Our client Costa Coffee briefed us to design an improved customer experience across the entire customer journey of their stores, while at the same time optimising store efficiency. As part of our research and talking to customers we identified that one of the main pain points in any coffee purchase journey is the bunched up area where you wait for your coffee. We saw this as an opportunity to create a new experience for Costa’s customers.
Our Strategy: Design a brew bar experience
We spotted the opportunity to turn the point of coffee collection from a potential frustration in the customer experience into a wow moment that delivers on Costa Coffee’s brand purpose ‘inspiring the world to love great coffee’.
Extending and lowering the current counter, we created an area for a ‘Brew Bar’ experience where customers could see quality coffee being made and learn more about the different coffees on offer whilst waiting for their drink all of which reinforced Costa’s coffee superiority.
By using this area to open up the world of quality coffee to people, and in particular Costa’s craft coffees, we could also encourage trial for higher priced coffees. Talking to customers led us to an understanding of the information that people needed in order to feel confident about exploring new coffees, such as “what will it taste like?”, and “what’s it like compared to my current choice?”.
We reordered the communications in this area, introduced new touchpoints to the store, and defined the role each touchpoint would play in delivering this improved experience.
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.
Celebrating Barista craft
In our newly imagined Brew Bar we put the focus on our Baristas, redesigning their uniforms to speak more of craft and individual flair. Costa Coffee also have a unique training and reward program where Baristas earn badges for different skills which we were keen to display. Each Brew Bar has a framed apron with all the badges pinned on to celebrate craft. We also took the flying bean badge off the apron and onto the wall above as a 3D printed model.
Telling the story of the blends
Having defined the proposition and design for Costa’s Signature Blend and new origin-focused Character Roasts we were keen to make them part of the experience. We created a shortened version of each story and applied these to the back of the grinders to be read as part of the Brew Bar experience whilst waiting for a drink to be crafted.
Opening up the world of coffee
The role of the Brew Bar was to inspire and encourage customers to steer away from their usual order and try a new craft coffee. We designed a space above the Brew Bar to tell the story of each coffee make-up in a fun, accessible way that felt distinctly Costa in tone. We also created new low-level touchpoints to help people on their coffee journey; countertop ramps that linked to the Barista Recommends menu board giving more information on why to try a certain craft coffee, and delivering great appetite appeal, and coasters that helped to deliver coffee facts in a fun informative way to educate customers and position Costa as the expert in coffee.