Had a look at the site on mobile and I love the proposition, taste profile and journey offer.
I love my coffee and have a good quality coffee machine and grinder and make coffee daily. So I did your taste profile and to be honest while I enjoyed it I did find it a bit abstract in that I wasn’t entirely clear how best to align myself and select the various flavour cues. I may be a little unrefined but it did make me think, ‘If I’m into my coffee and I’m finding this tricky what might others feel.”
In contrast, and this might be an option for you, a few years ago I signed up to WineFriend. I worked through a very simple taste profile test and was actually called by one of their staff to chat through my profile in more detail. It was a great way to unpack the complexities of choosing wines slightly outside of my usual ‘go to’s’ but it’s what the WineFriend team were able to do for me and off we went. I now relish the subscription box that arrives each month and also have the option to rate the wine I receive. This helps WineFriend to refine my subscription wines and when I’ve noted a wine as not to my liking they call me to chat through the why.
This blend of digital and human connection is a significant customer benefit and has ensured their offer remains relevant and that I feel looked after.
Bean Merchant could definitely lift and shift a number of the tactics above as well as some of WineFriends awareness drivers. They regularly run member get member offers and discounts to encourage their loyal followers to get their buddies onboard.
A while back they actually gifted me a bottle of my favourite Pinot Noir completely free in return for simply asking me to send a sign up gift offer to a friend. Their thinking was that they could spend on advertising and that might work or they could use the same money and drive acquisition via their loyal customer base. Nice.
I also heard of an interesting innovation out of Scotland recently. Obviously the whisky distillers are seeing no tourist visits at the moment and so Glenlivit decided to offer customers the ability to buy a tasting pack. The pack of 3 miniatures was sent out to customers and they were also invited to a live tasting event where the master distiller provided tasting notes. There was also traditional music and a q&a session. Kinda cool in this new normal. Is there something in this for Bean Merchant? Could you offer new customers a curated tasting experience with mini packs so they could do the ole Pepsi Challenge at home with their coffee, rate them and maybe discuss things with a professional roaster.
A final note – I think your pricing is bang on as it’s a curated service offering a tailored and premium coffee experience but is on par with the supermarket pricing for mainstream beans.
So all the best of luck to you. There’s heaps more ideas that could be applied but I do think the ‘member get member’ approach coupled with your team reaching out and calling new customers to give them personal support and guidance would be a good start. Customer advocacy is a proven strategy and one WineFriend, MyFoodBag and other subscription based services have used to their benefit. The branded experience is also another tactic these guys use doubling down on the ‘unpacking movement’ with free samples, recipes, promotions etc.
I’ve just ordered a 1kg bag of Mahia, aligned to my taste profile, so let’s see how we go!