate.

However, Kona Premium is not maximising its potential in terms of ads. Facebook shows organic posts to less than 7% of a business page followers, so leveraging paid ads is essential to get through to your customers.

I could only find a single ad on Kona Premium’s Facebook page (see below).

The ad seems to be missing the mark in my opinion: the content is confusing, and the CTA is not clear.

I assume Kona Premium has a limited budget, but here are a few easy strategies they could follow without breaking the bank:

  • Retarget existing customers with coffee products to upsell or shorten the buying cycle
  • Advertise to local coffee lovers (Hawaii is a small island, so this should not break the bank) using a lookalike audience.
  • Advertise to people who’ve recently been in Hawaii, the assumption being tourists are the most likely people to buy Hawaiian coffee (it will remind them of their holidays).
  • Advertise seasonal coffee (pumpkin spice coffee) to their customer-base.

Google Ads

I found a few ads on top of Google for the keyword “Kona Coffee”.

This could be an expensive acquisition channel, but Google Ads predicts a fair volume of search per month (see below). Depending on how aggressive Kona Premium wants to be, this could be a good test to run for Kona premium.

Conclusion

A lot of potential for Kona Premium to gain more customers online with some tweaks on the website and investment in copywriting.

Product Manager