You’ve done it. You’ve opened your coffee roastery or coffee shop and started building that loyal customer base. Your employees are bonding and learning how to work efficiently together. You’ve gotten your name and your brand out there, in your neighborhood and the surrounding areas. You’ve started promoting yourself on social media, you’ve got suppliers and maybe you’ve booked an event or two. Congratulations!
Now comes the day-to-day, month-to-month marketing. What are some strategies for advertising your holiday promotions, for example? What are some strategies for advertising general store promotions or news at your physical store location? There are always your traditional media and social media advertising strategies; but, there’s ample opportunity to promote and market right there on site.
One of the first things you want to put in your store window is your store hours. Customers are more likely to come in if they know for certain that your store is open and if they know when it is closing. If a customer has to come inside to find out how long you’ll be open, many will be unlikely to do so, and that is time wasted that they could be finding out more about your products and brand in general. Posting store hours also builds that initial trust with potential customers; they don’t feel like you have something to hide and there is no uncomfortable element of the unknown when they enter your establishment. Your customers will feel a sense of consistency and stability from your brand that lays the foundation for a positive experience.
The method of a window display, especially for store hours, that is most effective is adhering something like a glass decal directly to the window. This further enhances the sense of consistency and stability by making your customers feel like the store hours are a permanent part of your business.
This is true of any window advertising or decoration. The wrong window decorations and displays can easily cheapen the aesthetic of your business and its branding. I caution you away from hand-written notices unless they are particularly well-done to the point that they look professionally designed or at least purposefully and carefully done.
Printed and graphically designed displays give your business an automatic sense of legitimacy. Handwritten and drawn displays are a good strategy for a small business, a hole-in-the-wall, a place that is geared toward being a unique hamlet of a business. Think of the chalkboard sidewalk signs; if your business is a small shop with mix-and-matched furniture or an eclectic feel, well-done hand-designed displays will work. What you want to ensure is that you give the displays purposeful attention; customers can tell when something was thrown together last minute and haphazardly. This sends the message that you don’t care. Even if you just don’t care about the window display, giving your customers the impression that you don’t care about any aspect of your brand will make them more likely to feel like you don’t care about every aspect of your brand. Your windows are most likely your first point of contact with your customers and you want them to look professional, purposeful and to match the aesthetic of your business and brand.
One of the main ways you garner new business for your coffee shop is from passers-by. This means that your window displays are a vital aspect of your marketing, branding, and advertising. Even if a window display is advertising a temporary, short-term promotion, event, or change, you want it to match your brand, and sell the stability, legitimacy and consistency of your business just as much as your logo and signage.
You can use window displays to encourage your customers to help promote your shop on social media. Advertising your social media is a great strategy for expanding your word-of-mouth promotion. A simple message like “tag us” in an aesthetically pleasing and interesting window display can go a long way in getting your brand into the minds of more potential customers.
The holidays are a fantastic opportunity for refreshing your interactions with your guests and garnering more positive associations for your brand. Whatever your promotion, again you want something that looks purposeful if not professional. With temporary window displays for holiday promotions, giving them a personal touch may actually be the best strategy, depending on your clientele. In the age of chain-businesses and mass-produced products, a personal touch can do a lot to engage your customers and garner their loyalty.
Coffee shops generally draw out the artistic types, as customers but also as employees. If you have visual artists in your employ, you may be able to utilize their talents for less money than an advertiser or marketing strategist. You shouldn’t exploit them, but you can offer an affordable fee or other incentives for their work to help promote holiday specials, blends or deals.
People love the chance to celebrate something; it breaks up the mundane, redundant every day. Perhaps during the winter holidays, if a customer brings in a holiday card for your store they get a free or reduced-priced beverage or a pastry with their beverage purchase. Your window display can say this in a simple, creative wording or even by utilizing holiday cards creatively, like a collage. Your message and visual should be intuitive and easy-to-understand while also thoroughly explaining the promotion. Don’t forget to advertise caveats, like “one per customer per holiday” so that those customers who will want to game the system don’t have an excuse to make a scene and those who genuinely misunderstand don’t see your business as untrustworthy.
Window displays are also a great way to change things up with the aesthetic of your store. You can remind people in the neighborhood that your business exists by displaying an eye-catching window design for new holidays or promotions; this will prevent your store from blending into the everyday landscape in your neighborhood.
Window displays are also handy for advertising events at your store or in the community. Advertising events at your store is a no-brainer; but, advertising events elsewhere in the community builds a sense of community that will be associated with your business. Promoting local artistic or other events will help build your standing with the community at large, and subsections of the community like the artistic community who will, in turn, bring their friends or fans to your business. Allowing the advertising of local events and even other, non-competitive businesses will build the sense that your shop is a gathering place for the community, a place to hang out, to bring people to, to find out what is going on.
Decorating for the holidays, or in general is also a great strategy for keeping the aesthetic of your business front fresh and memorable. You can utilize local artists or artists in your employ to do seasonal window murals or other such visuals that keep your storefront interesting, exciting and stimulating–all things that help bolster business and keep the associations with your business good and positive.
The main things to remember are consistency with brand and aesthetic, displays that look professional or at least purposeful, giving enough information without giving too much, and having stimulating and engaging content in your window displays! Don’t rest on your laurels and assume that your marketing and visual design is done just because your business is open. There’s always an opportunity to do more and get more business!