Sales & Marketing

A coffee amnesty: Guerrilla marketing with a difference from Look Mum No Hands!

Hunter Ruthven | 15 April 2016 | 8 years ago

Look Mum No Hands coffee amnesty
Roll up, roll up: Passersby were encouraged to “harvest” their cup and staple it to a board of shame
Channelling public distain for big businesses dodging tax, and hoping to turn a few new customers onto its coffee, Look Mum No Hands! decided to dust off its innovative coffee amnesty idea and hit the streets once more.

If youd happened to have walked down Old St, west of the roundabout and a stone’s throw from Tech City, this week then you might have witnessed an attempt to wean commuters off of their usual cup of Starbucks or Costa and onto abrew created by a more independent maker.

Look Mum No Hands! is a cycling-themed cafe in East London. Going beyond what might be expected, it also has a bike workshop, its own line of cycling apparel and sells craft beer.

Back in 2012 the founding team decided to try a new form of marketing a “coffee amnesty”. Taking a coffee cart out onto the footpath, it offered what it believed was a better cup of coffee in exchange for one purchased from the likes of Pret A Manger or Caffe Nero.

As co-founder Sam Humpheson explained to us: Everyone likes the plucky small independent sticking two fingers up to the big international multiples. From that it works as a good story, and is a great way of starting conversation.

Leveraging the power of social media, where Look Mum No Hands! has thousands of followers and taps into communities such as coffee and cycling, itsguerrillamarketing exploits travel quickly.

on a real world level, we are creatures of habit. Lots of commuters operate on auto pilot buying the same coffee at the same coffee outlets each morning, Humpheson told us.

finding a way of breaking that routine is a hard thing, and a coffee business is built on regulars lots of small-value purchases.

So no to coffee chainsIndependent coffee shops

As a small business, he feels Look Mum No Hands! has the chance to be a bit controversial and leverage the fact that people enjoy a David and Goliath-type story. With the dust not yet settled on the Panama Papers? issue, small independents can take the moral high ground and show business can be conducted in an ethical way.

Furthermore, without access to the big marketing budgets of Starbucks and Costa, businesses like Look Mum No Hands! must become imaginative if they are to capture the imaginations of new and existing customers, influencing the cultural zeitgeist at a particular time.

the theatre of harvesting cups? is good fun, but it also provides and engaging thing for people to talk about. Our only outlay is to get extra bodies and additional coffee machine on the go we can’t do it every day but now and then it works well.

Coffee and cyclingCoffee amnesty

While Humpheson believes it is still a pretty hard time to be a small business owner, he does thinkthese kind of businesses have a unique advantage to not only provide personalised customer service but also a superior product. For his baristas, it is about getting to know their customers and orders to that there is a sense of value when they walk in each morning.

Guerrillamarketing, characterised as efforts to capture the imagination of the public in an imaginative way without breaking the bank, has become increasingly popular in recent years. Fuelled by the audiences small businesses are able to build up via social media, if done correctly it can have a powerful impact.

If Look Mum No Hands! is able to gain “two or three” more regular customers then its coffee amnesty will have been a success. It isn’table to position itselfin tube stations or other areas of high foot traffic, Humpheson said, so small gains are the way forward.

So, if you’re a fan of coffee and are a little bored of the usual cup of bland Starbucks or generic Costa, watch out the next Look Mum No Hands! guerrilla marketing effort.

Related Topics

16 Tips & Tools to Boost Small Business ROI
8 January 2024

16 Tips & Tools to Boost Small Business ROI

Read More →
How to Master the Art of Professional Networking
3 January 2024

How to Master the Art of Professional Networking

Read More →
Boosting Sales in a Competitive Market
15 August 2023

Boosting Sales in a Competitive Market

Read More →
Are 08 Numbers Free?
27 July 2023

Are 08 Numbers Free?

Read More →
How to Generate More Sales via Your E-commerce Site
25 July 2023

How to Generate More Sales via Your E-commerce Site

Read More →
Unlocking the Power of Social Media Marketing for Your Business
21 July 2023

Unlocking the Power of Social Media Marketing for Your Business

Read More →

If you enjoy reading our articles,
why not sign up for our newsletter?

We commit to just delivering high-quality material that is specially crafted for our audience.

Join Our Newsletter