With the increasing popularity of homebrewed coffee coupled with popular chain coffee shops on every corner, what’s a small, local cafe owner to do? Or, how can a brewery owner be expected to compete with mega restaurants that offer locations all over the country? Marketing a small business can be puzzling, exhausting, and might start to seem downright pointless after a while. A whole host of options makes your choices seem limitless, but also confusing.

When it comes to marketing a coffee shop, brewery, or other small to midsize business, where do you start? And how can you possibly compete with nationwide chains, which can afford to pour millions of dollars into commercials and promotions? We’ve put together some simple, cost-effective marketing tactics for you to try out immediately. Take some time to learn your customer base, and discover which options will work best for your individual business. The ultimate goal of these marketing tactics is to draw in new customers while maintaining and increasing your returning customer base.

Start a Mug Club

Breweries and coffeeshops alike have seen success in increasing business with mug clubs. All it takes to set up your very own mug club is a memorable mug and a well-thought-out rewards program. You can offer various rewards to people who join–the most visible being a custom beer stein or coffee mug–or you can keep things simple. Once you’ve gotten a decent-sized membership, you can play around with adding various levels of rewards, or different custom mugs to cater to your customers’ varied tastes.  

Start a Simple Email List

If a mug club seems like too much to handle on top of running your business, start things off simply with an email list. Ask customers if they’d like to join your rewards program or newsletter, and collect their emails. Once you have that information, you can send out email blasts as frequently as you like. The content of those emails is up to you–what is the most enticing opportunity you can present through email, to drive traffic to your business? An easy first offering might be birthday coupons, so anyone on your email list can show their ID at the counter and receive a free drink.

Create an Online Presence

If your customer demographic is one that heavily utilizes social media, take advantage of all that time people spend on their phones. Ensure that you have an online presence on at least one of the major social platforms, like Instagram or Facebook. From there, promote your social channels throughout the store. You can display your handles on your menu, outdoor sign boards, or even print them at the bottom of receipts! To drive engagement to your social media accounts, be sure to interact with people who tag your business in posts. You might also consider running contests or giveaways on your channel.  

Become a Visible Part of Your Community

Small businesses have the unique opportunity to become pillars of their communities by getting involved. Stay aware of events and calls to action within your community. Look for chances to do some good while gaining visibility for your business. Consider partnering with a local food bank and offering discounts to customers who bring in donations. Or rent a booth at your local fair, to give potential new customers the chance to check out your brews, coffees, or other products.  

Keep Customers Coming Back with Seasonal Offerings

People get bored easily, and a menu that never changes might wind up hurting your business. Keep things fresh by switching up your offerings and deals. Consider creating drinks or marketing plans that play off of upcoming holidays or other national events. Everyone gets excited for pumpkin spice “season,” but why not stand out and debut a new flavor around that time of year? Seasonal drink offerings and special holiday deals are a wonderful way to change up your menu and ensure your business stands out from the competition.

Cultivate an Atmosphere with Custom Pieces from Grey Fox Pottery

Marketing a brewery differs from marketing a coffee shop, but the two have one thing in common: it’s all about the mugs. What does your business offer that a customer can’t get somewhere else, or even at home? A certain feeling. An atmosphere. And that all starts with the kind of container that holds the coffee or brew.

At Grey Fox Pottery, we offer handmade mugs and beer steins that can give your business a special first class personality and character to attract new customers. With a wide selection and various customization options, we have something for every business, whether you’re starting a mug club or ordering a set of beer steins for your bar. Contact us today to find out more about your options for beautifully-crafted pottery pieces that will make your business shine.