Can Rebranding Boost your Coffee Sales?

Posted on October 7, 2019 by Ash Bennett

When customers come into your coffee shop, are they underwhelmed with your cup offering? Let’s face it, a good cup of coffee transcends the vessel you serve it in; if you serve it in cool packaging, however, your customers will appreciate the effort. As a cafe or coffee shop owner, you know that customers can be picky about their coffee choice. Savvy consumers are concerned about Fair Trade beans and sustainable products as well as a good blend and organically grown beans. Is it possible that they are just as concerned with the cup the coffee comes in? Have you ever heard of a little coffee company named Starbucks and their infamous holiday red cups? Back in 2016, Starbucks unveiled a green coffee shop that had their customers seeing red.

The Starbucks cup debacle proves that customers are indeed aware of packaging changes. The green cup, symbolizing unity, had a polarizing effect on consumers. Thousands took to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction. However, not all customers hated it. Just as many tweeted their support. This wasn’t Starbucks’ first time at the holiday rodeo. In 2015, the company drew the ire of Christians when holiday imagery was removed from the classic red cups. Instead of reindeer, Christmas trees, and Santa, the cup was simply red. The resulting brouhaha garnered a lot of media attention on the coffee powerhouse.

This is not to say that you should change everything just because Starbucks changed their cups. It simply means evaluate the effect your branding has on your customers, and subsequently, on your sales. Australian coffee shop Coffee Supreme changed the color of their cups based on size. They also implemented multiple images on their cups.The red, white, or black cups are said to make it easier for baristas to identify the small, medium, or large sizes.

Can a shift in branding impact your sales? According to Forbes magazine, the tiniest branding shift could potentially mean billions. In an article on branding, Forbes contributor Jerry McLaughlin highlights the history of Morton Salt Company. Simply by adding the word “iodized” to its packaging, Morton went from a small company to a billion-dollar enterprise. At the time, there was a health scare in the U.S., when doctors revealed that diets low in iodine could contribute to goiters. Morton added iodine to its salt products and changed the packaging to reflect health benefits; the branding shift significantly increased the company’s sales.

Carefully evaluate how minor changes in your packaging can impact your brand. Look at areas where you can refresh the look of your packaging design. Lid color changes can set your cups apart from the competition. Wrappers, cups, or lids that reflect specific holidays or events could also be unique ways to create buzz around your brand. Essentially, your brand should tell customers what you do, how you do it, and for whom you do it. Using creative packaging to tell your story is not only smart, it’s necessary


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