Americans drink about 66 billion cups of coffee per year. This, of course, represents a huge market. Which is why it seems like everyday a new coffee business sets up and gets ready to compete. But how can you be successful in the coffee business – from the very beginning? How can you ensure your business lasts, finds a place on the shelf, and gets chosen by potential customers?

The following questions will help you find your way and start your own coffee brand, one that will last and flourish. Let’s begin.

What do you want to sell?

First off, what do you want to sell? Yes, we know – coffee. But you need to figure out what kind of coffee, how you are going to get it, and make it. You can sell beans from Ethiopia, or Colombia, roast them in different ways to create different flavors, or prioritize sustainable coffee making above anything else. What do you want to sell? Once you’ve sat down and figured out what you want to sell, think about how to make that happen. You could, of course, get the beans yourself and roast it yourself – but if you’re just starting out this might be too much work and money. You might want to consider using a white label company to get your product.

How do you want to sell it?

Once you’ve decided what you want to sell, it’s time to figure out how you want to sell it. Decide whether you’re looking to open a little neighborhood coffee shop, get your coffee on supermarket shelves, or sell your coffee online. For each different way of selling your coffee, there are steps to be taken. If you’re going to use a physical shop, for example, you’ll spend some time looking for a space and getting it to look right.

Who are you going to sell it to?

Now that you’ve figured out what you’re going to sell and how – it’s time to investigate who you are selling to. You need to understand your audience to understand how to pull them in. So, sit down and develop an image of your ideal customer. Think of what they like, and dislike, how they behave, and think, and use this information to guide the direction your brand will go in.

Who are your competitors?

You’ve created a clear image of who you’re selling to. Now, take the time to evaluate the industry, and who your competitors will be. Evaluate what you like about their work, and what you think you can do better – take this all under consideration as you continue to develop your own brand. Think critically about what you have that they don’t.

What will your coffee brand personality be?

You’ve figured out who you’re targeting and who your competitors are, so now it’s time to develop your brand’s personality. You need to know what direction your brand is going to in, and what makes your coffee brand unique to ensure everything you do is cohesive, and representative of your company. Ask yourself whether your brand is premium or for everyone, traditional or modern, etc. Your brand personality determines the message your company is going to send, and how you’re going to stand out and define your products.

How are you going to market your product?

You’ve got a product, an understanding of your competitors and audience, and a defined coffee brand personality, so how are you going to get the word about your product out there? There’s a million different ways to get people interested in your business and your coffee. This also sort of depends on how you’re selling product, if it’s online – you might want to consider online advertisements, social media, and content marketing. If it’s a physical shop, more traditional marketing methods may be in your favor. Organize events for your community, use billboards, take advantage of word-of-mouth marketing.

The marketing techniques that work for each business may be different, so take into account your brand personality, your competitors, your target audience, and how you’re selling your product to determine which strategy you will use. The key? Speak to your target audience. So, if they are mainly on social media – you should be there too. But make sure whatever strategy you use makes sense with your brand personality.

Where can you learn more?

Finally, where can you learn more? Obviously, starting a coffee business, and any business, is a challenging and tricky process. This guide is sure to give you an idea of the broad steps you’ll need to take, but there’s a lot more you probably need to know. So, where can you go to learn more? We’ve prepared a how to guide regarding setting up, marketing and designing for your coffee brand, which you can download for free. That guide will give you a much more in-depth look at getting started.

Starting your own coffee brand is an adventure, but one that is made easier with all the resources available nowadays. So, take the leap and get started!

And if you’re looking for the perfect look for your brand, consider DesignBro, where all designers are experienced, professional and hand-picked. For only $199 for a logo, and $499 for packaging, you can get the perfect design in less than a month. Start your project today, and give your business the perfect look.