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Case Study: Hocking Hills Coffee Emporium

When going into business, it is very important to have good reasoning for what you are doing (and why, how, where, to whom, and when).  For the purpose of this exercise, let’s use a local company here in town as an example.

  • What are you selling?
  • Where are you selling it?
  • Who are you selling it to?
  • Why are you selling it?
  • When are you selling it?
  • How are you selling it?

The Hocking Hills Coffee Emporium

The Hocking Hills Coffee Emporium is a coffee shop/B&B that opened up in 2018.  They are located on the way out to the local tourist attraction, the Hocking Hills, about 5 mins outside of town. 

Their mission statement:

We proudly offer the best cup of coffee in the Hocking Hills! From fresh brewed, to handcrafted espresso drinks, we strive to provide quality coffee. We have put a lot of thought into the sourcing of our coffees. Our coffees are fair trade, organic, shade grown and women owned and produced. Purchasing a cup of coffee from the Hocking Hills Coffee Emporium goes far beyond the cup of coffee. It supports sustainable practices and pay equity in growing regions. Our local roaster also supports economic development and women’s progress in Ohio’s Appalachia.”

What are they selling?

Coffee?  No, experiences!

  • Local-only products vs. Everyone products
  • Anyone can buy coffee, donuts, sandwiches, etc.
  • You are not in business to sell goods, but instead, memories.

When thinking about products, let’s break this down from a high-level perspective and divide it up into 2 categories focusing on “desire”:  things only locals would want to buy & things EVERYONE wants buy.  To differentiate between the two types of products:

  • “I own an HVAC company called Hunter’s Heating and Cooling and provide good pricing and service to the people in my town and surrounding areas” – LOCAL ONLY
  • “I own a unique antique shop called Hunter’s Treasures that people will travel great lengths to come visit.” – LOCAL & EVERYONE

So where does the Hocking Hills Coffee Emporium fit?  Definitely in the latter category.  Why?

    • In a tourist destination like Logan, OH, they have the ability to influence over 2M people per year to come back and get coffee and a sandwich after enjoying a hike in the hills.
    • The locals will visit the shop because it is close enough to town that it is not out of the way, but it’s far enough out that it is a nice change than the local Speedway Gas station.
    • Most of all, people love coffee and want the experience of sitting in a quaint little cafe in the middle of the hocking hills with their significant other or best friends

On top of everything else, they have a B&B that will attract out-of-towners to stay with them and they will most likely be eating at that coffee shop during their stay.

Where is the interest?

Tourists and locals.

  • 2.7M Searches for “Coffee Shops” in USA per month 
  • Most of the people searching for HH are in OH, WV, MI, IN, KY
  • Map below indicates interest from potential tourists

 

Take a look at the Google Trends snippet above – you will see that the majority of Google searches for the Hocking Hills, the local state park for which Logan, OH is famous for, peaks during certain parts of the year.  The above tells me that if I am a business owner in Logan, OH, the majority of people who are interested in my town are going to be interested between the months of April and August (tourist season).  

From December and March, I can expect things to be a bit slow in town, so maybe run some local specials to promote extra hard during that period of time.

Starting a small business is not an easy thing to do.  So keep things alive and moving by staying fresh with new ideas to keep business coming in.  

Who is interested?

Who should they be marketing to?  According to statista, everyone!  As you can see from the graph, the bars are quite even across the age board.

One thing to look at, however, is your affinity categories in Google Analytics.  In GA, there is an affinity category for “Home & Garden/Home Appliances/Small Appliances/Coffee & Espresso Makers”

It might even make sense to advertise to the folks at  “Sports & Fitness/Outdoor Recreational Equipment/Camping & Hiking Equipment”

Or “Autos & Vehicles/Vehicles (Other)/Campers & RVs”

How are they selling it?

So how are they selling this?  By doing exactly what their mission statement says:

Founded on the core principles of integrity, high quality and value, the JUGS painstakingly converted a historic home into a charming, one of a kind, boutique hotel, glamping destination. Complete with all the comforts of modern day living, while preserving the vintage charm of this peaceful, welcoming property.  

We proudly offer the best cup of coffee in the Hocking Hills! From fresh brewed, to handcrafted espresso drinks, we strive to provide quality coffee. We have put a lot of thought into the sourcing of our coffees. Our coffees are fair trade, organic, shade grown and women owned and produced. Purchasing a cup of coffee from the Hocking Hills Coffee Emporium goes far beyond the cup of coffee. It supports sustainable practices and pay equity in growing regions. Our local roaster also supports economic development and women’s progress in Ohio’s Appalachia.

How are they selling it?

The big WHY.  First, they probably want to make some money doing this, so we can check that box right off the bat.

Next, their mission statement outlines their love for equality – 

It supports sustainable practices and pay equity in growing regions. Our local roaster also supports economic development and women’s progress in Ohio’s Appalachia.”

Last, starting a business in a small town is a good nod toward the progress of the local economy and can only stimulate things in a positive way.

The Round-up

  • What?  Experiences & memories
  • Where?  Start with OH, WV, MI, IN, KY
  • When?  May – September, when people are searching the most
  • Who?  Everyone, but take a look at those GA Affinity categories
  • How?  Use that personal angle in your advertising taglines & descriptions
  • Why?  To bring in new business!

Finally, let’s bring all of this together, starting with the what.

So what are we selling?  Experiences and memories! 

Where are we selling this?  Let’s start with OH, WV, MI, IN, and KY.  Once we are seeing a good response, we can expand our advertising efforts into the other states out West, that we mentioned earlier.  Be sure to fine-tune all of your campaigns to only advertise in these areas geographically.

When?  Like we discovered earlier, the time of year when people are searching for our tourist attraction is between the months of May and September.  Use this time to capture the eye of each googler and serve them up an ad reminding them to visit your coffee shop

Who?  Everyone, but let’s look at those Google affinity audiences to fine-tune this category as well.  Social media platforms like Facebook, twitter, etc. all have “in-market” indicators.  Try to find things in common like camping, coffee, etc. to match up your ad with someone who might appreciate it.

How?  We are selling coffee locally, but making tourists pay for awesome memories.  Keep that cozy feeling when coming up with advertising copy.

And of course, Why?  To bring in new business.

 

Michael Hunter

Michael Hunter

Digital Marketer

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