Philz Coffee

How Philz' Coffee took a look at their place on social media in the midst of a pandemic.

Founded in 2003, Philz Coffee is an American coffeehouse chain based in San Francisco with 60 different locations. It all began in 1978 when Phil purchased a convenience store in the heart of the Mission District. He treated his customers with kindness and respect, always paying attention to their needs. He understood that if you put people first, you cannot fail. In his off-hours, Phil blended and tested brews, trying to make the perfect cup of coffee. After 25 years of experimenting, Phil moved his kitchen table into the convenience store and Philz Coffee was born. From its first day, Philz was about quality and care, warmth and connection.

Health Check

The following are a few key findings from the conducted Health Check:

  • There is an opportunity to tap into existing audiences within the Philz community. Right now, many of the posts are celebrating the coffee itself instead of the people who drink it. Of course the product needs to be a mainstay of content, but there are niche communities that come to Philz for a variety of reasons. Featuring them, their work, story, and why Philz is their chosen space for community, creativity, or some other reason would make for a great personable message. Make the audience the hero! 
  • Photos are a sort of staple content type BUT don’t have the cross-channel appeal of video. Tailoring new content types, such as video, live and recorded, GIFs, user-generated, motion graphics, and others to channels like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube could boost engagement. LinkedIn also sees high engagement on quality videos.
  • Much of the landscape is leading with Instagram, meaning that content is tailored for Instagram and then duplicated across channels. Content should be tailored to each channel and, even more importantly, tailored to the audience.
  • A majority of the mentions and comments are positive indicating an affection for Philz that remains untarnished. It still should be noted that audiences are leaving because of brand perceptions, unanswered speculation about policies, silencing of comments, response time, COVID handling, layoffs, etc.

The Opportunity

90% of millennials say authenticity is important to them when supporting brands, especially in these times.

Customers also want positive action more than platitudes and responses to comments. They want to see genuine interaction and care that is at the very heart of the kind of company Philz’ Coffee is.

Connection Plan

Goal: Strengthen affinity for the brand among residents of cities where Philz is located through user generated content on social media and web.  

Strategy Statement: Amplify user-generated posts on social media in order to grow followers and engagement in cities with existing stores.  

Audience: Who loves you the most? Research past and future content; find the niches and patterns that can inform future messaging, outreach, or store experience. 

The Philz audience wants a return to normal, one of their favorite hangout spots back, and to establish a deeper connection with the community they belong to. Philz does not need to be the object of love for audiences; it can humbly be the platform for the love shared between people. It places itself second and therefore deepens trust and affinity.


Share This:

More To Explore


Trinity Western University

YLD ensures that Trinity Western University’s Supreme Court win would be accompanied by a win in the court of public opinion in the digital sphere.

digital light

The Napa Institute

YLD revamps the Napa Institute’s email campaigns with new strategy, fresh redesign, and improved performance.

Interested in similar results?

Book a Services Review