It amazes me sometimes how coffee has become so accessible these days. I remember when the only coffee shop near our residence was a simple sidewalk store offering instant coffee at $0.20 per cup. You could even buy a $0.10 bread to complete your breakfast.
Now, not a mile goes by where you won’t see either a Starbucks or a Dunkin’ Donuts shop. Which made me wonder – what made these coffee brands so successful? There’s no ultimate strategy, as growing a business will require tons of research, plenty of hard work, and a great deal of dedication.
Still, you can narrow down some of the things they have in common, which I think will help you grow your own coffee business someday.
Connecting With Your Employees And Customers
Running a business means building an honest relationship with your employees and patrons.
Being kind and treating your workers with respect will go a long way. Studies have shown that receiving compliments and words of recognition can boost morale in the workplace.
Consumers can market your brand via word-of-mouth simply by giving them good customer service and listening to their feedback should they have any. Rewarding your customers through loyalty programs such as Dunkin’s DD Perks Rewards or Costa Coffee’s Costa Club will encourage them to engage and connect with the brand.
Providing A Quality Experience
Starbucks provides a quality experience through several methods. The simplest of which is through the product itself as they brand it as made from high-quality arabica coffee grown at high altitudes. Another is the convenience their coffee shops give, as it serves as the perfect location to socialize with friends or work on your deadline in peace.
Have you wondered why the baristas put your name on the cup? That’s a marketing strategy to provide a personal experience to their customers!
If you’re in a hurry, you can grab a quick cup of Joe either through Dunkin’s or McDonald’s Drive-Thru for an instant hot or iced coffee.
Believing In Your Product
We’re all familiar with that one Confucius quote about working; “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
The same principle applies when you’re planning to start a coffee brand. It lessens the burden if you believe that your coffee will bring something to the table, product-wise or experience-wise.
This will be the most challenging part, but as long as you have confidence in what you’re selling, creating a key message that will resonate with your customers can be a walk in the park. You have to prepare, though, as it might take you years before your brand takes off and determine what you can provide to the market.
Even Nescafe took almost a decade to develop their instant coffee when they tried to solve the enormous surplus of coffee production in Brazil and come up with a way to increase coffee consumption. If you’re looking to open a coffee shop, you might want to learn more about coffee shop branding.
Constant Innovation And Moving With The Trend
There’s a reason why Folgers is still on top of the ground coffee food chain after 172 years. Their latest ad campaign reintroduced themselves to the new generation of coffee drinkers – those who often prefer contemporary or artisanal coffee – by tapping on the unapologetic, straightforward trait they’re associated with.
How about digital innovations? Big coffee brands are crossing the mobile app channel to give consumers a faster way to order online and redeem rewards from loyalty programs. Product-wise, they’ve been coming up with different coffee brews and flavors to cater to everyone.
One lesson we can take from this is not to be afraid to fail. Even these coffee conglomerates had their share of debacles as they tried to innovate and go with the times. Who can forget Starbucks’s Sorbetto, which became a bane to their baristas, or the Dunkin’ Donuts Free Iced Coffee fiasco that caused an online backlash?
Still, through these attempts came the products and engagements that we enjoy today. It’s why we want the seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte or Peppermint Mocha. It’s why coffee brands are very active in interacting through social media.
Never be afraid to test the waters! Going digital means making your coffee available online. Here’s a step-by-step on how to sell coffee digitally!