When Im not working on one of my own companies, I help my mother run her mobile coffee cart in Redding, CA. As you know, you can hardly pick up a food magazine without hearing about the rising trend of food vendors and mobile restaurants. Along with this rising trend comes an increase in competition; so if you are wondering how to effectively market your coffee cart business then this is for you
#1 Have The Best Product.
Even if it costs you more, sell the best product you can. And that's ok because at music festivals and fairs, people expect to pay more for their food. They would rather have a perfect latte for $3.50, than a bubbly, bitter "cappuccino" for .50 less. We serve 100% organic fair trade and kosher coffees, plus our entire staff has been trained by world barista championship judges. We also have one of the worlds greatest espresso machine brands La Marzocco. Needless to say, our quality was indisputable.
#2 Use The Bands To Build Your Brand!
We knew that we were going to have to get our name "Hebrews Coffee chapter 2? in front of all 2,000 people if we were ever going to make a profit. So we started making deals with band members. We put up a big sign that said "ask about free coffee, if you're in a band." We gave band members free coffee, in exchange, they promoted our coffee cart from the stage.
This branding strategy created a constant promotional program throughout the 3 day concert. We even gave the bands cups that read "bring this back for a free cup of iced coffee." The band members would announce our coffee cart and then throw these cups into the audience so that a few lucky people could also get a free drink.
#3 Signs, Signs and MORE Signs!
It's common sense really, you need to be as obvious as possible. The more times someone hears about your company, the greater the odds are that they will remember you. In our case, we needed to establish brand loyalty, FAST. Specifically, before our competitors did. So we put up signs. If you can get yourself in front of people, 1/2 the battle is already over. We put up as many signs as possible, including signs in unexpected places like on the ground.
#4 Hand Out Samples.
Going back to rule #1: Have the best coffee in town! We knew we could impress people with our coffee, so we made samples. Samples work like a charm, we sent an employee out into the crowd with trays of blended white mochas and strawberry smoothies. Almost as fast as we sent out the samples, we had lines of people ordering those exact same drinks. We continued the sample strategy all weekend long and it brought in a lot of customers.
#5 Build On Customer Loyalty.
At this point, we had legitimate fans. We started hearing comments like "I am so glad your here. I got tricked into trying THEIR coffee yesterday and it was horrible, but your coffee is really good." And, "oh my gosh, that is amazing." My favorite compliments were from the people who expected our coffee to be bad, and then they found out that we actually knew what were doing. Once this happens all you have to do is build as many customer relationships as possible and you will have a successful event.