I just had lunch at a popular Newcastle cafe that could seriously teach many larger businesses a thing or two about modern marketing.
Three Bean Espresso in Hamilton has been pumping out great food and coffee for about five years now, but returning there today for the first time in over 6 months I was impressed at some of the other initiatives Ben Armstrong and his team have undertaken.
Ben now has two blogs for the cafe. The main one includes menu items and the usual information, but it is led by an entertaining and informative series of posts about food, ingredients, suppliers and good living. Its wonderful story telling that even Servant of Chaos would be proud of. The site is simple and clean just like the cafe and makes you want to eat lots of delicious food.
The key here is that Ben isn’t trying to sell, he’s engaging visitors in an ongoing conversation about good food. Your salivating tastebuds will do the rest.
Ben has another blog, The Adventures of Ari 2030, that is a pure fictional story telling exercise. They publish a new chapter every week and also print it on the back of that week’s menu. Its charming, quirky and innovative.
Finally, this little cafe has developed their own iPhone App so customers can keep up to date with the menu and blog posts. Like everything at Three Bean Espresso, the app is very smart and stylish. (just search Three Bean Espresso at iTunes app store), and run a Twitter account.
These guys are only new to the whole online marketing thing, they don’t have a big budget but they are doing a great job at attracting customers and keeping them engaged. Needless to say, business is very good.
P.S. The organic coffee from Peaberry’s is awesome.