Nowadays, players who make coffee at the end of the game have begun to diversify. From traditional Chinese medicine shops to dim sum shops, from national fashion to luxury goods, from electrical appliances to beauty cosmetics, all brands do not want to miss the spark of coffee traffic.
In 2022, the electrical appliance brand Philips opened a free coffee brand store “PH Coffee” in the Healthy Life Lab in Shanghai’s Fengshengli. Almost in childhood, the automobile brand NIO also began to provide users with special drinks in NIO centers across the country. , coffee and other beverages.
When coffee became a social currency, the older generation of brands also began to use coffee to renovate.
Tongrentang, which has a history of more than 300 years, also opened a coffee shop. Its Zhima Health also opened a themed store of “Good Medicine and Bitter Drink” at the Taobao Creation Festival, and launched a drink called “Five Flavors Life Coffee”. This operation allowed the store to enter the top ten stores of the Creation Festival that year, and attracted a lot of attention on social media.
In Shanghai, the century-old Qiaojiazha is especially famous for its siu mai, and now it has opened a cafe near the Changshu Road subway station. The 22 yuan breakfast set can be served with 2 buns and a cup of black coffee. It is a perfect fusion of Chinese snacks and Western drinks.
Of course, the favor of luxury goods for coffee is also worthy of attention. In 2017, Chanel opened Coco Coffee, a makeup cafe in Shanghai. In the same year, Bobbi Brown also opened a limited-time cafe in Shanghai Raffles City.
In the past two years, brands such as Maison Margiela, Ralph Lauren and Burberry have also launched cafes in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and other places.
Why do luxury goods frequently hold hands with coffee? Why does Coffee always hide traffic passwords? Why are young people obsessed with coffee? In the process of coffee as a social currency, how does the so-called social relationship expand and develop? On these, we have a little of our own views.
1. Luxury goods frequently hold hands with coffee
Being favored by luxury goods is an important milestone in the process of coffee becoming a social currency.
At LV’s Aranya show, Manner Coffee occupied the C position exclusively, and at the exhibition on Yanlord Street, Mason Margiela’s ground coffee installation received countless attentions from social media.
For luxury goods, making coffee is not the goal, but using coffee to drain people is the goal. Young consumers may not have the ability to buy LV for the time being, but this does not mean that they will not be potential fans of the brand in the future. The dialogue between brands and consumers must occur before purchasing decisions.
Coffee is indeed a light cut. For young people, a store with expensive products may be stressful when they push the door, but consuming a cup of coffee with the same price as an independent cafe is an affordable and comfortable choice for most young people.
Therefore, as long as a cup of coffee costs tens of dollars, young people seem to hold the ticket to luxury goods, and the brand’s attitude is still “open, inclusive and positive”.
For customers with mature and stable brands, the setting of coffee will not affect their dining experience in the VIP room, but will satisfy their exclusive psychology of the target brand because of the hot social topics.
Of course, not all luxury goods are made of coffee. Although LV has opened a restaurant in Taikoo Li, Chengdu, not every brand has the strength or the courage to do this kind of heavy-handed business model.
First of all, compared with coffee shops, restaurants will inevitably involve the use of more food raw materials, so food safety issues will always be placed on a tight red line, which is an unacceptable risk for luxury brands.
Secondly, restaurants involving many cooking processes have higher requirements for fire pipe laying and sanitation business licenses than cafes, and there will be odor problems. A lot of space needs to be set up for the back kitchen for smoke exhaust pipes and open fire/dark fire cooking, which greatly reduces the retail display space of luxury stores that are already very expensive.
Coffee is completely different. Basically, the area of a coffee making machine and operating table/cleaning area can even be reduced to the size of a cash register. If the area of 2 square meters is well planned, it is enough to place two coffee machines and include the cleaning area. This has little effect on the square meter effect for luxury goods, and in the long run, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
According to data provided by commercial real estate professionals quoted by Vogue Business, before the opening of Maison Margiela’s world’s first coffee shop in Chengdu, the highest daily sales volume at the highest stage of passenger flow has reached 40,000 yuan (covering an area of 38 square meters). If calculated according to the 25-50 yuan per cup, the daily cup volume is between 800-1600 cups, which is far more than the popular cafes in first-tier cities.
In Shanghai, independent cafes can survive if they have more than 300 cups per day. If the daily cup volume reaches 500 cups, the profitability is above average. If the cup volume can reach 1,000 cups, then the decision is Proper online celebrity shop standard. So just from the perspective of profit, the entry of luxury goods into coffee shops is also a profitable business.
