The coffee industry has gained traction in recent years, coffee drinking has developed into ‘coffee culture’ and is a part of so many daily routines. But let’s be honest grabbing a coffee isn’t just about drinking a lovely brewed coffee anymore is it? Coffee shops are the ‘go to’ environment for a variety of reasons from meetings, coworking, and dates to celebrations, social gatherings and overdue catch ups with friends. In short, coffee shops have become social hubs that provide the perfect pit stop for individuals and groups.
The rapid growth in the coffee industry has elevated large coffee chains to become leading brands and household names, however the increased demand for quality coffee has also encouraged many independent coffee houses, coffee lounges and specialist coffee shops to open their doors. In a saturated market where consumers are spoilt for choice, how do coffee brands cut through the noise and provide a coffee shop experience that will draw people in… and keep them coming back?
Coffee shop design
Coffee shops are often founded as passion projects, built upon excitement and passion for sharing great quality coffee. However creating a coffee shop that is going to be successful AND stand the test of time takes careful consideration across multiple brand aspects.
Location of coffee shops can really determine the future success of the brand, essentially the location determines what type of customer you will be serving and this should inform the brand positioning. Identifying your customer type, customer behavior and purchasing habits is imperative to providing the local people with what they want. A coffee shop concept should be built upon this knowledge and be realistic for your specific location and market.
Opening a coffee shop in a prime location that serves specialist coffee is great but unfortunately for consumers today that’s not always enough to keep them coming back. Customers want more, they are longing to engage and connect with brands that genuinely align with their values.
One of the most important things to consider is Coffee Shop Design. Designing a memorable coffee shop interior that authentically encapsulates a brands wider purpose will connect your customer in a much deeper way. This doesn’t mean putting a killer logo above the door and listing your brand values!
Brand storytelling through design
Coffee shops are social hubs of communities and after the recent impacts of covid-19 its fair to predict that connected brand experiences and authentic brand connections will define the future of coffee shops. The best way to connect with people is through storytelling, it’s familiar and easy to understand. Brand storytelling through a coffee shop’s physical space isn’t always a priority for a coffee shop launch, however the interior space can have the biggest influence on the customers’ brand experience. With any interior design project there are many moving parts, however the foundation of the interior concept should always be the brand story. This is the reason why at Grey Coffee we always start with a brand.
Brand clarity helps to ensure your bands core purpose is consistently and authentically embedded within the interior process. Using a brand as a starting point for an interior concept is very effective, breaking down the brand’s values and what each one means in a tangible and intangible sense will help guide decision making. This way, each interior element is crafted around the band, creating an authentic, holistic and connected interior brand experience for your customer.
There has been a huge uplift in ‘shopping local’, investing in independent brands and local communities over buying from chains or global companies. This ‘shop local’ movement will continue to allow independent coffee shops to flourish; this is another reason why it’s important to invest time in crafting memorable and engaging coffee shop interior designs.
Key coffee shop design considerations
There are many things to consider throughout a coffee shop interior design process but here are some key things to think about.
Paying careful attention to the general arrangement, layout and practical use of the space will help to set the tone of the interior and ensure the atmosphere and feeling your customers experience is seamless and positive. Consider zoning areas, you could provide more relaxed cosy areas as well as more formal seating, or provide co-working/ group seating as well as private seating.
Lighting, furniture choices, material finishes and colour palettes all collectively impact the customer experience and each of these should be considered carefully and be aligned with your brand. The coffee community is conscientious, so being transparent about your brand values and implementing this into the coffee shop design will allow your customers to build trust. Making steps towards responsible sourcing and sustainability of not only products and packaging but also interior materials will help solidify this brand trust.
A key element to consider is the growing online culture and especially instagrammable aspect of interiors. Although it’s great to have an instagrammable space as a focus point or marketing tool, it’s more important that you provide customers with a valuable experience. Customers should be immersed in the moment and should take away much more than a nice insta visual.
Authentic brands whose brand AND interior is true to the overall brand purpose are rewarded with customer loyalty and growth. Building customer relationships with authenticity, transparency and connected interior brand experiences makes the connection people have to your coffee shop much more heartfelt, loyal and long lasting.