Here are our top 6 tips for creating an exciting environment that does the things you want it to:
۱. The shop is a stage
The shop is a stage. Raised seating all around the brew bar ensures the whole coffee shop is focused on the art of the barista in Travelers Coffee. Graphics communicate the provenance of the brand and the coffee. Showcase your baristas’ skills: all the care and attention that goes into preparing the perfect cup. This is key to educating the customer about specialty coffee. Every point in the customer journey should be focused on spotlighting the barista and the theatre of making coffee. Help people understand the craft of great coffee and they will be encouraged to try new things. The design and spatial planning of the whole environment needs to be focused on this.
۲. Customers eat with their eyes
The way to a person’s stomach is through his or her eyes. This is why mouth-watering food and drink display and photography is key to the commercial success of the menu. Creating sumptuous imagery will stimulate the perception of taste, aroma and appeal.
۳. Say it like you mean it
Graphic communication shouldn’t just be confined to the menu. The whole shop is a canvas for imagery and messaging that forms the basis of a conversation with your customers. Graphics can be updated and changed inexpensively, keeping the brand fresh and relevant. Graphics need to say something inspiring, not just look pretty. Use graphics to showcase your baristas’ skills, your specialist coffee and the deliciousness of your food. Customers can sometimes feel paralyzed by too much choice, so using graphics to tell a visual story can help them navigate the options more easily.
۴. See it, like it, buy it
The single most important principle we adopt when we’re designing is “See it, Like it, Buy it.” Great visual merchandising sells products. Easy to understand, accessible displays, attractive, persuasive point of sale and clear pricing at every customer decision point (not just at the bar) will increase profits.
۵. Creating ambience
Never underestimate the power of great lighting. It will transform the environment, creating mood and focus exactly where you want the customer’s eye to land. Yet it is one of the elements so often overlooked and under-budgeted.
۶. Gather round the table
Customers know exactly what they want from their individual coffee moments, and the environment needs to give it to them, offering different reasons to visit whatever the occasion, time pressure or mood. Flexible design and clever seating arrangements will create special solitary spaces for those who seek them, as well as buzzy zones where people can enjoy socializing with friends.
Commercial design has two functions, to give pleasure and to sell. Focusing our work on both of these at every stage of the design process creates real value for customers and owners.
We also tend to get involved in every detail of the coffee shops we’re designing. Not only concepting the space itself but every element of the brand experience, helping design everything from the architecture through to the interior look and feel, as well as how the brand identity comes to life in the space, the graphics on the walls and menu boards, even down to the uniforms. We find this holistic approach works particularly well to make sure good design becomes good business.
Compiled in Editorial Board of Retailiran