Damien Mulley has discovered the best hot chocolate in Ireland (O’Connaill’s in Cork) and wonders if they couldn’t do a better job at marketing themselves.
Looking at the cups the hot chocolate come in, they could do with a bit of branding alright to make them look nicer.
I don’t think a branded cup will increase their business though. I’ve never bought a cup of coffee or tea because I saw a cup with a name on it. I’m sure the owners aren’t dumb, they must be doing a decent enough trade or they would be doing something to bring in extra.
The best way they could do this is a nicely designed gift card to encourage existing customers to get their friends to visit with the bonus of a free snack. Or they could hire someone for a few day on the main street dressed as a cup of hot chocolate waving a sign that says “We have the best hot chocolate in Ireland – try us today only €1″ or something along those lines.
If the hot chocolate is as good as Damien says it is, a process called behaviour herding kicks in. This appears to be evident already, as there is a queue out the door on a Saturday. If you were to walk by a row of cafe’s, you will naturally be attracted to where the crowd is. “Hmmm, this place must be good if there are so many people queueing”.
So, you fall into line and buy your hot chocolate. If the quality of the product and the experience satisfy you – well, you now identify yourself with that hot chocolate cafe. Even if their hot chocolate cost more than next door, you are “anchored”. You don’t identify yourself as a hot chocolate lover. You are an “O’Connaill’s Hot Chocolate” lover. Nothing else will do for you from now on.
Moral of the story is that O’Connaill’s only need a relatively small percentage of their existing customers to herd a couple of their friends in with the lure of something free (via the gift card) and their business will increase as a result. And not a rebranded cup needed.