Type in “coffee near me” as a keyword in your search box, and you’ll see hundreds of search results. Is the market saturated? How will you face this challenge as a newbie cafe owner?
One way is to offer a product or service that you personally developed. This will help you stay unique and will help you stand out among the hundreds (or maybe thousands) of coffee sellers and cafes out there.
Note that the general public is a heterogeneous pool of consumers. There are individuals in this pool that may respond similarly according to the aspects of what you’re offering. So you’ll need to know the preferences of this specific target market. For example, among the general public, a specific market can be individuals who are work-from-home yuppies. Let’s say you want to target them. What products should you come up with?
To develop a new product, consider these three important aspects – your product, your target customers, and the context of interaction. Let’s take each aspect one by one:
The character of your product is built around its multiple aspects – its sensory aspects, nutrition, and other benefits, image, price, and packaging.
In designing your coffee product, you will first need to decide on the sensory aspects – taste, texture, aroma, and aesthetic. What flavor profiles do you want your customers to taste? This will be defined by the type and quality of your beans, your process of roasting, as well as the flavors of the rest of the ingredients you will add into the mix. What does it smell like? Does it smell fruity, milky, or spiced?
Coffee is best consumed when it is freshly brewed, so take packaging and distribution into consideration as well when you develop your product. The packaging as well as how it is served must keep the coffee product fresh up to the point when it’s time for the consumers to enjoy it.
How much should a consumer pay to be able to purchase your product? What should your product look like so it can attract its target consumers? How should it be packaged and presented? How will you position it so that you are able to highlight its unique selling proposition? While consumers decide based on their own preferences, attractive branding and packaging sure do catch their attention. With this, you are able to tick off consumer awareness.
For a consumer to consider a purchase, the product has to resonate with them. Either it fits their preference, or maybe because they see benefits to it that can fulfill their needs.
To help you consider what will resonate with your customers, you may need to look into their motivations.
There are two kinds of consumers – the ones who prioritize flavor, and the ones who are more concerned about price. Aside from these, you may also need to look into their habits, culture, moods, personality, and attitude.
Is it their habit to drink coffee every day? Or do they just purchase one according to their mood? Are your customers on the go? Or do they prefer to hang out in the cafe and just relax?
Take note of the geographic factors (proximity to populated areas and competitors around the area) and your customer demography (age, social class, income levels, occupation). This quantitative and qualitative information will help you get a grasp of the behaviors of your consumers.
Context of Interaction
Context of interaction refers to how the product is used or consumed by your customers. How do they interact with your product? Do they order it at your cafe? Do they bring it home? Do they prepare it at home?
Context of interaction, the platform where the purchase happens, and the place and time of consumption are all important considerations in developing your product. This will help you improve on other factors such as how should the product be served – in what kind of packaging? With what food? Does it pair well with a dish? Or does it pair well with cakes and pastries?
Long story, short
To simplify, product development is easier when broken down into smaller aspects. When each aspect is well-researched and considered, you’ll get to push your product to reach its fullest potential. Guided by these principles, you’ll increase the chances of a successful new product launch.