When you’re trying to build a business as an artisanal coffee roaster, you’ll need a strong marketing plan. Because you can’t work with the same quantities as the major coffee companies, you’ll need to sell your product based on its superior quality and everything that goes into that. Here are three messages you can incorporate into a strong marketing plan to help your coffee roasting business gain a loyal following and keep growing:
- “We Know Coffee Through and Through”
Do everything you can to tell and demonstrate to your customers that you know about every aspect of coffee, not just roasting and selling it. Fill your company website with informational blogs and graphics about the process of growing, processing, roasting and brewing coffee; hold educational events such as tastings; and just take time to talk about coffee with all your customers. They’ll soon realize they’re paying for your knowledge, and not just a cup of Joe.
- “We Use a Small Batch Coffee Roaster”
Coffee is best when consumed within a week of roasting. So you should let your customers know that you’re using a small coffee roaster machine to prepare just as much as you know you can sell. This way, they’ll be getting the freshest possible coffee at all times. Using a small batch roaster is a smart business move anyway, since you’ll minimize your initial investment and mitigate your risk until you’re sure your business is stable.
- “We’re a Part of Your Community”
Branding yourself as an artisanal coffee roaster isn’t just about making great coffee (though obviously, if people can’t taste the difference between your coffee and Folgers, you’ve got a problem). It’s about becoming a part of the artisanal community in your local area and making a commitment to that movement. It’s unfortunately almost impossible to get great green coffee beans from your area (unless you’re working in Hawaii or outside the U.S.), but you can make sure you’re buying sustainably sourced beans, treating any employees fairly, using the best possible techniques and putting your profits back into your business and the local community. The people who buy artisanal products can be extremely loyal when they know you share their values, and not just their love of caffeine.
What other advice can you offer to small business coffee roasters trying to gain a foothold in the artisanal community? Share your thoughts in the comments.