Opening a café or coffee roastery requires real passion, but it also requires focused branding. Good coffee shops with delectable brews and dedicated owners are all around, so the only way to stand out from your competition is with a strong message.
But where do you start? As a digital marketing expert, I’ve created my 4-step guide to help get you started. Follow these steps to see an increased brand identity and presence – both in the café and on the web.
Your café is your brand. Credit: Pixabay
1. Build a Marketing Strategy Before You Open
Before opening up shop to the public, make sure you have a go-to marketing strategy in place. This means knowing the answers to the following questions: who will you target? When? Through which medium of advertising? And why these people?
You also have to decide what the personality of your brand is; this will help guide you in your marketing plan and messages to consumers. Don’t worry if it doesn’t seem right straight away. Marketing is about trial and error, so if you see something isn’t working, try another tactic. The crucial element is to get the message out there and bring people to your café.
Oh, and do:
- Make sure to identify your core values
- Make sure to promote a consistent message in every space
- Make sure to involve your staff
Don’t, whatever happens:
- Ignore customer perceptions
- Overcomplicate your message
- Make untruthful or exaggerated claims
Think “coffee” and it will come to you. Credit: Pixabay
2. Be Your Brand
Your brand will stick with you forever – or at least until you do a major rebrand – so it’s important to create a consistent brand message. A distinctive visual brand can make you memorable and win you customers.
The key to it is to make sure all your staff and employees are on the same page. They all need to speak the same brand ‘language’, so that your customers will start speaking that language too.
Be your brand everywhere! Credit: Pixabay
3. Join the Online Community
For specialty coffee, location isn’t always as vital as you might think. Where there’s good coffee (and good vibes), there are customers – providing they’ve heard of you. Yes, heard, not seen. Nowadays, your new location should be online, allowing people to discover you with hashtags and images.
With the age of the internet, Instagram, and online coffee communities, all you need is a few friendly posts on social media to promote your coffee shop. Today, social media is our address book, our visual compass for discovering great places and making them our home away from home.
Make sure to think about your hashtags carefully and get your customers to use them too – this is how people will find you. You can also use hashtags from other coffee communities such as #coffeesesh, so that people searching that will find you too.
Never underestimate the role of social media. Credit: Pixabay
4. Make Your Space Unique
Design is crucial for your success. If your space doesn’t feel special, then why would your coffee taste special?
Whatever theme or style you choose it must fit, not just with your brand, but with your target audience. If they are artisan and specialty coffee drinkers, then pick a design that will appeal to them.
You also have to determine what you want your customers to do once they’re through the door: do you want them to grab a cup and sit for a few hours? Or should they get a takeaway coffee on the way to work? This will help to shape your brand both visually and physically.
The goal in all of this is to create loyal customers who will share your passion with you. If your strategy isn’t doing this already, then you need to have a rethink. Because your brand is an opportunity to make people fall in love with your café and come back, time and time again.
Written by S. Amini, Co-Founder of DiscoveringCoffee.com, and edited by H. Paull.
Feature Photo Credit: Pixabay
Perfect Daily Grind.