Of course, the more important reason is that as an offline space, coffee shops, like retail stores, are an important display space for luxury aesthetics and styles, telling the brand’s pioneering awareness and trendy aesthetics. This is the same reason that consumer brands have been focusing on the design of offline retail space in recent years.
Furthermore, if the luxury retail space and coffee space are comparable to a small museum or art gallery, this is also a manifestation of brand strength. At this time, the design value of the brand, the guidance of social aesthetic trends, and the impact on other surrounding environments are far from what the brand’s product line carries. It can be said that this experiential space has greatly enriched the connotation of luxury goods and inspired new vitality.
2. Transformation of social relationships in coffee shops
For contemporary young people, going to a coffee shop is not only a refreshing demand for a functional drink intake, but more importantly, it is an almost sacred and daily social ritual.
It is sacred because it is difficult for you to find another public space to match yourself. Although museums and art galleries are fancy enough, they cannot sit comfortably and have a drink. Chill is not enough, and the library is too quiet, but the streets If the environment of the small restaurant is not good, it is not fancy enough. The space atmosphere, demand satisfaction and accessibility of the cafe have all stepped on the hearts of young people.
Therefore, going to the coffee shop has become a daily behavior. Friends can go to the cafe casually, students can go to the cafe to do their homework, novice parents can go to the cafe after their children get off from school, aunts can also have a cup of coffee with their sisters after morning exercises and square dancing. These are all small favors hidden in the cafe.
On the whole, the cafes all over the streets and alleys of the community have actually reached a circle of “acquaintances-semi-acquaintances-strangers” socially, but the randomness has been effectively controlled and screened.
For example, you can see this structural evolution during the birth of an independent cafe or a community cafe, especially during the soft opening period.
Those who just came to join us may be acquaintances of the manager, and you may just notice a coffee shop downstairs when you come here, so you call your family, and gradually you and the manager become more and more acquainted. This is the first step of “socializing with acquaintances” – the process of transforming a public space into a private space that “makes you feel at ease and comfortable” through multiple visits.
The second is the possibility of “semi-acquaintance socialization”. Residents in the same community all come to visit. Although they may not know each other, they can form a sense of trust and security through the proximity of the “place of residence”, which may burst out children. Common topics such as further studies and community building, thus developing deep social relationships.
Of course, “social interaction with half-acquaintances” and “social interaction with strangers” may also evolve in a two-line manner. For example, once you form a sense of closeness and dependence on this space, small-scale business talks may also be transferred here, because this is your home field. You may turn a stranger into a half-baked business partner, just because of the exclamation of “this bean is good, and you like it too”.
3. The emotional bearing of the coffee shop
This is from the perspective of social interaction. If we start from a more personal perspective, the coffee shop may also play a part of the role of emotional catharsis.
With the increasing pressure in the workplace and the intensified employment competition, young people’s work and study in coffee shops are more like a silent resistance against introversion and 996. They have no way to balance life and work, so they can transfer their work to “life-like” places to achieve a kind of psychological compensation.
In this environment, although people are working, the things they talk about with you and the people around them can be topics that have nothing to do with work. How is the acidity of this batch of beans? Is the milk frothed well today? These trivial matters seem to be entanglements about the quality of the cup of coffee that I have imported, but they are actually my own quality of life. Under this care, it is the love and pursuit of life.
Of course, young people’s love of drinking coffee also means “assimilation of circles”. For example, it is often ridiculed that “Koreans have coffee in their blood, no matter how cold it is in winter or late autumn, they always have a cup of iced Americano.” There is a bit of self-stimulation of “elite virtues” in it, that is, “I must start the day with full energy, and struggle is the background of life.”
But whether it is an active struggle or a lazy and free coziness, going to a coffee shop to drink coffee has become a ritual of daily life, and it is a relaxing journey of spiritual protection.
In a game called “Coffee Talk”, a warm and simple world is described. There are humans in this society, as well as vampires and werewolves. The elves start a business here, the dwarves establish an automated machinery group, the orcs put down their axes to use computers, and you, as a player, will run a small coffee shop, making drinks for customers in the middle of the night and listening to their troubles.
One hidden skill is that you can create a specially formulated drink that might help Werewolf customers curb their bestiality. But more often, the player acts as a more silent bystander. You listen to different customers sharing stories with each other in the late-night cafe, and their emotional bonds gradually spread from the space of the cafe.
As time goes by, you start to be curious about the stories that these game characters have experienced, and you start to care about their future life direction. Between yourself and others, you can throw your attention on others, and have a good understanding of the world that belongs to you. Strangers have more empathy.
In the process of drinking coffee, as long as you have experienced this subtle softness and fun more or less, the existence of the cafe will be extra warm and interesting.