5 Ways to Market Your Coffee Shop

Mar 20, 2023

Expand Your Reach and Attract More Customers

Are you looking for ways to level up your coffee shop’s marketing strategy? Not sure where to start? If you want to learn how to make your marketing more effective, read on for advice to help you grow your coffee business.

Kim Logsdon and Scott Couchenour, Coffee Business Strategists, interviewed five business owners to understand how they’ve achieved success. This article contains top tips from coffee industry  experts on marketing your coffee shop to reach more customers and achieve greater growth.

Focus Branding on Your Target Customer, Not Just Any Customer

Effective marketing requires specificity in your target customer profile. Avoid trying to appeal to every potential customer; instead, focus on a subset of the market. Consider your local community’s  demographics and identify the type of person you want to attract. Next, align your branding with that specific customer profile.

Cottonwood Coffee Owner, Jacob Limmer, explained how he narrowed down his strategy through 16+ years of business ownership:

“Through many years of trial and error and hard lessons, we learned […] that it is much smarter to be hyper-focused, laser-focused, with your brand and exactly who you’re trying to reach. So over the years, we’ve developed a much more cohesive branding strategy, and we target people that appreciate high-quality coffee and a high-quality environment.”

Raise Awareness Among Local Communities

After you narrow down a target customer profile, consider whether this identity aligns with your existing customers. Do you notice differences?

This comparison will help you understand gaps in your customer base. Once you identify the markets you haven’t reached, you can create opportunities to increase your presence in the local community.

For example, Daniel Krenzer, the owner of Alamance Kaffee Werks and Converge Coffee, organizes fundraisers for charities that his customers connect with:

“Our end-user has gotten younger. And so our outreach and advertising has had to be tailored a little bit more towards the younger folks [and] the college crowd. [To reach that market], we’ve done some profit-sharing with some of the on-campus organizations. So they advertise within their groups. [They encourage customers to come to] Converge as part of our fundraiser, and our charity gets a segment of the profits.”

Foster Loyalty Through Authenticity

Authenticity and honesty can help your coffee shop create lasting relationships.

Build trust with your existing customers. Be open about your company’s ethics, and show how you act on them. You’ll also attract new patrons who share your values.

For Mike Lenda, the owner of The Well Coffeehouse, being authentic means making a difference in the local community by supporting customers and offering a place to gather:

“What has really worked from a marketing perspective is just being authentic and staying true to who we are, and giving a sense of hope and positivity […]. It’s having them see us as an authentic company that is trying to make a difference in the world but starting within the four walls of our stores too. And then in our own communities.”

Share how you make a difference in the world.

Establish Your Brand Based on Your Specialty

Travas Clifton, the owner of Modcup Coffee, takes a unique approach that has generated a loyal customer base. Modcup specializes in fruit-forward coffee roasts, crafted through a macerated fruit fermentation process. Travas explained:

“When I started the company, [I wanted to show people that] what we did was different […]. We get a lot of people that come to us for fruity coffees. But again, that’s what we’re kind of known for. […]  I’ve noticed in the specialty world that there’ve been more people intrigued and interested in more exotic coffees.”

Have you developed specialty roasts or items that complement your standard coffee menu? If your customers respond well, don’t be afraid to claim your niche and stick with it. 

Shown here: Modcup Coffee’s Panama Gesha Macerated Fruit Coffee

Engage with Your Customers on Social Media

Another key to effective marketing? Using social media to reach out to your customers.

Ask your customers how they think you’re doing and engage in conversations with them about what they enjoy. Ask how you could serve them better. Do they want you to make any improvements?

Bethani Wright, the owner of The Coffee Scoop, explained her approach:

“I love social media, I love just reaching out and asking the question straight up. ‘How am I doing? How can I do better?’ And being connected to the culture and what’s going on, and being in vogue, but also always pushing forward to see what are the needs of my people in my niche so I can meet them before they realize they have that need. […] A constant understanding of their needs, I think, is basically good marketing.”

Fuel Your Coffee Shop’s Success with Effective Marketing

Whether your marketing strategy needs a slight refresh or a complete overhaul, these tips will help you market your coffee shop to expand your reach and attract more customers.

Start by narrowing your branding to target a specific customer profile. You can address gaps in your customer base by raising awareness about your coffee shop.

Be authentic in your approach, and be open about your company’s values. Make sure to check in with your customers frequently and get valuable feedback.

If you’ve developed specialties, don’t be afraid to claim your niche. Show your customers how you stand out.

When you apply these tips, you’ll set your coffee shop apart and watch your business thrive.

This article was Brewed Up By Kim Logsdon and Scott Couchenour of The Business Lab, an online community of coffee business owners who are learning from each other and building worldwide relationships together. JOIN TODAY by visiting

Written by Shauna Johnston

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