If you’d love to enter the coffee shop industry as a franchisee and start running your own business today, this article is a great place to start. Marketing a coffee shop franchise successfully and effectively isn’t always easy, but with these six tips, you’ll be well on your way to building a brand and achieving franchise success.
In the UK, the cafe and coffee shop market has a value of over £10 billion, and between 2018 and 2019, the market grew an impressive 7.9% [Allegra]. Though evidently impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, the industry is determinedly bouncing back and, if you want to become a barista, there’s never been a better time. Start a coffee shop franchise today with the following crucial marketing advice in mind.
These 6 marketing tips will show you how to market a coffee shop franchise successfully
When you start running a coffee business as a franchisee, you’ll be supported by your franchisor in many different ways - including, in many cases, with marketing. But if you truly want to stand out beyond your brand name and build a strong, loyal customer base that grants your franchise longevity and financial stability, these marketing tips will help...
1. Introduce a loyalty scheme
When you make a career change with a coffee shop franchise, you’ll likely carry forward plenty of knowledge from your previous job - even if it happened to be in a completely unrelated sector. One bit of knowledge that you might already have is this: Customers of all kinds love to be rewarded for their loyalty.
This is particularly true for coffee shop frequenters, and it’s something you can use to your advantage if you introduce a loyalty scheme that grants discounts, or occasional freebies. However you structure it, your customers will respond positively. They’ll become some of your best marketing tools, spreading the word and bettering your reputation within the community.
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2. Gather customer feedback using feedback cards
Feedback cards, handed to customers with every purchase, are a great way to gather important data about what, exactly, your customers want. And once you know what they want, you’ll be in the best possible position to provide it - and to advertise this new provision. One of the biggest coffee shop trends in 2021, for instance, is a demand for plant-based options. This is something that feedback cards might tell you your customers are looking for.
Strategically, we are a beverage-first company. When we attach food, our R&D teams have been very thoughtful about how to have the food menu be relevant to the [...] beverages that we sell. [...] The most dominant shift in consumer behaviour is this whole shift to plant-based. And that is a shift both in beverage and in food.
- Kevin Johnson, Starbucks
3. Host events in your coffee shop and connect with your local community
When you hold events in your franchise’s space, you give new people an incentive to visit and begin the process of making your coffee shop a staple in the local community. It’s a great way to say, essentially, “Look! We’re right here, and we’re a great place to visit for events AND yummy beverages.”
Some of the top coffee franchises in the UK are nailing event marketing and seeing increased profits as a result. Take Centenary Lounge as an example. Just recently, the art deco railway-themed cafe chain announced that it will be hosting two different masterclasses at its Worcester location - a Luxury Cocktail and Canapes Masterclass and a Classic Cocktail Masterclass with Fizz and Nibbles.
4. Build a strong digital presence with your website and social media
Social media is a huge part of marketing in this day and age, and any successful advertising strategy should account for digital marketing. There are two key areas that you’ll need to cover: Your website and your social media presence. Your website should be user-friendly, usable on mobile and easy to navigate. It should load quickly, be designed professionally, and include SEO-friendly content that boosts your search engine rankings and raises your coffee franchise’s visibility.
Your social media presence should be authentic, consistent, and focused on building a connection and engaging an audience. Consider sharing behind-the-scenes content and expert insights - anything you think will be interesting to your core target audience. Research shows that social media is one of the best ways to help customers connect with your brand on a deeper, more personal level [Web FX], and it’s a very necessary marketing avenue if you want to keep up with your competitors.
5. Expand into the food delivery market
As you’re launching your franchise and building a business plan for your coffee shop, you’re likely to conduct some market research and discover exactly how much demand there is for food delivery options among UK consumers right now. The foodservice delivery market is worth £8.5 billion [Statista] and after a pandemic-induced boom, the industry has only continued to grow and expand post-COVID.
In terms of marketing your franchise and getting your coffee out there to more people, looking into delivery options and partnering with popular apps like JustEat and Deliveroo is a good idea. You’ll widen your reach and attract more people, at no detriment to your existing in-shop customers.
>> Read more:
- What is the Marketing Fee and Why is it Necessary?
- Developing an effective franchise marketing plan
- Try Out These 8 Outside-the-Box Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Business and Engage Your Customers
- 10 Tips for Building Truly Effective Social Media Marketing Campaigns
- Franchising 101: 8 Essential Marketing Strategies for Promoting Your Business
- Franchising 101: 6 Tips for Building Customer Loyalty Through Marketing
6. Use the expertise of your franchisor and franchise network
One of the biggest advantages of running a coffee shop franchise, rather than an independent coffee shop, is the access to franchisor support. Every franchise is different, but many will offer extensive marketing assistance. If you ever have a marketing query - why isn’t this strategy working, what should I do to attract this type of customer, etc. - you know who to call.
We’ll set up your very own social media channels and email addresses, provide a thorough social media workshop to clue you up on the wonderful worlds of Facebook, Instagram and more, provide you with flyers, menus and other visual designs upon request - and we’ll also promote your franchise to local press when you launch to get more eyes on your business.
- Coffee Blue
Marketing your franchise effectively equals building a profitable coffee business
When you sign a franchise agreement and launch your coffee shop franchise, you’ll now know exactly where to start when it comes to marketing and advertising. Browse the wide range of cafe and coffee shop investment options available to you on Point Franchise, and don’t forget to consider all avenues before you commit.
You might consider, for instance, starting a mobile coffee business. Franchises like Cafe2U, Coffee Blue and Really Awesome Coffee have seen huge success in this area, and making a career change with a coffee van franchise is a more affordable (but still highly profitable) alternative to the traditional coffee shop.
Lily Sweeney, Point Franchise ©