As the growing number of coffee outlets increases competition, the ability to stand out not only becomes more important but also harder to do too – the need to think outside the box has never been so crucial to anyone involved in supplying consumers with their daily get up and go.
One way of doing this is by better understanding what your customers are trying to achieve from their visit to your coffee shop. Is it to simply get their caffeine fix so they can get on with the day? Are they looking to meet up with friends, or are they in need of a quiet corner to work from?
by better understanding your customer’s ‘goals’ the more opportunities you will have to be creative in your approach to differentiating your offer.
Perhaps they just want a kick-ass tasting hot beverage! I suspect in reality it is a number of these things, as well as a whole lot more. But by better understanding your customer’s ‘goals’ the more opportunities you will have to be creative in your approach to differentiating your offer.
For example (and this little one wins my business all the time), like many, my coffee shop visits are generally made with the intention of doing some work whilst I’m there, and for this, I need to know I’ll be able to charge my laptop easily should I need to. Advertising the fact your shop has plenty of plug sockets will sing out to anyone with the same objective as myself. OK, they might only spend £4.50 but they might also spend £25 (I can definitely fall under both), and they might do that many times in any given month, just because they know they can easily keep their laptops charged and minimise any disruption to their work. This simple feature is often overlooked by many cafe owners.
Those who want their daily fix on the run might prioritise speedy service over any other benefit, including presentation and cost. In these cases, a separate express till for takeaway drinks might make sense. One forward-thinking tech option may even allow customers to order and pay for their beverage before they even get to the shop.
However, it is also important to remember you can’t be all things to all people. Indeed, it doesn’t make good business sense to even try – your offering will most likely end up appearing mediocre in comparison to operators specialising in specific areas. A better approach is to think about the kind of customers you want to attract and make time to understand their ‘goals’ as in-depth as you possibly can.
being different isn’t enough – it has to be a difference customers value
To stand out in a crowd, you have to be different. But in a commercial sense, being different isn’t enough – it has to be a difference customers value. Understanding what your customers are really trying to do could help identify a number of opportunities to be different, and valued, which have never previously been considered.