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Forum nameMarketing Mix
Topic subjectRE: In need or urgent marketing and sales help....!
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1301, RE: In need or urgent marketing and sales help....!
Posted by dogatemycompute, Wed Dec-31-08 11:46 AM
>I run a small coffee shop in Des Moines, Iowa. We are in
>kind of a rut. Out of the four stores in the Des Moines area
>we are always last in sales. I cannot figure this out. I am
>relentlessly marketing every week to all of the businesses in
>the surrounding area and nothing has changed.

I personally spent about $2500/year at Starbucks and would prefer an alternative. Of course most coffee shop owners here in Arizona consistently fail a couple of key tests.

First.. Us coffee drinkers have addictive personalities. This means that we want our coffee at our leisure. This means 6am on Tuesday or 9pm on Sunday. Your existing customers may be thrilled about your coffee but that may fit within their comfortable hours. If you want to capture a larger audience then try making yourself available BEFORE Starbucks opens and AFTER Starbucks closes. Nothing is more annoying than driving to your favorite coffee shack and the place is closed.

Second.. Consistency. Starbucks hit it on the head with "its perfect or its free". I have had cups of coffee sitting in my car for days before I got around to taking it back to Starbucks for a replacement. They always honor their commitment to quality. You should do the same.

Third.. I have began to ween myself off Starbucks in favor of McDonalds because McDonalds is always open, they have consistency and they always have my breakfast. Not only can I get good coffee but I can always get my breakfast too! This does not mean a full service breakfast but it does mean good, frozen sandwiches and a good oven. (You don't even have to show your customers what you are serving.. debox them into a freezer and microwave them or heat them in an oven.)

Fourth.. Never compete on price. Starbucks charged $6/cup and put hundreds of other coffee shops out of business. They didn't do it by competing on price. They did it by competing on hours, quality, consistency and diversity.

Hopefully this helps!