I feel it is both difficult & expensive for independent cafes to consitently come up with effective marketing strategies to compete with the giants. First, I recognize that my competition is not only the chains such as $tarbux, but also McDonalds, Wendys, Burger King, Blockbuster, Wal-mart, essentially anyone that competes for a customers disrectionary income. That being said, I recognize that not every cafe can afford to invest a great deal of money in developing marketing campaigns. We can, however, share what we have already created. I will be posting some photographs that have been professionally taken. They are NOT perfect, but they are certainly useable. You may take them & add your logos, put them on posters or banners, or change them in any way to fit your needs. It is my hope that many of you will do the same. What about recorded commercials? If you have some that have been effective, why not upload them here & share them? We can re-record them or change the tag line at the end or whatever needs to be done to personalize it to fit each of our cafes.
Anything that you can share that can be customized would be great.
I personally don't have the resources to compete with the giants advertising budgets, but collectively, we CAN compete.

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Very generous of you Ken, thanks for sharing.

Another inexpensive way to learn a lot about Marketing a specialty coffee retail operation is Bruce's book on the subject. It is call Effective and Essential Marketing for the Specialty Coffee Retailer.

2005 winner of the Specialty Coffee Association of America's "Best New Educational Product" award.

Serving the best coffee in town won't help your business if no one knows about it! In Effective & Essential Marketing for the Specialty Coffee Retailer, Bruce Milletto gives you access to his vast knowledge of the specialty coffee industry and explains how thoughtful attention to promoting your business can mean the difference between becoming your community's third place and being in third place.

Effective marketing creates awareness of [and loyalty to] your brand in your community, even when the mega chains come to town. This book gives you the tools you need to use your passion for coffee and your distinct advantage as a local business to compete effectively against the corporate giants.

A successful marketing program doesn't have to be the brainchild of a highly trained professional. Nor do you need to throw big advertising dollars in front of potential customers with the hope they will stumble over them and into your store. With some expert guidance and your own commitment to success, you can develop a loyal clientele and outwit the competition, without breaking the bank.


Check it out here


If you call in to order it over the phone mention Barista Exchange and receive an additional $10 off your purchase.

- Matt
Matt is right, this is a great book that has enhanced our company greatly.
Every time I hear McDonalds mocking the specialty coffee industry I think "if I only had 30 million dollars, I would hire some ad ecectuives to combat this." I finally decided that I couldn't afford to do that, but I could conspire with every independent coffee house around the country.
Marketing is a topic that we always try to cover with our customers when they are looking at a POS system. I think one of the tough things is that a lot of people use "shotgun" marketing - they throw out coupons, discounts etc and have no real way to see if the dollars are working. Now, this does not help much with the handwritten or cash register crowd but once a POS is implemented, you have a terrific opportunity to market to customers and more importantly track what is happening.

For example, when you have a special, discount or coupon advertised - Track that one individually - then you can see if the dollars you have spent are truly earning a good rate of return. If a coupon or special is not actually working - your wasting time and money.

Any good POS system should allow you to track your customer history and market by email or mailing labels on a regular basis. For example, I have customers that use SP-1 For Coffee to mail out specials to people that have not ordered in 15 days - those people did not stop drinking coffee!

I'd suggest that the first thing people do is stop, look at what they are currently doing with marketing and advertising, and then see if those methods are actually working for them.

Mike@SelbySoft
800-454-4434
SP-1 For Coffee POS
Email newsletters... Once you set them up, they're practically free. We started a couple of years ago with about 60 names that I got from business cards, and it's now grown to nearly 900 subscribers. I send it out once a month. I do a mix of information about us, our events, and then community information. I try to make it reflect the interests of the community that is our customer base.
Thanks to my good friends at Kavarna, I have a new question: Have any of you used any of the available programs for email marketing such as GroupMail or PoliteMail, or just how do you all handle emarketing?

ken, i think its way cool that you are putting this out there for all of us as bx members to participate in, or share our marketing strats, as well.  i sort of have a ready base of customers when i open my window in the morning...i'm set up at equestrian facilities.  even though these customers and their crews and competitors and family are gathered in one venue setting (and the only competition for me is the concession coffee heating up on the hotplate warmer), i still know i don't have a captive audience, so to speak.  so, i'm always up for creative ideas on how to reach them either before they arrive at the facility, or, while they are there.  a couple of these venues are pretty large, and i can get easily overlooked in the crowd.  alot of what i depend on is having been set up at many of the equestrian shows for years now, and my repeat customer, and word of mouth.

 

thanks,

 

sage

the coffee hound

Hi Ken, great idea on the sharing bit ... I try to put up marketing tips & tricks on my 2 blogs www.mycoffeepro.com and www.aimitmedia.com ... along with drink recipes and basic coffee knowledge.

 

I'm re-focusing my coffee blog this year to be a better resource for coffee professionals and coffee enthusiasts who want to get into the industry ... and I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear from the professionals here at BX the kind of information they'd like to see on my coffee blog.

