Do You Know Your Brand As Well As Your Coffee Order?


Article by Frank Traditi“I’ll have a grande, no foam, non-fat, six-pump, caramel, extra hot, latte macchiato.” This is what I actually heard someone order at a local famous-name-brand coffee shop. What has the world come to? In order to make it through the day, we have to order a morning beverage with no less than seven items in it?

It’s become a competition for who can order the most obscure and outrageous drink to impress our fellow bean-lovers and say it with grace and style. So why I am writing to you about these wild requests we hear shouted out at the local coffee shop? There are three reasons:

1. It’s amazing that people can effortlessly rattle off a complex personal drink order, but find it almost impossible to succinctly tell you, in 30 seconds or less, what they do for a living. As I heard this person, and many others in line, proclaim their drink orders, they displayed a sense of pride and accomplishment when describing what seems to be their own personal brand. They must have practiced it in front of a mirror several times in order to get it right in front of the crowd.

Isn’t this what we should be doing when practicing what we tell people when we’re asked what we do for a living? That’s our brand. It’s what people will remember when we talk to them about our business. It’s our 10-second introduction or 30-second commercial that will get across the benefits we offer to a potential client or networking partner.

If your favorite coffee recipe rolls off your tongue more easily than your professional introduction, you have some work to do. Your introduction should be crisp, clear, and abundantly easy to understand. Easier than that coffee order I heard.

2. Observe the great lengths people will go to get exactly what they want. They’ll drive, walk, or run great distances, in adverse conditions, to fulfill their needs. The message here for your business is to recognize that your prospects may have come a great distance, both literally and figuratively, to buy your services.

They may go through considerable effort to get to the stage where they are finally ready to buy. Make sure you recognize how far they’ve come by providing unsurpassed service, so that they always come back for more.

3. The “bean-tenders” — the people who make these drinks — are role models. They’ve got the drinks lined up on the espresso machine like ducks in a shooting gallery, and pick each one off the line. They have to remember each and every recipe that’s fired into their corner, and get it right the first time. If not, there could be hell to pay.

The bean-tenders are the real reason people keep coming back. They are excellent listeners. Can you imagine listening to all those drink orders all day long and getting every one of them right? Take a lesson from those folks at the coffee machine. Listen very carefully to your prospects and clients. Even if they give you confusing messages or complicated directions, you need to make sure you get it right the first time.

It’s remarkable what you can learn about marketing just by working on your laptop at the local coffee shop. Make it a point in your business to clearly communicate your brand, recognize how far your clients have come, and give them exactly what they want.

As for me, I’ll have the coffee of the day.

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