Ever wondered, what’s the secret ingredient, which keeps bringing you back to your favorite café’? Is it the smell of a strong brewed coffee early in the morning, or the mellow lounge music which plays in the background, or simply having the option to endlessly relax on the leather couch?

Café owners might be able to buy the best coffee beans in the world, and offer the tastiest scones with clotted cream, but if they are unable to deliver on the right environment and comfort level, customers won’t be coming back!

When building a brand image of your café, make sure to follow these smart ideas, which will help you stand out in the competition.


Build on the Experience

Devise a strategy in advance to make sure that the focus should be on the experience offered to customers. Make your customers experience the core of your customer service. Have the right kind of music, lounge furniture and a unique design. The interior of a café’ says a lot about its ambience, so retro photos, quotes, simple paintings, newspapers and books etc. can add to the easy going, relaxing atmosphere.

Have a Well Brewed Branding Plan

Set a defined plan, to brand each and everything in your café in line with the image and persona you want to create for your café. Ask yourself what is your unique selling point, the selling edge which customers will demand for?  You must master the quality and taste of the products you offer at your café’, but this however can’t be your unique selling point. The customer service, the friendly atmosphere, the ambience, the comfort of being gladly served, however is what will keep the customers coming back to you.

Build a strong identity and work towards delivering it to your customers. Understand your market’s customer behavior, preferences and lifestyle needs.

To understand differentiation through branding, let’s look at the example of, “The Magazine Shop”, which was opened in Dubai in 2013, with cafes at the Dubai Media City as well as DIFC. The Magazine Shop, offers its customers with premium quality of coffee and special magazines. Customers at the cafe can browse through a variety of independent magazines from around the globe, with unique content as they enjoy their cup of coffee. Such ideas are an interesting way to brand yourself and create an image of not just being a coffee shop but offering much more.

A Mastered Menu

Keep your menu simple, and provide eatables and drinks, that you have mastered and can consistently provide the customers, without compromising on taste and quality. Aim on keeping freshly baked goods and items. Keep a range of products that customers can chose from, like freshly baked breads, croissants, brioches and buns for people who like to start their day with a visit to your coffee house. Give customers the option to customize their drinks, by adding whipped cream and sprinkles to their cappuccino, or vouching for low fat milk in their latte.

Build Strong Relations With Your Customers

Invest in your customers and create long lasting bonds, by expressing your gratitude to them, through quality service. Remember their names and greet them well every time they walk into your café. Always remember how customers like their coffee or drinks, so they know that you care about them! Branch out as an extension of their family, who wishes them well and is always working towards bringing happiness in their lives. You must think along the lines of building loyal customers.

Learning from Others

Let us take a look at the example of Starbucks which has gained a substantial amount of its customer loyalty, through letting customers relax and unwind at their café, for as many hours as they like, without having to buy something again and again. You grab a cookie and a coffee, and there you go, you can sit there for the whole day! So customers hang around, read their magazines or books, enjoy free wifi and whatever they have ordered. This generates loyalty between Starbucks and their customers, who always end up coming back to them.

The core idea in the café business is to bring together a plan that focuses on experience, branding, choices and customer service. Let your customers walk into your café, knowing they will find, peace, comfort, a break from the hustle and bustle of their lives, and yes, a very strong cup of coffee!