For coffee shops and roasters, takeaway coffee cups are one of the most important, yet often overlooked, branding spaces.
A branded takeaway coffee cup is essentially a free, walking advertisement for your coffee business – one that can help bring in new customers and sell more coffee.
Therefore, it is vital that coffee shop owners capitalise on takeaway coffee cups for maximum customer engagement, and to get the most out of the marketing opportunities available.
Discover how you can make your takeaway coffee cups more personal and engaging for customers.
Why add design elements to takeaway coffee cups?
Takeaway coffee cups are a necessary expenditure for off-premise sales.
Therefore, adding design elements to your cups can be an effective way to make them promote your business without eating into your marketing budget.
As coffee is a hot, portable beverage, customers tend to spend at least ten minutes drinking it. Many other customers may choose to drink their coffee on the go.
This means two main things to your business from a marketing perspective.
First, you have ten minutes to ingrain your brand into the customer’s imagination, up-sell with other products, or direct them to your website.
Interacting with existing customers through your branding can help keep them engaged and build rapport. An involved customer is a often loyal one.
Second, the customers you have already attracted are now carrying mobile adverts for your business.
Branding on takeaway cups must be eye-catching and make a bold statement for maximum impact.
Furthermore, some customers, particularly those from younger generations, may want to share their experience with your business online. This can take the form of reviews left online or on the consumers’ social media platforms.
Customer social media interactions should be vital to the marketing plan of any modern business.
A shared photo of your custom-printed, branded takeaway coffee cups is likely to increase brand exposure faster than any printed marketing material would.
Recent peer-reviewed studies have shown that customers want that level of social interaction with a business.
Studies suggest that consumers are becoming pivotal authors of brand stories, as they share brand experiences with an online audience and create a reciprocal business-to-customer dialogue.
How to make takeaway coffee cups more engaging
An effective way to make your takeaway coffee cups more engaging is to include a custom-printed QR code.
Once scanned, a QR code can lead customers directly to your website or your social media pages.
Instead of placing the code in a traditional white block on the cup, you could choose to work into the design of the cup.
For effective customer retention, it is essential that you build relationships with your regular customers.
Furthermore, it is vital that this includes engaging with your customers online, as recent studies show over 30% of retail sales occur via ecommerce.
Loyalty cards and friendly customer service are time-honoured and proven ways to achieve this. In a digital environment, these principles can be expanded even further to encourage new and lasting relationships.
The key to marketing strategies that promote continuous growth is innovation.
Additionally, you could manipulate the physical space of your takeaway coffee cups to get on to first-name terms with your customers.
A brand that does this effectively is US coffeehouse, Starbucks. The brand is renowned for baristas writing each customer’s name on their takeaway coffee cup.
Leaving a space to do the same on your coffee cups could help streamline the ordering process and personalise the experience.
Alternatively, there are other options available for the extra space on your takeaway coffee cups.
An often overlooked, yet important, way to make your takeaway coffee cup more engaging is to custom-print instructions for its correct disposal.
As you have taken the time and effort to incorporate sustainable practices, such as using recyclable takeaway cups, you want to ensure they reach the proper disposal facilities.
For example, tossing a bioplastic-lined cup into the recycling without separating its elements will contaminate batches of waste and may do more harm than good.
This principle can be extended to providing fun tips for reuse. For example, biodegradable takeaway cups can make a great plant pot for seedlings or can be used for crafts with the kids.
Another good idea for limited runs like special promotions or seasonal offers could be to custom print the sleeves rather than the cups themselves.
Using sleeves carries a number of benefits, including the environmental and economical advantage of avoiding staff double-cupping drinks for your customers.
Another way to avoid the need to double-cup drinks is to invest in ripple wall takeaway coffee cups. These standard paper cups have an outer layer made from corrugated cardboard.
This layer gives the cup its signature ripple effect, while the gap between the two layers creates a cushion of air that helps retain heat.
Furthermore, the ridges help insulate the cup by slowing heat loss, eliminating the need for a cup sleeve. The ripple can run vertically, horizontally, or in an s-shape, and the surface is easy to brand and print on.
What to consider when altering your takeaway coffee cups
As with any aspect of your product and packaging design, it is important that environmental concerns are addressed.
Therefore, using water-based inks and recyclable materials is essential. You can also choose to engage customers by customising your takeaway coffee cups with tips on how to extend their life and utility beyond its original purpose.
Additionally, you must also consider the logistics of printing it onto the cups themselves.
Different substrates will respond to inks in various ways. For instance, kraft paper often requires a special printing setup due to its thickness.
Other textured materials may pose design problems, such as distorting the logo or branding.
More so, custom-print cups may be an expense some roasters are unable to take on, particularly if the cups will have to be redesigned once the festive season has passed.
As a result, roasters may be more willing to invest in customised coffee cup sleeves. These allow roasters to introduce interesting designs to takeaway cups while maintaining the same base design for bulk purchases.
MTPak Coffee can provide you with sustainable, custom-printed coffee cups and coffee cup sleeves made from sustainable materials, such as kraft paper, or PET with a PLA lining.
In addition to being 100% compostable, our cups are strong, waterproof, and lightweight. Our design team is also able to work with you to custom print your takeaway coffee cups or coffee cup sleeves to your specifications.
At MTPak Coffee, we use innovative and eco-friendly digital printing technology with sustainable water-based inks that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and are highly resistant to abrasion, heat, and water.
Our range of cups is available in different sizes: 4 oz, 8 oz, 16 oz, 12 oz, and 24 oz. Each one is available to order as either single or double wall, while customisable sleeves are available for all three sizes.
We also offer a range of low minimum order quantity (MOQ) options. This means you can order as few as 500 fully customised units in just five working days.