4 Packaging Items You Should Brand if You Own a Cafe


Simply put, these are the essentials! 

No matter the kind of business you own, it is imperative for it to have proper branding solutions established. A coffee shop is no exception to the rule. Obtaining the right brand on the packaging items does not only give your cafe a distinctive identity, but it also helps in distinguishing it among a sea of competitors. When done correctly, branding turns certain visual elements into your coffee shop’s signature style. Even a simple combination of colors could cause your target audience to think of your cafe instantly.

This is not just fancy marketing talk, but something that could be seen in the real world very easily. Taking a look at the branding of the ubiquitous Golden Arches of McDonald’s or the iconic siren/mermaid of Starbucks reminds you of these businesses.

This happens even when there is no name mentioned on their logos. This effect is not exclusive to long-standing businesses either. As long as your branding is interesting enough to captivate the attention of its target audience, you could achieve the same effect with it.

4 Packaging Items You Should Brand if You Own a Cafe
Served coffee at a cafe @lavacafe_kw

What Should You Consider when Branding a Cafe?

Think about it. What’s the one element of your business that every customer leaves while stepping out of your coffee shop? It’s your packaging.

Whether they have bought a latte or an espresso, a frappe or a bagel, customers always leave a coffee shop with the business’ packaging in hand. This packaging stays with them even as they consume their drinks or snacks. Also, anyone that the customer meets during the process of enjoying your goods can see it. So why not use it to your advantage?

To help you understand how you can use something as simple as packaging for your coffee shop branding, here are four examples of items that you could brand to market your cafe. And if you’d like to get your own packaging custom printed, be sure to reach out to us.

4 Packaging Items You Should Brand if You Own a Cafe
Branded coffee cup and sleeve. @candid_shots_of_mine

1. Custom Branded & Printed Coffee Cups

Think about coffee shop branding, and the first thing that comes to mind is the coffee cup. It was a few decades ago when disposable coffee cups came in bland and blank packaging. It was time where they were just used by coffee shops to sell the drinks they had to offer. For these cafes, it was a simple transaction of selling their goods to their customers. But it also meant that they were sitting on a goldmine of marketing potential and not using it to their advantage.

While some coffee shops used their branding on coffee cups, the practice was sparse at the time. That was until Starbucks swooped in to change it all for the better. With a simple branding of using its legendary mermaid figure on its cup, the coffee shop giant demonstrates to the world how the coffee cup packaging is an effective branding tool.

Today, selling your coffee in a generic cup is branding suicide. It’s because disposable, as well as reusable coffee cups, are a highly useful marketing tool for coffee shop branding. Branded coffee cups don’t even take that much of an effort to make and are less expensive than you think! This is why you need to make sure that the original packaging you print for your branding is your batch of empty coffee cups.

Make sure you check out our piece on “3 Ways to Get a Coffee Cup Branded” for more on getting your coffee cups branded with your logo today.

4 Packaging Items You Should Brand if You Own a Cafe
A custom branded coffee cup. @donalota

2. Custom Printed Coffee Sleeves

The sleeve was invented to prevent coffee consumers from burning their fingers on white-hot cups. However, it has now become a surefire way to establish your branding!

From corporate coffee shop chains to artisanal cafes, nearly all businesses in the coffee segment use coffee sleeves to their advantage. Consumers need it to hold their coffee as they walk through the streets. Therefore, the coffee sleeve is something that never goes out of style. And the perfect opportunity for some marketing and branding.

This assurance of coffee sleeves’ long-standing status also gives you the confidence to print your logo on any batch of coffee sleeves that you own. You should make it a practice to always sell your coffee with branded sleeves. This can take your coffee shop branding to the next level.

Be sure to check out “4 Types of Custom Coffee Sleeves” to give you ideas on getting your coffee sleeves branded.

4 Packaging Items You Should Brand if You Own a Cafe
Branded coffee sleeves @coffee_cupholder

3. Custom Branded Napkins for Your Cafe

What is as utility-friendly as coffee sleeves, and gets just as less credit for helping you consume your coffee? Why it is the good old fashioned napkin!

Perhaps just as needed as the coffee cup itself, a napkin could be an efficient yet budget-friendly way to turn a piece of paper into a branding tool. This is something that you must have seen with service businesses all over the world, which also includes coffee shops.

It’s because branding a napkin takes minimal effort, but it provides your coffee shop with a lot of exposure. That is why even businesses such as airlines use them to their advantage. Through these smart marketing campaigns, a business earns a lot of publicity. To go down the route of smart and cost-effective marketing, it is essential that you look into using napkins as a tool for coffee shop branding.

Don’t have a logo for your shop just yet? No worries, be sure to check out “10 Things to Think About When Designing a Cafe Logo” for more helpful tips.

4 Packaging Items You Should Brand if You Own a Cafe
A cup of coffee on a branded napkin @napkins_collection

4. Custom Printed Packaging Bags

Branding can be counter-productive if you miss out on an item with a more substantial presence to your customers. When you brand small packaging items for your cafe such as the ones mentioned above, bags should not be forgotten. You should look into printing your business information on the bags that you use to hand over larger orders to your customers. Primarily ones containing snacks or baked goods from your coffee shop.

The practice of using larger paper bags is slowly falling out of order. Now, it comes down to how many times can a paper bag be reused. Also, how convenient and attractive it is for the customers to consider using it repeatedly. 

As the climate change debate is raising awareness regarding more eco-friendly ways to live, promoting reusable bags can help to conserve the environment. These bags can be made out of high-quality paper or developed cotton. Your coffee shop will appeal to its customers- while also contributing to the good of the planet, especially ocean life. It’s a win-win no matter how you look at it.

By branding your packaging, you could reap immense benefits out of this marketing strategy. It goes a long way into coffee shop branding and paves the way to use the same plan on other items as you expand your business.

Thinking of ways to come up with the best possible coffee bag idea? Why don’t you check out “3 Beautiful & Custom Coffee Bag Design Ideas” to give you more inspiration.

4 Packaging Items You Should Brand if You Own a Cafe
Coffee Bag Packaging @missrubydesigns

Thank you for reading with us today! Thinking of opening a coffee shop and are considering these tips? Be sure to also check out “Leadership Tips For Cafe Owners” for more helpful insight to managing your cafe.

Become a part of our exclusive Facebook Group, Food Service Brand Builders— a space dedicated for cafe, restaurant, and food service business owners to share helpful tips and experiences of owning a small business.

Brand My Cafe helps small & medium-sized businesses, cafes and foodservice brands grow their identity through custom coffee cups, coffee sleeves & more. Check us out on Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration

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