Open a Coffee Shop – How Important is Your USP When Opening a Coffee Shop?

Opening a coffee shop is a pretty exciting thing, and something that can be very lucrative if done right. One of those key important factors in getting it right is developing your USP, or, Unique Selling Point. Your unique selling point is what helps you stand out from the crowd and draws customers to you despite the other coffee shop businesses that may spring up around you.

But how important is it? Is it worth spending a lot of time on, or can you wing it and hope for the best? Or, maybe even create it as you go?

In terms of determining the worth of developing your USP when opening a coffee shop, think about your personal favorite coffee shops to visit. If you are just new on the coffee scene and are jumping in because you see how lucrative opening a coffee shop is, think of another type of business that can range from generic to specialized. What draws you?

Personally I think that developing your own USP is absolutely crucial for success. It is what helps set you apart from the big giant coffee businesses like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. And if you notice, they both have their own unique selling points, too. If you are thinking of a specialty coffee, Dunkin’ Donuts is probably not the first thing that pops into your mind. But if you want a donut and coffee to go, Dunkin’ Donuts may just be it. Dunkin’ Donuts is also a great option if you want to get in and get out, and don’t need a specialty coffee such as a mocha or a latte. Now if you are wanting a mocha or a latte, Starbucks is probably going to be one of the first places you head to, if you don’t know any better.

I know, that wasn’t nice. But it’s true. Starbucks has a great coffee menu and often comes out with some stellar specialty drinks, but I sure don’t believe it is a coffee giant because they serve the best coffee, or even because their baristas are the most talented specialty coffee creators. In fact when I lived in Portland, OR, Starbucks was only used as a last resort. Why? Because another coffee company, The Coffee People, had better coffee and a better USP. Their slogan was “Great Coffee Without the Backtalk”. Their baristas were a little more edgy, and even though I’m a pretty conservative girl myself, I kind of liked it. Then there was their drink menu, with my favorite mocha being the velvet hammer. They also made milkshake versions of their coffee drinks, and used top of the line ice cream and Adams peanut butter. I would drive 25 minutes out of my way just to get one of those sweet pieces of heaven. No lie.

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