Monday, July 28

How To Create a Distinct Brand For My Coffee Shop (Part 2)  

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I graduated as a marketing major but I haven't really applied that yet into the corporate world or in business. I have been thinking what can possibly make your coffee different from the rest. A lot of coffee shops look the same, have the same feel and they just don't have any distinction from one another. Let me make some suggestions in hopes that you could use them in helping you in your coffee shop. These suggestions may not work but just give them a try. Here is my list:

1. Always keep in mind that you don't have to be better, you have to be different. Find your niche in the coffee shop world. When you are already different, try to be the best in that niche so people can remember you.

2. You have to have a unique design that will stand out against your competitor. We know that a lot of coffee shops look the same so why not create a coffee shop that is a brighter with less earth tones but something that would still make them feel welcome. Make your baristas look diffent let's say make them wear some retro outfit or like a schoolboy outfit. You can try looking like Will Ferrell in Semi Pro but I wouldn't suggest being that wild. It might look weird but it will definitely get your city talking about you and hopefully get featured in the local news (first!) but it is important that you...

3. Treat your customers with respect and make them feel at home. Don't make a fool out of your customers. As mentioned in my previous article by Kim T. Gordon: "by learning the names of your frequent customers, you'll make them feel welcome."

4. You can also create a different kind of rewards program, different from all those buy 10 and you get 1 free. Why not tie up with a foundation, and for every cup of coffee you buy a certain percentage will go to this certain foundation and when you get 15 or something, that's when you get a free cup. But remember to always compute your costs, we don't want to give away everything here.

5. Speaking of tie ups, to be different you may also tie up with an organization for teens to help promote coffee. It would really be nice to see teens drinking coffee at night instead of drinking alcohol. Crazy idea? Why not?

6. A lot of coffee shops don't have any presence online. The internet is a really powerful tool. Differentiate through this, let your city know that you're in their area. Then the next step is to let people from other places go to your coffee shop.

7. Know matter how big or small you are, it is important to listen to your customers. Listen to their suggestions and comments and you will make them loyal to you. Sadly, a lot of companies do have a suggestion box but they don't listen to them. Make this your priority and you will learn a lot about your market. Besides, it is like having a conversation over coffee..a lot of things can be just have to listen.

8. Look for different kinds of coffee around the world. Be the first to introduce that to your local community and be known for it. For those who have a sweet tooth, create a different kind of drink that they will love (you may want to test it first with them).

9. Train your baristas well! Let them understand what they are doing and it will be easier. Let them appreciate coffee and that will help them understand more. Teach them the techniques and when taking orders don't make them rush the customers (unlike other coffee shops).

10. And of course, don't forget to make great coffee! This is what they came in for the first place. Give the people what they want and that is great tasting coffee..the aroma..the taste..the flavor..just coffee!

Hope you learned a thing a two here and hopefully you can start a coffee shop business soon. If you do have one, maybe this can help you improve what you have started. Again, these suggestions may or may not work but what is important is to try. Again, distinguish through differentiation and extinguish the competition. Goodluck to everyone and have a great day!

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