Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

How To Market a New Specialty Coffee Shop

There are two ways, really.

  1. You get some of the people who frequent all the other specialty coffee shops around town to visit your shop. The coffee drinkers. The people who love coffee. That will be easy at first. People who drink coffee love to try new places. They will most likely end up at their regular spot. But, if their experience with you was good, they might come back when in the neighborhood. Coffee drinkers are motivated to at least try your coffee.
  2. You get people who don’t drink specialty coffee to start drinking specialty coffee.

But you have to make it easier. Here’s what I mean.

Many of the people who say, “I just get my coffee at McDonald’s” do that because it’s easy. They can look at the coffee menu and understand what it means. Order their coffee and walk away. Sure. It may not be the highest quality, greatest tasting coffee ever. But a little milk. A little sugar. It’s fine.

It was easy.

When the menu has a litany of Italian words like macchiato and cortado and mochaccino, some get intimidated.

So. What kind of expresso (sic) do you have?

I discovered a good cappuccino in 1999 when visiting Spain. Cafe con leche is cheap and abundant (and delicious) there. I otherwise would not have known what that is - and might have never ordered one in America. It’s too hard. It might be embarrassing. But Spain taught me, it’s easy. I can do this.

I can now walk into a shop and order a cappuccino with confidence.

A new specialty coffee shop should have regular community events to make it easy for coffee drinkers who might be motivated to try specialty drinks to order specialty drinks - and do it in a way that’s not pretentious and demeaning (or force them to learn Italian).

Most of the specialty shops I frequent assume potential customers already know the lingo. There’s often some looking down the nose of people who don’t.

MacDonald’s is easy.

But the more people who appreciate and drink specialty coffee, the more people who will frequent your new shop.

You just need to make it easier for them.

We influence others and change their behavior, if: a) they are motivated to do what we’re asking them to do; and b) what we’re asking them to do is relatively easy.
— Adam Ferrier - The Advertising Effect

Motivation and ease working together are crucial elements for lasting behavior change.