Imaginary Product Creation: Therma Sleeve

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Executive Summary

Have you ever had a cup of coffee where it was either too warm or too cold? Ever wished that you could control the temperature to your desired preference? Well now you can with our newly designed product called Therma-Sleeve. Our product is a coffee sleeve that comfortably fits around any travel sized coffee cup. On this coffee sleeve there is a self-controlled temperature gauge where you can set the temperature to however warm or cold you want your coffee. Never again will you have to complain about your coffee either being too warm or cold. Our product is re-usable so you can take this anywhere on the go whether it be shopping in a mall or driving to a meeting. Our product will be sold at all major coffee chains such as Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. You can also find our product at many wholesale stores such as Walmart and Target.

therma sleeve

Our business will have it’s own website where customers can order our product directly through the web or check out all available stores that have our product in stock. On our website you will find special promotions and coupons that you can use at almost all coffee shops to get discounts on all types of coffee. You will also be able to purchase many of our coffee accessories that will make your coffee taste even better.

Check us out on Facebook and Twitter as we will interact with our customers to get their feedback and send out updates about our company. Our company is very customer oriented and it is important that our customers are satisfied with our product. In order to grow and be more successful as a company, we need to get our customer’s feedback.

As a startup company, we will create many advertisements to help spread the name of our company. You can find many of our advertisements in many coffee shops and even on the web at sites like Target, Walmart, Bed, Bath and Beyond, etc. We will also partner with Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks to create advertisements on television. Drinking coffee will now be more enjoyable and now you can control the temperature of your own coffee!

Competitive Analysis

A coffee sleeve is an extremely commonplace object found in almost every coffee house, café, and other coffee selling location that uses disposable paper to-go cups. Invented by Jay Sorensen, who patented his creation in 1993, the coffee sleeve was trademarked as Java Jackets. The coffee sleeve, also known as hot cup jackets, coffee clutches, and coffee cup sleeves, are cylindrical sleeves commonly made from textured paperboard that fit snugly over disposable paper to-go cups to protect the drinker’s hands from the hot beverage. Although Jay Sorensen claims conception of this useful invention, many other people and companies have been granted patents for their own coffee sleeves.

There are many companies in the coffee sleeve industry, however the top four companies that produce coffee sleeves in the United States are International Paper, BriteVision, LBP Manufacturing, and Java Jacket.

International Paper is an international company in the paper and packaging industry supplying a wide range of products from papers, consumer packaging, pulp, recycling products, and industrial packaging. International Paper manufactures a coffee sleeve that they trademarked as Cup Buddy. Their Cup Buddy can fit 10-24 oz cups, has an easy to grip texture, locks in place with heat-activated adhesive, is compostable and recyclable, and features Stock and Custom prints available in Kraft and White.

BriteVision is a media company that claims invention of cup sleeve advertising, called the Ad-Sleeve. They believe that coffee is an integral part of the American consumer’s life and cup sleeve advertising allows companies to target customers at work, home, and where ever else they bring their to-go cup. Brite Vision is the only media company 100% committed to cup sleeve advertising and works with many top US brands looking to market their products. Britevision’s Ad-Sleeves feature full-color printing and helps independent coffeehouses reduce costs and increase profitability by giving them the Ad-Sleeves with ads paid for by leading companies advertising their products.

LBP Manufacturing, Inc. produces a large array of food packaging products for take-out meals and transporting hot or cold food. Made from paper-based materials, the food packaging products offers are insulated and are made from recycled materials. LBP also offers customization of the packaging to their customers. LBP refers to their coffee sleeves as Hot Cup Sleeves and sells three different types. The first, Coffee Clutch, is corrugated and provides superior insulation. The second, Wave Sleeve, is fluted and is designed to be easy to grip. The third, The Sleeve, is made from embossed paperboard, which creates a unique texture. All three of these are compostable, contain recycled fibers, use heat-activated adhesive to stick to the cup better, and offer custom printing.

