How Black Rifle Coffee Sells $90M of Coffee Through It’s Website

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Black Rifle Coffe is a media company that sells coffee. Now I mean no disrespect when I say that. I think this is exactly how a brand should be built. Content, Content, Content. Build the audience and sell to them. I am also not a coffee drinker, so I have no idea how good or bad their product is. But they clearly have built a brand that people love.

Show, Don’t tell. They simply could say they are a veteran-owned company, that sells premium coffee, and supports other veterans. But through their videos, through the content, through their branding, they show you that they are veteran-owned, that they do support veterans, and they sell premium coffee. They don’t need to tell anyone those things, everyone can see it for themselves.

All the content they create is extremely well produced. 

When you look at their team page, they look more like a media company than they do a coffee or e-commerce company.

No head brewer, no director of ecommerce. They have an Editor in Chief, they have a Producer, they have a VP of People & Culture. Not your normal coffee company structure, and not your normal ecommerce structure.

So how does this all break down into the numbers?

In the past 29 days, Black Rifle Coffee has had 338,941 orders. On average that is 11,687 orders per day.

As for the average order value, this one is a little tricky. Since I am not a coffee drinker, I do not know if people typically buy more than one bag of coffee at a time. Their top 10 best-selling items are 1 pound bags of coffee with an average list price of about $14.

The other factor to consider for average order value is subscriptions. Black Rifle Coffee provides you the option to have a bag of coffee delivered every 14 days, 21 days, 30 days, or 60 days. The way I have seen subscriptions work before is a new order is inserted into the backend for regular processing, creating a new order number. So any subscription orders should already be included in the average daily order count.

For the purposes of this breakdown, I know that the average daily order count is accurate and I will assume their average order value is somewhere around $22 ($14 for a pound of coffee, plus a few dollars for shipping and factor in that they do get orders that have multiple bags or other items on the order).

Average Daily Orders: 11,687
Estimated Average Order Value: $22
Estimated Daily Revenue: $257,114.00
Estimated Monthly Revenue: $7.7M
Estimated Yearly Revenue: $92M

Note: In 2019 it was reported that Black Rifle Coffee was on pace to generate more than $80M in revenue that year. This includes their retail distribution that could be found in 1,700 locations. I am unable to estimate what their current retail sales look like but I feel comfortable that an estimate of around $90M run rate is what they are doing for total direct to consumer sales in 2021.

Social Media

Instagram: @blackriflecoffee – They have 1.6M followers with an engagement rate of 2.7% (this is crazy high for a brand).

81% of their audience is male and 40% of their audience is between the age of 25 and 34.

In the past 3 weeks, Black Rifle Coffee was tagged 1,714 times (This is becoming one of my favorite metrics to look at. It shows me how passionate an audience is about a brand).

TikTok: @blackriflecoffee – They have 377.1K followers. On average their videos get 211K views (56% of their follower count) and their videos get on average 21K likes (10% of their views). 

This is great engagement, but I find it interesting that they do not consistently post videos. They have not posted a video in over a month. In June they posted 4 videos, in May they posted 1 video, in April they posted 5 videos, in March they posted 4 Videos. If they saw a correlation between these videos and an increase sales, I would think they would be posting more often. My guess is they view this as a way to get their name out there more but they are not seeing a direct link back to these efforts driving sales.

YouTube: @BlackRifleCoffeeCompany – they have 826K subscribers. On average their videos are getting 268K views. Like TikTok they appear to release a few videos every month.

The one thing that is consistent across their social media channels, is that they are not directly trying to sell you coffee. They are building their brand image with the content they create. If their content resonates with you, most likely you will seek out what they are selling. 

Advertising:

Currently Black Rifle Coffee is running about 300 ads on Facebook. 77 of those ads were launched in July. You will notice that not all their ads are selling a product, again they are using paid Facebook ads to build their brand.

Here are their Facebook ads

All of Black Rifle Coffee’s paid keywords contain their brand name. This makes sense to me because they produce so much content to build their brand that people end up searching for that brand to get the product. 

The word “coffee” has 5,000,000 average monthly searches. If you are a company trying to sell coffee, how do you get yourself noticed in search? It has to be next to impossible. But if you build a brand name, people will search you out.

I have also heard a few radio and podcast ads from Black Rifle Coffee. Unfortunately, I am unable to give more detail on where and how often there are advertising on these channels as there is no database of that information currently. But it should be noted that Black Rifle Coffee does do a significant amount of non-digital advertising (radio, print, billboards, etc).

Build an audience and sell to them

This has been a common theme that I have mentioned in multiple breakdowns now. Black Rifle has built a large audience through its content creation. 

“Do you sell pillows, or do you sell comfort and a good night’s sleep?”

Black Rifle does not sell coffee, they sell their brand. They could sell any product to their audience, it just so happens they sell coffee. And they sell a lot of it!

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