Selling Coffee Online? How To Not Get Lost In The Crowd
When coffee lovers have 1,000+ coffee companies to buy beans from, why should they buy from you? Give them a reason they can’t refuse.
Note: this article first appeard on Coffee Marketing School.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve read these cliches on coffee ecommerce stores.
“We travel the world to find the BEST coffee beans…”
“Roasted to perfection…”
“Premium, small-batch, fresh roasted beans…”
You can start to feel your eyes glazing over, can’t you?
Coffee lovers have literally thousands of companies to buy coffee beans from. If your boldest claims on your website feel overused, disingenuous, or simply boring, customers will move on.
Amidst COVID-19, everyone is trying to sell coffee online. It’s more important than ever before to tell a unique brand message that connects with people emotionally.
9/10 companies don’t do that. Not an exaggeration.
If you can stick out with a compelling brand message — not just good visual branding — customers will flock to you.
✨ And all your other marketing strategies will become so much more effective because customers have a strong reason to pick you.
Here’s a quick guide to crafting a captivating brand message.
How To Find Your Brand Message
All coffee companies sell the same core product: coffee. Duh.
Even still, there are dozens of ways you can differentiate yourself from everyone else. Here are a few of them…
- Tell a personal story. People engage with stories, and in a world that’s increasingly digital, people crave authenticity. Maybe a near-death experience taught you to appreciate the small things in life, like coffee. Perhaps a trip to Guatemala inspired you to create ethical supply chains for vulnerable people.
- Aspire to something exceptional. People love bold missions and the people that aim for them fearlessly. Maybe that’s paying a minimum of $4.00 per pound of coffee. Or maybe paying all of your staff an unusually high salary. Aim high.
- Support an honorable cause. Stand for something big? Donate frequently to a charity? Lean into the altruism so people know, without a doubt, that when they buy your coffee, they join your mission.
- Target a precise audience. People love supporting the communities they’re part of. Maybe that’s brand messaging centered all around a group of people, like firefighters or veterans. Or maybe you’re ultra-passionate about your geographical location.
- Do things differently. This one’s hard in coffee, since we all sell the same product. But is there something different about the way your source coffee? Do you have a special roasting technique? Maybe you ship beans differently, use special packaging, or hire economically disadvantaged people.
There are endless possibilities.
Whichever way you go, avoid cliches at all costs.
Let me show you a few examples of companies selling coffee online without seeming repetitive, dull, or uninspired.
😀 JavaPresse Coffee: It’s All About Happiness
I love the emails, social media, and website for JavaPresse Coffee.
Just read this and you’ll see that they have a very distinct way of marketing their coffee.
Notice, they don’t talk endlessly about “sourcing the best possible coffee”. Yeah, it’s in there, but it’s not the point.
The point is radical, self-generated happiness, with coffee being the tool that helps get you there.
It’s a very different message -> one that resonates with hundreds of their customers.
👋 Monomyth Coffee: People > Product
This locally-minded coffee shop puts a heavy focus on their phrase “Coffee Is For The People”.
Over and over again, Monomyth Coffee writes that they exist not to brew awe-worthy coffee, but to serve people.
That same warmth you get in their shop is present online. Every social post feels like a barista smiling warmly and welcoming you in.
By speaking a language of inclusive friendship, Monomyth creates an online experience that you can’t help but love.
How can you expand your in-person customer experience online?
🔥 Black Rifle: America’s Coffee
Everyone knows Black Rifle.
They’re macho. They’re bold. They’re hyper-masculine, proudly American, and veteran-supporting.
Have you tasted their coffee?
It’s not radically different.
The key in Black Rifle’s exponential growth is their big and bold personality. They’re unapologetically themselves.
You don’t have to be that bold or contentious, but what aspects of your personality can you lean into?
Your Turn: Show Me Your Website
I’m really passionate about helping companies sell coffee online, especially in a time as desperate as this.
That’s why I’m offering free, 5-minute website audits for coffee companies.
Essentially, I’ll make a quick video reviewing your homepage as a first-time viewer. It’s the easiest way to get honest feedback on how your brand messaging feels and behaves on your site.
No strings attached. No sales pitch. Nada.
Good luck out there.
Be you, boldly.