January 17, 2018

Coffee Shop Marketing: Why You Need to Understand Your Customers


Customers: they are the driving force behind your business. They’re the ones ordering espressos and taking out lattes to work so you can pay your baristas, cover overheads, and see profits. But how well do you know them? Do you understand why they walk through your door? And – perhaps more importantly – do you know how to reach them after they’ve walked out again?

When you know your customers like you know your friends, you have a powerful asset that will allow you to increase your sales. I’ve just written an ebook on the topic, so let me explain why it’s so important.

Versión en Español: Marketing: Por Qué Necesitas Entender a Tus Clientes


Latte in Amsterdam. Credit: Tremento

Know Your Customers

How do you talk to your best friend? What about your grandma? And what about that stranger at a party? Completely differently, right?

Your tone of voice, vocabulary, and choice of conversational topics change constantly. And to successfully communicate with your customers, you need to understand them the same way you understand your friends. You need to know their motivations, thoughts, and feelings.

But friends aren’t made without any effort. Friendships are built on trust, experiences, and conversations. As a coffee shop owner, you should aim to create these three things with your customers. Ask them questions, provide an enjoyable experience, offer them loyalty cards or discounts, and deliver quality every time.

You might also like: 5 Ways to Get Your Customers to Return

And don’t forget about the last item on the list: conversations. You should start talking to your customers and find out what drives them into your shop. What do they enjoy about coffee? What’s their favorite origin and brewing method, and at what time of the day do they appreciate their cup the most?

Your eventual goal should be to create buyer personas: fictional representations of segments of your customers. However, even though they’re fictional, these personas are based on data and facts. I’m talking interviews, surveys, website analytics and so on.

A buyer persona gives you great insight into what motivates your customer to buy a coffee, how they find you, and why they decide to visit your café. Thanks to this information, you’ll be able to improve your communication and marketing efforts, seeing much better returns. You’ll have a better understanding of how to engage your customers and reach them, both online and offline.


Drinking coffees in Madrid. Credit: Tremento

Get Better Returns on Your Marketing Investments

There’s enough hassle that comes with running a coffee shop. You need to take care of your stock, your staff, your shop, and so on. But without customers, you’re nowhere. That’s why you shouldn’t underestimate the value of marketing and communication.

But with so many things going on, there’s one thing you need to ensure: you want to get the best return on investment on the content and communications you put out there. You want to know that the time and money you spend on your marketing efforts will deliver you the best results possible.

And here’s the catch: you’re never going to get the best results if you don’t truly know who you’re talking to. But when you have buyer personas for your coffee shop, it gets easier to define what kind of specials you should create and what sort of events or menu items your guests will be interested in. It will also guide you in your choice of content creation for social media and, just as importantly, what kind of advertisements you should use.

And then there’s the next benefit: your buyer personas will help you target the right audience for your advertisements, meaning their reach will not only be bigger but also more profitable.


Cappuccino in Amsterdam. Credit: Tremento

Increase Your Customer Loyalty

By creating buyer personas and getting to know your customer, you’ll be able to provide them with better service. Your offerings – from the coffee to the music, coffee shop design, service, and more – will meet their needs, emotional wants, and values. And the relationships this will create can be of big value to your coffee shop.

Your most loyal customers should feel like they’re your friends. You get them. You get what they want. And you really speak to them, both in the café and online.

And customers who are like “friends” are more likely to become brand ambassadors for your coffee shop, leading to an increase in word-of-mouth marketing. They feel appreciated, which will turn into favors such as online reviews. They want to return and they want to bring their friends with them.

What’s more, they’re going to spend a lot more money in your shop – for a lot less marketing effort. According to a 2017 study done by data consultancy SumAll, businesses with 40% repeat customers generate nearly 50% more revenue than similar businesses which have only 10% repeat customers. That’s a big difference!


Cortado at Café Federal in Madrid. Credit: Tremento

You need to know your customers. It’s key to designing the right communications and marketing, delivering better in-store and online service, and building stronger relationships – resulting in more return customers and better profits.

Found this useful? Check out: 5 Ways to Get Your Customers to Return

Perfect Daily Grind is not affiliated with any of the individuals or bodies mentioned in this article and cannot directly endorse them.

Want to read more articles like this? Sign up for our newsletter!