The benefits. Or why your customers really head to your specialty cafe

When asked about what you offer, I’m sure a lot of you can easily tell about their coffee, their food or even tastings and trainings.

But, step back a little and ask yourself, if that’s the only thing - your offer - why your customers are heading to your cafe?

What’s the real reason that young business lady stops by every morning? Sure, it might just be your great coffee! But, let’s be honest, is your specialty cafe really the only place, where to get great coffee from nowadays?

When differentiating your coffee business from all the other ones in your neighborhood, can you think of something that your offer, e.g. your products like your coffee and food, can that others can’t? Is your food local and organic maybe? Is your coffee more affordable than the coffee of other cafes?

Take that list and cross off any need that your competitors can claim too.

This exercise is meant to help you find areas where your coffee business is different than others. Simply having the best coffee, or the best customer service in the local cafe market isn’t enough differentiation. Remember, every coffee business thinks they have the best coffee and food. Take some time to figure out how your offer meets the needs of your customers in a way that others can’t.

Uncover the real reasons your customers buy your products.

It’s always a good idea to talk to your guests! Not just because they’re coming every day or asking them how they like the coffee. But, actually asking your customers WHY they like the coffee and WHY they’re coming to your cafe every day, might bring you some really interesting insights on your coffee business. Is it the taste or the size of the coffee? Is it the atmosphere or the service?

Here are some questions, that might help you with that:

Why did your customers buy your coffee (or your other products)?

What is the primary benefit they are looking for when heading to your cafe?

What did they like about your products?

Ask your baristas to do the same. Keep your ears open and watch social media for what people say about your cafe business. By getting customers’ insights and opinions, you'll notice trends that may spark ideas for your USP. Perhaps customers prefer your cafe to the one down the street because your menu is small and focused on certain coffee drinks so the decision is easy, while the other cafe’s menu is filled with loads of options that take hours to dig through.

You’re not successful as a specialty cafe by just selling great coffee!

There’s more to this equation, if you want to stick out on that local specialty coffee market! What features of your coffee business jump out at you as something that sets you apart? What can you promote that will make customers want to patronize your cafe?

Don't get discouraged: Successful cafe business ownership isn't just about having great coffee and food; it’s about making your products and service stand out - even in a coffee market filled with similar cafes.

Extract the benefits of your cafe

The benefit of visiting Starbucks is that you have a casual environment to meet friends or do work. You’re not buying the coffee, you’re buying an experience.

Customers buy benefits, not features!

You need to understand what benefits you deliver to your customers. Use the overview of your ideal customer to help you out.

When promoting your cafe business, be it on Social Media or your Marketing material, focus on how your products benefits customers - not just on its features.

Also, when thinking of creating a unique value proposition for your specialty cafe, ask yourself how your products provide value and solve problems for your customers. Again, don’t get this confused with features of your products! Concentrate on value and problem solving.

So, to start with, list all the features of the product or service that your cafe business offers. When you can’t think of any more, go through each feature and look at it from the customer’s point of view. What is the benefit? List all the benefits next to the corresponding features.

From that list eliminate all the benefits your competition is also offering. If you find that you have no benefits left after you do this, you may have to tweak some features so that they result in unique benefits.

With knowing about the benefits of your products and your cafe business, you're able to get insights why customers are actually coming to your cafe. That can help you attract even more customers, because you now know how to offer the solution to their needs and wants.

What are the benefits of your specialty cafe? Why do your regulars love to stop by every day? Tell me in the comments below!