The Tip Jar - Make the Most of Your Space, Leveraging Your Location

Tuesday May 5, 2015 // By Matthew Moseley

The Tip Jar - A Great Cup Deserves a Great TipOne morning as I’m making my way to work, I see a discouraging sight in the distance.  The railroad crossing gates begin flashing and realize I will inevitably be waiting for a train to pass.  At first this seems like the absolute worst thing that could be happening; then like an angel descending from the clouds to rescue me, I see a man running up to the cars idling impatiently with coffee cups in-hand.  To my surprise, this was a barista from Harbinger Coffee, the shop located on the corner, giving out free coffee to promote their brand and delicious coffee.  And it hits me, Harbinger Coffee, had just turned waiting at railroad crossing, which most people view with disdain, into a joyous experience and powerful marketing tool.  Although it was impossible for them to serve a free cup of Joe to every car waiting on the train that morning, we had all been introduced to their brand and aware of this great destination for a caffeine jolt conveniently located on the path of our daily commute.

This is a powerful example of how you can take advantage of your location.  You may not be located near train tracks, but have you consider how the area surrounding your retail space can afford unique or creative marketing opportunities?  Who passes by your shop?  What might grab their attention or reveal to them that you’re there ready to serve them something delicious?  Are you located next to a distinguishable landmark you can leverage in your marketing?  What draws people to this part of town?  Can you sponsor or serve drinks at local events that draw large crowds?  Even if these questions have not roused any innovative ideas yet, there are some more basic ways you can ensure you’re making the most of your space.

We are Open!

A good place to start, is ensuring your brand is prominently displayed.  Obviously you will want your shop name distinctly displayed on yourshop’s facade, but don’t stop there.  Think about displaying bold, vivid images of brands you serve or colorful specialty drinks you offer in your shops windows. Another great and fairly inexpensive option is displaying neon signs that screams “We are Open” or highlights what you serve, such “Fresh Brewed Coffee.”  Another fairly common yet powerful way to capture attention is by placing a chalkboard out front of your shop where you can display daily specials.  These are great because they not only can attract people’s attention walking or driving by, but they give you the flexibility of changing your messages or getting creative with how you display your message.

Let the scent of coffee entice those passing by...In addition, coffee emits bold aromas; take advantage of this.  On moderate temperature days, consider opening up your shop doors to allow the intoxicating scent of fresh brewed coffee to escape and tempt people to enter your shop.  Especially if you do in-house roasting, consider how you ventilate your machines and leverage that amazing aroma.  One of the biggest obstacles to gaining new customers is educating the public of who you are, where to find you, and what you offer.  

Lastly, if you don’t already offer bakery options or in-house lunch options; you might want to consider partnering with local businesses.  This is a great opportunity to expand your shop’s appeal and menu while still minimizing your product and management costs.  You’ll want to make sure that this venture is mutually beneficial by coordinating promotion across your various marketing channels whether that be social media, newsletters, or signage in your shop windows and on community boards.  Local food carts or catering trucks are a great place to begin your search for partners to offer unique lunch items and increase traffic to your shop.  This strategy allows you to boost day parts that typically experience sluggish sales.

No matter what you end up implementing; the main takeaway is that you need to consider your physical location and your surroundings so you can be constantly aware of valuable opportunities.

Welcome ! Remember that any order of $1750 or more qualifies for free shipping, and that you will receive at least a $50 rebate towards freight if you spend more than $750.