Whether you run a small mom-and-pop java shop on the corner or you’re trying to launch an international coffee subscription service, every coffee company can use a helpful leg-up from a good marketing strategy.
Here are 6 effective ways to help build your brand and market your coffee-related business:
1. Build That Brand
It’s a tale as old as time: Creating a brand matters. Moreover, that doesn’t just boil down to a catchy logo printed on a sign above your door. A good brand requires patience, planning, and purposeful strategizing.
While a logo is a good start, consider creating a slogan and choosing a distinct color palette to use for shop decor, emails, or product packaging.
Then apply those elements across your brand, giving everything from your flavor profiles to your coffee cups a feel that they is uniquely yours.
2. Create an Experience
While this one may sound like it belongs to the “customer service” part of the deal, a positive, memorable experience is a key part of a good marketing strategy. Especially when it involves something as experiential as coffee.
If you send a regular subscription box out to customers, decorate it with colorful, vivid images that match your brand. Fill it with postcards and brochures containing brewing tips or information on the background of each product they receive.
When it comes to your shop, pay close attention to detail in order to create the perfect ambiance for your crowd. You want your customers to be blown away by the experience. If you can etch a positive memory of your brand into their minds, they’ll leave ready to spread the word about your operation.
Also, consider things like holiday-based promotions or other special event marketing opportunities. Starbucks has abundantly proved the effectiveness of a good Christmas coffee campaign. How? Well, with their holiday coffees and decorative cups, which helps send a home nostalgic message that their coffee is intimately associated with a fun Christmas and a happy New Year.
3. Exude Authority
Another excellent marketing technique is to capitalize on your coffee acumen. After all, you’re the one that literally owns a coffee shop. In the modern world, there are countless ways to demonstrate your authority on the subject. Create a blog (more on that below), source only the best beans, and then let everyone know about your expertise on your menu.
Make sure your staff is knowledgeable on the kinds of coffee you have and how you source them. Have your baristas brew right in the open, in front of the customers. Let them observe as your staff weighs the beans, measures the water, blooms the coffee, and pour it at exactly the right temperature in order to wow patrons.
Blue Bottle Coffee is a perfect example of mastering the marketing effectiveness of authority. The coffee masters focused on informing and training their audience in the ways of brewing the perfect cuppa. Before they knew it, they’d blown up from a single coffee shop to a $700 million e-commerce business.
4. Head Online
The internet is a critical part of any modern business, from retaining business and financial records to ordering supplies and communicating with customers.
When it comes to marketing in particular, the cloud can be an ideal spot to keep all of your information in one place in order to help with collaborative efforts from different team members as you go about promoting your business.
Another key piece of your online efforts should be your website. Even if all you have is a single brick-and-mortar location, having a smooth, functional, aesthetically pleasing website is a critical part of the modern marketing puzzle.
In fact, a whopping 91 percent of customers have visited a store because of a positive online experience. Even if it’s just a simple, mobile-friendly site with a quick load time that displays nothing more than your menu and hours of operation, rest assured that it’s going to get you foot traffic.
That’s why it’s critical that you treat your website as a serious arm of your marketing strategy. Use it as a hub from which all of your online efforts stem. No matter how small you are, house business information, an online store, a blog, or any other relevant elements you might have on your business website.
A site also allows you to have an “about us” page that can tell your story and express your values. If you’re passionate about sourcing Fair Trade coffee and adhering to strict organic standards, put it on your site for all to see! Letting your customers know more about you can be an excellent way to build customer loyalty.
Finally, if you sell to a larger national or even international market, you can use a website to house a blog. Optimizing your blog posts in order to adhere to good SEO practices, such as building back-links and choosing good keywords, can be excellent ways to climb the search engine rankings and, consequently, lead more potential customers to your site.
5. Work That Social Media
Once you have your website running like a well-oiled machine, you’re going to want to expand your online marketing efforts to include social media.
A good social media presence on sites like Facebook and Twitter can allow you to provide instant customer service, which is critical these days; 77 percent of online U.S. adults value their time as the top customer service factor.
Moreover, your social profiles can do much more than just give you instant communication with customers.
Here are several ways that your social media arm can help your coffee shop. It can:
In addition to classic social media profiles like Facebook and Twitter, you’ll also want an Instagram and Pinterest profile. Coffee, in particular, lends itself to the visual element that these platforms focus on.
6. Make Google and Amazon Your Friends
Even if you’re a local shop, it’s critical that you fill out your Google My Business Listing. This doesn’t take long, and it allows local people searching for a coffee shop to find you more easily. It also enables you to create Google Posts, which can be an excellent and free way to reach local crowds with current messages, deals, and other announcements.
Finally, even if you don’t feel big enough to warrant a website store, at least get your products up on Amazon. Coffee is the most popular subset in Amazon’s exploding food and beverage category, and it’s an easy way to facilitate online sales whether you’ve set up an entire shop on your own site or not.
The Options Are Endless
From a good brand, to creating the best coffee shop vibe, to a fully optimized website and social media presence, there is a practically endless number of ways to market a coffee shop in the modern era. The important thing is to tackle each option one at a time. If you can begin to execute as many of the above strategies as possible, you’ll have new people flowing through your doors in no time.