Coffee Business Promotion – Scavenger Hunt

Do you have multiple coffee cafes, coffee carts, or are you part of a bigger coffee franchise?

I once had a client with multiple coffee carts needing an inexpensive marketing promotion to get her customers to visit those other locations.

We were looking into custom printed paper coffee cups (or cup sleeves) with scratch-off or pull-off pieces for an “instant win” effect. As you can imagine, this type of promotion is cost-prohibitive and didn’t fit into her marketing creative solution was to develop a Scavenger Hunt game using branded printed cards, where a customer has to visit each location, purchase a drink, and find the scavenger item.

The creative solution was to develop a Scavenger Hunt game using branded printed cards, where a customer has to visit each location, purchase a drink, and find the scavenger item.

Here’s a break-down of how we created our game:

1. Decide upon the dates, duration, and rules for running your game. For this client, we chose to run the game during the month of August, starting on the 1st and running through to the end of the month. This worked well for this client because most of her customers are daily visitors and all of her locations are within driving distance of each other.

2. Determine how many items you want on your list and what the prize will be for completing the game. This was easy for this client because she has 7 locations, so we chose 7 items and the prize was a Free Large Drink of the customer’s choice. She normally runs a loyalty program where you get a free drink after buying 10 drinks, so this game provided regular customers with an extra incentive to participate … buy 7 and get 1 free, instead of the typical 10.

3. Find and purchase the actual items for the game. We went to a local dollar-store to find our items. Choosing the items before you print the cards is a smart step so that you can have the items printed on the cards. Just to give you an idea, we found our items in the (summer) toy section and here are the items we chose: 1. A beach ball, 2. A beach pail & shovel, 3. Oversized sunglasses, 4. A small inflatable Palm tree, 5. A pair of kids flippers, 6. A large squirt-gun, and 7. A snorkel mask and hose. We are in San Diego so we are very close to the beach, it was summer-time and the items are not typically found at a coffee cart so they stick-out and are easily identifiable.*

4. Have your game cards designed.* I chose to design her game to fit on a double-sided business card with the game on one side and her branding (logo, locations list, and contact info) on the other side. We left a blank space after each item so that an employee could initial it*, verifying that the customer had actually been to each individual location, purchased a drink, and presented their game card … and presumably told the employee what the scavenger item was for that location. Make sure to notate the game rules on the card, or if space doesn’t allow it, then a line reading: “Please visit any location or our website for complete game rules”.

5. Have your cards printed.  An important step when having your cards printed is to make sure that the game side gets NO COATING so they can be written or stamped on by the employees.

6. Have the game rules posted at each location and on your website.

7. Start promoting the game at least one week before it’s set to start. This builds anticipation and makes your customers aware of your other locations.

To build greater excitement and get even more participation, you could combine this game with a raffle for a bigger prize at the end of the scavenger game with a name being drawn from all the relinquished game cards.

If you don’t already collect your customer’s email addresses, then this is the perfect opportunity to have them give it to you on their completed game card, which they relinquish to get their free prize. Make sure you design your card with a space for their email address.

*Special Notes:

*Always keep your customer flow in mind when developing and playing games. We chose to have the items easily identifiable so that customers weren’t standing around the cash register trying to figure out what the item is and thereby blocking other customers.

*An alternative to your game cards is to just have blank spaces where you write in the items and this way you can run the game multiple times with different items, but then you are doing a lot of writing on blank cards … and who wants to write out 7 items 500 to 1000 times?

*An alternative to having employees initial the card (if you have far too many employees at too many locations) is to have each location with its own unique small stamp which you can purchase at any major office supply store or special order online. These stamps are a good investment because they also work well for marking loyalty cards and tracking which locations the customers frequent by the different stamps on their relinquished cards.