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New ideas for Coffee Shop promotion #1

When you’re running a coffee shop, competition can be fierce.

If you’re not fighting for first place on the high street, you’re fighting to become the go-to coffee shop in your local community. And if you’re not ready to really fight for it, you can’t expect to keep your seats full all week long.

You’re not selling a proprietary technology. You’re selling a commodity. And that means you need to try out every trick in the book if you want to stand out against the massive coffee corporations.

We’ve put together 10 ideas to get your marketing strategy off the ground: starting from your own premises and working outwards to the wider community.

Talking about all the ideas is a lengthy matter. So we have initiated a series of blogs to talk about some of them each time. This is the first blog of this series.

Inside the shop

1. Don’t skimp on the low-cost conveniences

Great coffee is important. But if you want loyal customers, creating a homely environment is crucial.

First, you’ll need fast and stable Wi-Fi. Like it or not, a large portion of your customers is more interested in the internet than the drinks. So make sure every table has a good signal, and make sure their connections are still speedy when you’ve got a full house.

Second, you’ll want plenty of power sockets. People come to you to rest and recharge: both figuratively and literally. So have a few extra wall sockets installed near as many tables as possible, ideally with modern USB slots. And if you really want to make them feel welcome, invest in a few low-cost phone and tablet charging cables that you can lend out to customers when they need them.

Finally, you’ll want a broad range of stuff to read. Keep a steady supply of recent fashion, music and health magazines lying around, as well as the more popular tabloids and broadsheets. And if you’ve got the space for it, you can raid your local charity shop to fill up your shelves with classic novels and books with quirky subjects.

2. Revamp your menus to make more from each customer

There’s a lot more to a menu than just a list of products and prices. The words, layout and colors you choose can greatly impact your customers’ spending habits. So if you want to covertly push your most profitable items, get a new menu designed that follows a few of these psychological marketing tricks:

  • Catching the eye means catching a sale. Surround your most profitable products with extra white space, and use bold colors like red and yellow to draw your customers’ attention to them.

  • List the products you want to sell more of first. Most diners will subconsciously order the top two items in a section more often than the other items in that section.

  • Design your menu around the “Golden Triangle”. When we first open a menu, our eyes usually start at the center, before moving to the top right corner and then the top left. So if you want them to see your most rewarding special offers first, these three positions are the places to put them.

  • Remove the currency symbols from your prices. By using a bare number (“4” instead of “£4”) your customers are encouraged to disassociate the number from an actual real-world amount of money – and the price of your products becomes less of a real-world worry.

  • Create an emotional response with creative product names. You might take your strongest espresso and name it “The Godfather”. Or you could turn your most decadent slice of cake into “The Marie Antoinette”. These simple cultural references can tap into your customers’ nostalgia, getting them excited about a coffee or a cake before they’ve even seen or tasted it.

  • Menu designs for coffee shops. The best part? Menus don’t last forever. That means that every month or two, you’ll be spending the same money on getting new menus printed – so it’s a perfect chance to regularly try out some new designs, new items, or new product names. Folded leaflet menus have always been the mainstay for most restaurants, yet most coffee shops are these days opting for flat non folded designs, A5 flyer size being the most common.

So what’s next?

The best time to start promoting your coffee shop is now.

There are countless different ways to get customers through the doors, and you’ll need to try a few different methods before you find what works best with your market and your way of doing business.

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