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Marketing a Passion for Coffee One Cup at a Time

and why great customer service is key to building a tribe

Being a solo entrepreneur and following your passion is something many dream about but few are brave enough to commit to. In this episode, we chat with Alessandro Bellino, a coffee officiado that’s turned his passion into the most amazing bespoke coffee trike you’ve ever seen. He’s also turned his passion into a thriving business where people wait in line every day to sample his wares until he runs out or just wants to close shop for the day. We talk about the concept of leading with craft and quality before spending a lot of effort on traditional marketing and how social has changed the marketing landscape and removed the middleman between a business and it’s customers.

In many parts of the world, coffee isn’t something you simply grab on the go to get you through the day — it’s an experience that should be indulged and enjoyed, like a fine glass of wine. As you can see by the rushed lines at Starbucks and similar chain cafes nationwide, that’s not how many people in the States treat the caffeinated beverage. This is something Alessandro Bellino is trying to change.

The native Aussie and Berklee College of Music alum has had quite the varied career to this point. After stints playing full-time tennis and as a jazz singer, Alessandro decided to pursue a professional venture revolving around a long-enjoyed passion of his: coffee. It was a big part of his youth, he noted, as he would regularly bond with his father over a cup of espresso most mornings.

Today, he gets to bond with residents of Boston, where he owns and operates The Coffee Trike — a custom tricycle with a deluxe espresso-maker attached which Alessandro rides around the city to share his delicious, carefully crafted product with residents and tourists alike.

Often parked outside Boston’s high-traffic South Station, Alessandro makes quite a living for himself by making cappuccinos, lattes, and other delectable coffee treats. As he will tell you, the process is far more intricate than grinding, brewing, pouring, and serving.

Alessandro implements a more intimate approach to concocting his coffees — one that includes some of the latest tech to help ensure his espresso drinks are perfectly produced. A painstaking procedure, perhaps, but Alessandro is committed to differentiating his coffee from all other vendors in the area, and the primary way to do that, he figures, is to make sure the final product is always one he’s proud to serve.

Though he doesn’t consider himself an expert marketer, Alessandro has unwittingly become the talk of the town thanks to understanding the importance of social media and crafting a brand that exudes precision and places a high premium on quality.

Discover what Alessandro does on a regular basis to keep customers coming back for more, how he carefully operates his one-man business, what kind of future he envisions for his latest enterprise, and much more in this episode of the Craft of Marketing.

Listen in for an honest account of what marketing is all about. The tips, hacks and strategies that professionals share with each other but rarely talk about in public.

Takeaways

  • Like brick-and-mortar restaurants, the mobile food scene offers lots of room for growth through experimentation
  • Each social network provides a distinct method for communicating with an audience, so try them all
  • Developing interpersonal relationships with customers is a key advantage mobile vendors have over restaurants
  • Distinguishing yourself among other mobile food merchants requires creating a unique product and marketing it as such
  • An intense understanding of your product and how to constantly improve it will pay off big in the long term
  • Giving audiences a behind-the-scenes glimpse of product creation is an excellent engagement-boosting method

Resources

Sponsors

  • Placester.com Launch a Beautiful Real Estate Website in Minutes for Only $10 Per Month
  • Contactually The Social CRM That Helps You Track All of Your Conversations on the Web

If you like this this show, subscribe to it on iTunes, and leave a review.

The feedback is super helpful for me and helps other people find the show. I actually read them. —- Thank You!

This is a labor of love, something I’ve done offline for decades and now get to share my curiosity with you. Thanks for listening to the show and to Alessandro for being an amazing guest! Oh yeah, thank Alessandro on Twitter, I know he’d appreciate it.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions about this episode, let me know, and if you like what I’m doing here, please share generously via the social media buttons on this page!      — Warmly, Seth