Identity: Everything a Customer Sees, Touches, Hears, and Tastes

Header_Tip3This month we will be focusing on Tip 3 in our “10 Tip to Jumpstart your Café “series.
From Tip 1 – we created your Brand Experience ( We created a story or emotion behind your café experience. From this we have visuals and a brand imagery visual collage from which to create your Identity.
From Tip 2 – ( We learned to research and understand your customer demographic and can relate your brand to their interests, hobbies, locational desires, and backgrounds. Now, we are ready to create your café’s IDENTITY.
CoffeeBeansIdentity is different than your brand. In a brick and mortar concept such as a café, restaurant, or wine bar, identity is the visual, tactile, and sensorial aspects of your brand. Usually the identity is a set of guidelines that monitors how colors, fonts, layouts, materials, patterns, sounds, and menu organization are set forth. If you are rolling out your café to numerous locations, have a set of guidelines is critical to insure consistency.
First impressions are everything. What is your café’s first impression? From the time a customer sees your website, hears about your café from others, to seeing your signs and banners, to touching and tasting your cup of coffee and bites of food, having a strong and consistent identity guideline is key to the successful and ongoing connection that a customer will have towards your brand.
Customers often visit your website, your online reviews, and social media. If you are unable to constantly monitor and update your on-line identity and presence, hire a consultant to do so. Some customers will make decisions based on your online reviews, website, Facebook photos, and other write-ups.
MENUWhat identity messaging are you presenting in your menu? The content and layout of the menu also conveys an identity. Make sure it is consistent with your overall brand experience. If your menu items are local and sustainable, include your sources in your menu and marketing. Share your unique roasting methods and sources for your beans or highlight your special and unique menu items.
The following are identity or “image” devices for a concept:
• A Logo (The symbol of the entire identity & brand)
• Stationery (Letterhead, business card, envelopes, etc.)
• Marketing Collateral (Flyers, brochures, books, websites, etc.)
• Products & Packaging (Products sold and the packaging in which they come in)
• Apparel Design (Tangible clothing items that are worn by employees)
• Signage & Menus (Interior & exterior design)
• Messages & Actions (Messages conveyed via indirect or direct modes of communication)
• Other Communication (Audio, smell, touch, etc.)
• Anything visual that represents the business.
LogoAll of these things make up an identity and should support the brand as a whole. The logo however, is the café identity and brand all wrapped up into one identifiable mark. This mark is the avatar and symbol of the business as a whole.
SignageWhen negotiating a space with a landlord or building owner, have a strong identity will aid in your negotiations and make you more attractive to a landlord. Making sure to include all your signage locations and requirements in your lease, will insure you can integrate all signage, sandwich boards, blade and window signage upon opening and in the future. Include Grand Opening signage too. This could mean more dollars for your build-out and more free rent to get you started!
Our 10 Tips Jumpstart Café pocket books allow you to write your thoughts in one complete booklet and it also prompts questions to consider
Stay tuned every month for valuable tips. Melanie Corey-Ferrini is the founder of Dynamikspace ( and offers services from consulting to full service café creation.

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