Have you thought about starting a coffee business? Or perhaps you have already opened one and are now in the process of improving your branding? Or rebranding? Or maybe you are simply a coffee lover interested in the topic? No matter what background you come from, the article on coffee business branding will certainly bring you some insight into how the industry’s marketing looks like.
Imagine you are an owner of a small coffee brand either operating a small local café or producing beans and starting to sell them locally. Or perhaps both. You created a business. Now, you must work on creating a brand. Where should you start? What is the very first step in the branding world?
Tell your brand’s story!
Why did you start your business? There must have been some story behind everything you did, right? After all, you certainly didn’t start it out of boredom. One could argue that there isn’t a lot to talk about if one started their brand purely for financial reasons. However, is coffee business really the best area to go into for financial return? The market is very saturated so starting a coffee brand is nothing less than a challenge. Quite confidently, your passion for coffee had a lot to do with why you decided to become your own boss in this industry.
Don’t be afraid to tell your story. Quite the contrary, try to share it with the world as if you wanted everyone to know why you do what you do. Why? Because people love to hear the business ‘backstage’ tales. It makes the entity more relatable and human. Otherwise, you may be perceived as a soulless organization. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Some businesses aim to be seen as separate to the management who runs it. Examples are endless. However, as a beverage brand, your situation is different. You should create trust between your brand and your customers for them to consume your products.
Connect it to your values
Telling your story is one way to start a word-of-mouth marketing and to create a positive attitude towards your brand. You can go a bit further and connect the brand to the values you share as a person. In a way, it will make your brand your customer’s friend instead of just another coffee shop. Let’s say, you are a very honest person. Show it through your brand! For example, add honest and funny quotes onto the wall of your café or the label of your packaging. Customers who share the same values will feel a special connection to your brand and, hence, visit you more often (or buy more of your products).
Differentiate yourself among others
As previously mentioned, the coffee market is saturated. There are really so many brands out there trying to sell relatively similar products to the same customers. In order words, the competition is big. How can you make sure you will be the one that stands out? There is only so much you can do when it comes to the quality of your products and the pricing. At some point, you won’t be able any more flexible as it will stop you from making a profit. In such a case, you must turn to visual branding. Invest in graphic design.
We assume you already have a designed logo. If you don’t, invest in one as soon as possible. Guaranteed that it can make or break your business. If customers can’t differentiate you visually from other brands, you will soon face problems. Of course, your clients may remember your name and the location of your café or the shop where they can buy your beans but there is a limit to their memory. If there are given a visual aim, your brand will successfully remain in their minds for a long period of time.
Brand identity and packaging design
A logo is a must. Additionally, it is recommended to invest in a brand identity design. In a way, it’s an extension of a logo. It includes business card design, as well as letterhead, envelope & compliment note/slips design. In order words: stationery. But it doesn’t need to be limited to purely business things like envelopes and complimentary notes. As a café owner, you can request your designer to create, for example, menu design and guidelines for your merchandise and extra stuff like take away coffee cups or napkins. Having all these items carefully designed will create consistency across your entire business and will make your brand look professional in the eyes of the customers.
Packaging design, on the other hand, is a very important aspect if you sell products through middle parties. Imagine your coffee beans bag lies on a local supermarket shelf next to 10 different coffee beans bags. If all sell similar product and for more or less the same prices, the customer will have no idea what to choose. In such a case, he or she will pick what looks the most attractive. Therefore, try to catch the customer’s eye by some outstanding packaging design. Perhaps ask your designer to use contrasting colors or select a funny pattern. Possibilities are endless. Moreover, through packaging design, you can tell your story and present the previously mentioned values that will create a connection between your brand and your customer.
Natalia Raben is an International Business student taking care of marketing at DesignBro. Lover of design, photography and the arts.