Have you decided that you want to start a coffee brand? Exciting! The coffee consumer market is enormous. 64% of Americans drink coffee with an average consumption of 4.2kg per person per year. The US, however, is 25th on a list of the highest coffee consumption countries. Just imagine what the numbers are for the other markets!

The process of starting a coffee brand, however, isn’t as simple as just shouting ‘I sell coffee!’ and seeing crowds running. Many other businessmen see the same opportunity, more and more brands open every year and so the competition increases. What’s the trick to start a coffee business that brings long-term success?

What coffee will you sell?

We know that you want to sell coffee, but have you decided on the type yet? There are so many options! You must decide far in advance if you’ll go for Arabica or Robusta, whether it’s going to be single-origin, if you’ll focus only on sustainable products or perhaps, if you’ll enter a niche of green coffee. The reason for an early decision is your future supplier networks. Those aren’t made in a day, especially if you’re planning on ordering directly from the country of origin.

How will you sell it?

You must decide whether you’ll open up a local café and serve coffee or a store that resells coffee beans. Other options include selling coffee online, having a coffee stand on the street and selling it on the supermarket shelves. The choice of how you’ll sell your products will determine your business strategy and costs. Just imagine, opening a café and selling coffee online are two completely different business models.

Who will you sell it to?

Who is your target audience? Have you thought about it yet? You will have to target the right people in the correct way to make revenue. If you found a perfect rental spot to open a café but it’s close to a university, your target audience will be students who like to hang out between lectures in relaxing interiors but also comfortable enough to study there. If you’re selling coffee online, your audience’s geographical scope will be significantly increased.

Who are your competitors?

Every business has competitors. And if it doesn’t yet, it will have them soon enough. As a coffee business, it’s guaranteed that you’ll face a big competition. Identify who sells substitute products, study them carefully and determine what are they strong and weak points. Afterward, think about what your unique selling points can be, what you can do better than them and what to pay attention to in order not to lose your customers to the rivals.

How will you market your coffee?

In the case of a physical café or a store, the marketing of your coffee brand will have a more traditional approach. Of course, you will first want to target the geographically-closest customers and expand a bit later on. You can try leaflets, banners, local newspapers, and websites. If you decide to sell online, you’ll have to turn to digital marketing and strategies. Don’t forget to start with branding such as designing your logo, brand identity, and web design, no matter what your business model is.