A successful coffee shop integrates everything the brand represents into a three-dimensional space-not just a cool interior, but great customer service, a great product, smart and efficient operations and a powerful identity brought to life through branding and innovative graphics. Everything works together to create something even bigger.
All the parts have to work in sync and if any don’t, the cracks start to show and the business suffers. These guiding principles are a must:
Share the same creative & business goals
The Holy Grail for designer and client has to be the same from the outset. To design something different, which cuts through the competition, delivering not only an exciting visual experience, but one which works to drive foot traffic and make money for the coffee shop brand. If your designer is only interested in creating the hottest new look in town, run for the hills.
Bring the customer center-stage
The coffee shop experience should always be built around the customer and the design tailored to fit him or her, culturally, socially and geographically, like a glove. Today’s consumers are savvy and warm to brands which mirror their view of themselves in the world, responding less and less to identikit design. So it follows that coffee shops in a chain shouldn’t be clones of each other, but tailored to fit the space you’ve chosen. Adding a local twist (or three) can make all the difference to making the consumer feel that the shop has been designed thoughtfully for him or her.
Get the customer journey right and the rest will follow
Understanding how customers will interact with the space is key. From what they see when they approach the shop from across the street through to how they move through the space. What they see at any given point will drive the decisions they make. We always put ourselves in the place of the customer, analyzing the way different types of customers might make decisions about the brand in and out of the shop environment. These decisions drive the interior design, spatial arrangements, bar configuration, graphic communications and customer service. Exploring this helps us work with the brand to talk to the customer through the design of the shop at the exact point where they make their decision.
Make sure design and operations are integrated (and willing bedfellows)
If you want to create an amazing interior display of coffee beans or coffee bags, make sure you also put in place some strict visual merchandising rules to maintain the display, or it’ll fall apart, become messy, and you won’t make a dime.
The coffee shop is the biggest and one of the most expensive marketing tools a business has and it should be used for maximum effect. The store design is like a silent barista, talking to the customer in discreet ways, in a tone of voice which makes them warm to your brand and love what you do.
Follow the golden tips in the third part of this article.
Compiled in Editorial Board of Retailiran