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Kenny’s Uses Behavior Design for a Sponsorship Deal that Leads to Peet's Best-Selling Coffee Ever 

Kenny Lauer showing Warriors Grounds.png
Kenny Lauer
Former Vice President, Marketing & Digital for Golden State Warriors

In 2015: “A then-baby-faced Stephen Curry took the NBA by storm, powering his Golden State Warriors to the playoffs one three-pointer at a time. Curry would win the MVP award that year, he and Klay Thompson had become the Splash Brothers, and the Warriors would win the NBA Championship. But sharpshooting from long range, killer defense, and great coaching were not the only things hyping this team onto its current golden path. Coffee was likely a part of it too.”—Warriors Wire


Back in 2015, despite a hunger for innovating at every edge of his professional work, Kenny was being challenged by the sponsorship team’s most recent proposals for his marketing team: weekly posts on Facebook and daily posts on Twitter, along with the traditional jumbotron ads, arena signage, etc.


After attending Fogg’s Behavior Design Boot Camp in July 2012, Kenny was of the opinion that passive actions weren't good for anyone—the team, the fans, or the sponsors—and didn’t drive toward a “winning” experience that everyone was used to on the court.


When Kenny heard the Sponsorship team had scheduled a meeting with the coffee client to brainstorm upcoming playoff activations, he invited himself along. 


During the meeting, Kenny patiently listened to what the client, Peet’s Coffee, wanted. Ideas kept stalling as everyone worked within the normal constraints. The whole conversation was driving him crazy. (Note: This isn’t just Kenny being impatient—other Behavior Designers attest to the same phenomenon.)


Drawing on his Behavior Design skills, Kenny leaned on his favorite method to spark new ideas from the group: Magic Wanding. 


The conversation went like this: 

Kenny: "Can I suggest something?"

Peet's Coffee: “Sure.”

Kenny: “What behavior would you want to see happen from Warriors fans?”


Peet's coffee: "Well. . .I guess we want fans to come into the store."

Kenny: “Great. And what sort of behavior would you want people to do in the store?”

Peet's Coffee: “Well, we want them to buy something and have a great experience.”

Kenny (to Warriors Sponsorship team): “Then, let’s design for that behavior to happen!”


Ta-da! Once given permission to think differently about their work, the Sponsorship team and the client lit up at the possibilities of how to design for this experience. Kenny’s team of professional experience designers knew exactly how to get creative, build fan investment, and deliver for this behavior outcome.

The result? Their own blend of Peet's Coffee called “Warriors Grounds”—blended by Peet’s master roaster, taste tested and selected by Warriors fans, and put on shelves throughout the Bay Area. “Our new Warriors Grounds is a coffee as dynamic and smooth as the Dubs are on the court,” said Peet’s Coffee Roastmaster Doug Welsh.

Warriors Grounds ended up being (at that time) Peet's best-selling coffee ever.

It exceeded all expectations! As it should, since the team designed for that exact behavior to happen. (Note: Behavior Designers aren’t surprised by this fact. Get used to big results! Now all the major Bay Area teams do this type of sponsorship arrangement.)

Kenny's takeaway to the team: "The reason why this was so successful is we were very deliberate, identifying exactly the behavior the sponsor wanted, pooling all our creativity in a subsequent design session, and designing targeted prompts:in the arena using beacons, in Peet's marketing and beyond. Even creating Warriors Wednesday: a time when fans got special treatment all while buying their weekly bag of beans or daily cup of coffee.” (In subsequent years, the team expanded on the relationship—can you imagine having coffee with Draymond Green as your barista?)

“It's not just a model. The Fogg Behavior Model can be activated for huge business success. We used the models and methods to achieve incredible success. The leadership team at the Warriors thought our entire team was brilliant. Indisputable how well it worked!]

“Because so many constraints exist, using Behavior Design means everybody wins, regardless of the season's outcome,” says Kenny. "When you’re talking about innovation, the KPI for success is not always money, it's behavior change. The day fans leave the arena, the proof is in the pudding: Did they change their behavior? For the Golden State Warriors, impact is more than what happens on the court—it extends deeply into the community as well.” Kenny was reminded of that every day by a quote he had on his whiteboard: ”The game is always bigger than the game”'—and B=MAP was key in delivering on that!

"All of this was created using the Fogg Behavior Model, because if you follow it, it will work."

P.S. "Strength in Numbers!" That's also from Kenny…and another story for another day!

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You can achieve massive impact just like these Alumni did…

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