Jay Sorensen, the creator of the coffee sleeve, created the company Java Jacket.  Java Jackets come in four styles (Eco, Hot Beverage, Scatter Cup, and Blank), two colors (natural or white), and two sizes (large and small). Custom prints are available, but require paperwork to be filled out before a quote on the price can be given. There are also special coffee sleeves offered for Christmas and the holidays and philanthropic organizations. The profits made from the sleeves featuring the philanthropic organizations are then donated.

Business Plan

Part One: Technology

In order to create the Therma-Sleeve, certain technologies must be implemented in its design. First of all, on the exterior of the sleeve, there is a digital temperature gauge that allows an individual to set the desired temperature of their hot or iced beverage. If the individual has an iced tea or coffee, the cooling system located on the sides of the sleeve will act as a coolant to keep the beverage chilled. On the other hand, the heating coils located on the bottom of the sleeve will heat the beverage if the individual chooses to increase the gauge on the digital read-out. The energy source for the Therma-Sleeve is derived from a charging dock on which the sleeve rests during times of inactivity. This dock charges the battery of the sleeve that powers both the heating and cooling units as well as the digital gauge screen.

Part Two: Customer Value

Customers will invest in the Therma-Sleeve because of its unique ability to keep a beverage at a desired temperature. Also, its practicality, ease of use and affordability distinguish it among its competitors. The Therma-Sleeve’s competitors include the free cardboard sleeves given when purchasing from coffee houses, or take along travel mugs. However, none of these substitutes are able to match Therma-Sleeve’s ability to regulate the beverage’s temperature as precisely. Also, Therma- Sleeve offers both cooling and heating options that none of its competitors present. Customization is also available to online orders servicing a customer’s favorite sports teams, college or universities, Greek affiliation, business, personal initials, pattern design or pictures.

Part Three: Scope/ Marketing

The Therma-Sleeve is available in three different sizes and can be purchased individually or in a bundle. Prospective customers will be exposed to the Therma-Sleeve through several modes of advertisement consisting of television commercials, magazine and online advertisements, and in store promotions. Because of the fact that the Therma-Sleeve appeals to all ages, it is an easily marketable product. Customization sleeves as previously mentioned, will allow for specific advertisement placement. For example, an advertisement on ESPN would feature a Patriots Therma-Sleeve, whereas an ad in Home and Garden would feature a landscape design. Additionally, the Therma-Sleeve acts as a great gift idea or stocking stuffer for all ages.

Part Four: Pricing

Although Therma-Sleeve has limited competition it is still priced reasonably. The Therma-Sleeve is priced at $19.99 for our smallest version, $24.99 for the medium, and finally $29.99 for the largest size respectively. However, if bought in a bundle, all three are available for $59.99. Heavy advertisements will ensue in the November/ December months for Therma- Sleeve’s special holiday pricing.

Part Five: Revenue

The income will be derived from our product cost. A customer will pay the full cost of their Therma-Sleeve at the time of purchase. If buying online, their credit card will be charged upon processing. Various business expenses include the online domain name to set up the website and the employee wages for those running the website. Also, supplier parts, other employee salaries, factory expenses including rent and the utilities associated with the building, advertisements and licensing. The expected profit margin per unit sold is $12 derived from averaging the three sizes available in comparison to the cost to make the product, which is $13.

Part Six: Implementation

In order to create this website, we will need to buy the rights to which is $11.99 yearly according to With the use of a template or Artisteer, the website will look more professional and attractive. Also, using Google AdSense, the space on our site can be sold. To make our site safe for transactions, it should be encrypted to protect our customer credit card numbers and private information. Another safe pay processing option would be to make PayPal an option for our users.

Part Seven: Sustainability

The Therma-Sleeve offers the unique ability to heat or cool a beverage in which it surrounds. There are no competitors in the market who offer that same product. Because the product can be easily imitated, we need to ensure that our parts are low cost and that our product works better than what the competition is offering. When competition arrives, we may need to adjust prices according to what the other companies are offering. Also, careful placement of advertisements should be utilized in multiple markets. Customization appeals to a broad audience, which could help the Therma-Sleeve sustain a place in the market.