Costa Coffee store design and materials varied across the estate with legacy design. We were asked to design an improved store experience for customers while at the same time improving the efficiency of the store. The solution had to be scalable within budget and installation times whilst still have the potential for global rollout.
Our Strategy: 1% marginal gains to simplify and increase efficiency
We researched and redesigned each element in the customer journey to de-clutter the stores, making them easier to manage from a Barista’s perspective and a more enjoyable experience for customers. By breaking down the journey into small functional component parts we successfully improved every customer touch point, including the less obvious such as toilet signs and window privacy glass, to make the store feels much cleaner, more relaxed and is easier to navigate. And, by being smarter with materials and positioning of items we would make life easier for store teams and improve the efficiency of the store.
Simplify, harmonise branded materials
We undertook a huge audit of all materials in current stores, and the cost of print alongside time and energy of store teams in replacing or moving them around. That study led us to create a totally new suite of items designed around the store look and feel and operations. Consistent of brand colour application for visual simplicity.
We explored the customer journey and simplified all materials in store rationalising back to only those that were necessary and key to purchase. We looked at size, placement and ease of operation when choosing new materials to save Barista time and create an ordered natural environment feel.
Our initial observation was that store materials were all different sizes and shapes with no consistent visual strategy. One of our first jobs was to rationalise materials to the same ratio to make them visually hang together better for the customer but also to ensure that artwork rollout would be more efficient and cost-effective with only the dimension needing pro-ing up each time.
We consolidated substrates stripping away all unnecessary materials to a considered number used in store. This allowed for greater economies of scale within print and reduces the variation of reproduction of the Costa Red to increase consistency across print. It also meant that each material is fit for purpose, for example, the A-board campaign was printed on weatherboard, which withstands the elements without needing to be encased, therefore allowing us to simplify the structure making it easier for Baristas to day-part. The cable A structure was redesigned, with the campaign printed on magnetic material, making it easier for Baristas to install and reduced glare and therefore increased visibility for customers.
In the process, we improved the look and feel of all communications touchpoints both in terms of structure and printed substrates. We introduced more natural materials, wood, to help elevate premium, less corporate feel.
Integrate everything into a considered customer journey
The counter was central to the customer experience but valuable space in the journey was being taken up with A5 frames of promotions creating a busy cluttered look and blocking the view of the coffee making. We designed a new experience housing everything within the counter and designing neat ways to make it part of the experience. We de-cluttered the space around the till by creating a structure that hung off the existing till shroud. This gave communications such as the Costa Coffee Club card, a specific home and made it easier for Baristas to clean the area. With the new counter, we could stock the Costa recyclable cups on the shelves at till point, so we integrated the associated communications into the new SEL ticket holders.
Optimising the menu board system
The Brew Bar experience begins with a new menu board system, with boards housed in individual frames making day-parting quick and easy for the baristas. We increased the number and size of the boards, allowing us to increase the point size of the copy. This, coupled with switching the background colour to white with black text, provided far greater legibility and made the menu much easier to shop. We also worked with our client on ordering the information and optimising choice navigation. One new inclusion was our Barista Recommends board which used photography to encourage customers to trade up to the craft-led drinks they were less familiar with.
Making food a focus
Always an afterthought, we introduced a separate food menu board for the first time which sits on the counter above the integrated fridge, highlighting the hot food available at different times in the day at the right point in the customer journey. We also created a set of new food photograph, specifically for the menu board, to elevate the food offer.
A modular system for recycling
We saw the newly designed condiment and recycling unit as an opportunity to drive more recycling through the stores and talk about Costa’s credentials. The current condiment system was always static but we designed a new system with a brass back plate that means we could move the unit anywhere in store and it had an integrated back for hanging materials. Here we also created a catch phrase and colour coding rings into the counter to help customers who struggled to know how to recycle.
Costa Foundation and Community storytelling
Costa’s charitable Foundation felt like a little bit of an afterthought as communications were spread throughout the store, messaging was unclear and touchpoints were uninspiring. We consolidated the touchpoints into two key areas, counter and community board. We created a new look and feel and counter experience that involved a bigger box inset into the counter with a bigger slot to encourage bigger donations. The design also appealed to children to drop pennies into the collection box to literally build a school. We also created a dedicated space for simplified new look Foundation material on the community board, bringing together communities near and far. The space was designed to feel ‘live’ with areas inviting people to add new news.