 

I completely agree with Mike Spence, invest in a good POS system and/or CRM database software and track the heck out of those marketing efforts so you know what works and what doesn't.

 

I'm an ideas generator, so please feel free to ask me when you need help and/or a little extra creative spark.

 

Cheers,

Chase.

Hey Mike, great response ... we still need to see how our experience and services might help each other.

 

As you know, it's been a few years since I looked at your software ... could you send me a user manual in pdf so I can see what's changed?

 

I'm a huge proponent of independents using software and technology to beat the big boys with smart marketing tools.

 

Thanks,

Chase

 

Mike Spence said:

Marketing is a topic that we always try to cover with our customers when they are looking at a POS system. I think one of the tough things is that a lot of people use "shotgun" marketing - they throw out coupons, discounts etc and have no real way to see if the dollars are working. Now, this does not help much with the handwritten or cash register crowd but once a POS is implemented, you have a terrific opportunity to market to customers and more importantly track what is happening.

For example, when you have a special, discount or coupon advertised - Track that one individually - then you can see if the dollars you have spent are truly earning a good rate of return. If a coupon or special is not actually working - your wasting time and money.

Any good POS system should allow you to track your customer history and market by email or mailing labels on a regular basis. For example, I have customers that use SP-1 For Coffee to mail out specials to people that have not ordered in 15 days - those people did not stop drinking coffee!

I'd suggest that the first thing people do is stop, look at what they are currently doing with marketing and advertising, and then see if those methods are actually working for them.

Mike@SelbySoft
800-454-4434
SP-1 For Coffee POS

Hey Matt, a book by Bruce that I missed, how did that happen?!


Any chance of you guys making it digital?

I pretty much do all my reading on the go nowadays ... I know, I know, carry a book with you then, you say ... it's just not the same, I prefer digital reading.

 

Matt Milletto said:

Very generous of you Ken, thanks for sharing.

Another inexpensive way to learn a lot about Marketing a specialty coffee retail operation is Bruce's book on the subject. It is call Effective and Essential Marketing for the Specialty Coffee Retailer.

2005 winner of the Specialty Coffee Association of America's "Best New Educational Product" award.

Serving the best coffee in town won't help your business if no one knows about it! In Effective & Essential Marketing for the Specialty Coffee Retailer, Bruce Milletto gives you access to his vast knowledge of the specialty coffee industry and explains how thoughtful attention to promoting your business can mean the difference between becoming your community's third place and being in third place.

Effective marketing creates awareness of [and loyalty to] your brand in your community, even when the mega chains come to town. This book gives you the tools you need to use your passion for coffee and your distinct advantage as a local business to compete effectively against the corporate giants.

A successful marketing program doesn't have to be the brainchild of a highly trained professional. Nor do you need to throw big advertising dollars in front of potential customers with the hope they will stumble over them and into your store. With some expert guidance and your own commitment to success, you can develop a loyal clientele and outwit the competition, without breaking the bank.


Check it out here


If you call in to order it over the phone mention Barista Exchange and receive an additional $10 off your purchase.

- Matt
I use Aweber.com so I can do "drip campaigns" ... but I've been thinking of looking into other systems ... I'd love to hear the feedback on this topic too.

Ken Chappell said:
Thanks to my good friends at Kavarna, I have a new question: Have any of you used any of the available programs for email marketing such as GroupMail or PoliteMail, or just how do you all handle emarketing?

Hi Alex, have you ever sent out a Coupon Calendar? You can make them anywhere from 3 months to a full year in advance and email/mail them out to customers.

 

Do you ever put coupons into your newsletters? And track the response I hope ;-)


Alex Galt said:

Email newsletters... Once you set them up, they're practically free. We started a couple of years ago with about 60 names that I got from business cards, and it's now grown to nearly 900 subscribers. I send it out once a month. I do a mix of information about us, our events, and then community information. I try to make it reflect the interests of the community that is our customer base.

I don't know if this would work for your venues Sage, but have you ever sent out a Sage the Coffee Hound mascot to hand out coupons, flyers and/or interact with crowds ... perhaps in the parking lot or right at the main entrance?

 

I wouldn't think it'd be that expensive if you create your own costume ... but I have no idea really, never tried a mascot before...


sage said:

ken, i think its way cool that you are putting this out there for all of us as bx members to participate in, or share our marketing strats, as well.  i sort of have a ready base of customers when i open my window in the morning...i'm set up at equestrian facilities.  even though these customers and their crews and competitors and family are gathered in one venue setting (and the only competition for me is the concession coffee heating up on the hotplate warmer), i still know i don't have a captive audience, so to speak.  so, i'm always up for creative ideas on how to reach them either before they arrive at the facility, or, while they are there.  a couple of these venues are pretty large, and i can get easily overlooked in the crowd.  alot of what i depend on is having been set up at many of the equestrian shows for years now, and my repeat customer, and word of mouth.

 

thanks,

 

sage

the coffee hound

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