Why we should not sell coffee...

by chee Leng (on coffee makers)
(Singapore)

We should not sell coffee?

We should not sell coffee?

According to a recent Havard Business Review article, it states that marketing could be dead! The 4 Ps that we commonly know, might not apply anymore.


Take a look around you at how folks are selling coffee, i.e. promotion, set meals, discounts etc. Nothing changed from how business was being done 20 years ago.

And Oh, many people still goes for the "location, location, location" theory.

Does it really works?

Evidently no. In Singapore, 7 out of 10 F&B outlets closes within 1 year. That means, if you are opening an outlet in Singapore, there is a 70% chance you would failed.

That is regardless of how good the offers are.

And that is regardless of location. (that is the reason why I think "location" don't really work anymore).

The offers are only good for the consumers and currently the "groupon type" company.

The location theory only makes the land lord richer.

Many companies jump on the social media bandwagon. They uses Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus etc for their marketing.

But, they should not use it. That goes against the idea of social media.

Another recent article explores the reason why Facebook is getting popular. That is because of human inherent nature to connect and be social able.

So, people like to be on facebook, check out how many "likes" and "comments" they have on their posts and images.

They don't care about the advertisement you posted and certainly have no time for $0.50 off their coffee. They are looking forward to gossip about the latest news.

Thus, the companies that are great in social media never uses it. They allow their fans, followers to take over. They merely moderate and add in their $0.02.

Of course, the number one rule of social media still applies: no selling.

Here is my $0.02:

Supposed that you have grown a very engaging community on facebook and have a sizable following on twitter. You do not need to worry about how to market your products and services.

On Location

It doesn't matter how far your location is, if your community wants to meet and catch up in your cafe or coffee shop, they would do that.

It is the people that draws others there, not just the food and beverages. Ladies night in many night spots work on this principle.

They are using people to draw people, but in their case, unknown people.

If your community is engaging, they would love to catch up with their buddies that they have gossip for the longest time.

On Promotion

Sure, having a discount and a bundle deal would get you the traffic. But, it is the community (the loyal customers) that would keep patronizing your store.

To me, the whole marketing is a set of tools for reaching out. To be successful, you need to keep the customers.

Repeat customers are what gives your shop the extra mileage. They would talk about it, introduces to friends and they would come because they like to not because of some discounts.

This is your group of best customers.

So, marketing might not be really dead, but there need to be a paradigm shift in how we are using it.





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