Ultra Direct Marketing For Startups

by Chris Lake December 7, 2015
December 7, 2015

Increasing brand awareness is essential for a business, particularly for a startup eager to have a successful launch.

Just how to stand out from the crowd is a difficulty many face and struggle with, despite there being a low-key, effective medium, ignored by the majority of companies…

The humble coffee cup.

Imagine if you could get your brand name directly in front of your specific audience’s line of vision.

Even better, what if you could have customers view your logo and your brand message repeatedly from a single low-cost advertisement?

Coffee cup advertising offers all this and more ; It is one of the most under-utilised, ultra-direct marketing sources a business can have.

Whilst retailers such as Starbucks and Costa have branding on their products, and benefit widely from brand awareness as a result, many independent coffee outlets use plain packaging. The sleeve cup holders are also often blank.

Could they be missing a vital marketing tool, and just as importantly, could your businesses be taking advantage of it?

Coffee cup and sleeve holder advertising is a new but extremely focused way to improve awareness of your company.

Why? Here are a few reasons :

  • It is inexpensive
  • Your message will be repeated every time a sip is taken
  • You can effectively micro-target your customers

It also allows you to tap into your market by developing relationships with businesses that share a similar target audience.

Lets say you have a company selling diet supplements. Maybe you could team up with a local gym that has take-out coffee options, and advertise on their cup holders? By doing this, you are effectively targeting your audience with little wastage, and optimising your marketing budget as a result.

If your a new brand in town and just need to be seen, then renting cup space from a popular coffee shop in your area is a great way to get your name out there. What’s more, the lack of current advertising makes it a novelty for most customers, enhancing your name recognition further.

One of the most important factors for marketers to consider is consumer mental state when digesting their advertising message.

This is where coffee cup branding stands out from the crowd.

A research study conducted in 1999 found that small doses of caffeine increased participants alertness and mental performance. A separate analysis of tea drinkers had the same result. Therefore, not only can you market to people you know are your target audience, you can reach them when they are at their most receptive.

Of course, as with any form of marketing, it is imperative to be ethical, and careful not to take advantage of this highly personal form of advertisement. Coffee breaks are usually in a persons downtime, so any business must be sensitive not to offend and over promote.

A simple logo and tagline are likely to be received more warmly, rather than intrusive ad’s that ‘bark’ instruction.

Design complication is not needed, as a strong point of this marketing strategy is the power of repetition :

From this study, we can see that on average, a sip of a drink is around 25ml. With a medium hot drink containing around 400ml, that’s an average of 16 sips, or 16 times your brand name is within direct vision range. This makes it much more likely that information will be retained to some degree.

Subtle image-led branding will ensure that the marketing is inoffensive, vision-maximised and reduce the probability of brand rejection.

This article was originally posted at digitaldock, and has been republished with permission.

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