When seeking out a worthwhile café, knowledgeable consumers will keep an eye out for signs of quality such as simplicity in the menu, a certain vibe or décor, or perhaps signage proudly bearing the name of a roasting company.
Many will also peer behind the counter for a glimpse at the equipment, and espresso machine manufacturer Slayer is confident that the presence of one its machines on a café counter sends the signal that the café in question means business, at least as far as espresso is concerned.
In a move that questions and cultivates brand loyalty in the cafe setting, Slayer has now created an interactive Google map to show the locations of its machines in the field. The Seattle-based company this week casually invited Slayer machine owners to voluntarily pin their locations to the map posted on its own page of the Slayer website, and to provide some information about their shops. A Slayer marketing representative is also available to help cafe owners select photos and present their shops most attractively.
“On any given day we get a handful of inquiries, whether it’s a call, email or social media inquiry regarding where folks can have coffee on a Slayer or see a Slayer in action,” Slayer Marketing Director Sarah Dooley told Daily Coffee News. “Some are travelers, leaving their hometown cafe hoping to have great coffee on the road. Some are baristas, trainers or potential purchasers with intentions to learn more.”
Coffee roasters and makers of other consumable products often provide maps or lists of locations where their products are available to the public. Manufacturers of entirely new technologies may, as well, as is the case with the Poursteady. Yet this degree of manifest brand loyalty is unique among espresso equipment, where many of the dominant players have been around for a long time.
Older equipment manufacturing companies with more extensive product lines such as La Marzocco, Nuova Simonelli and Rancilio probably wouldn’t bother making maps because not only are their products far more ubiquitous, but with so many older, battle-scarred and refurbished machines having changed hands and roamed from shop to shop, the mere presence of a company’s logo behind a counter doesn’t necessarily carry the same cache as the signature X-shaped side supports and exclamation-point-like steam handles of machines made by the substantially younger company, whose flagship product remains at the higher end of the equipment sale price spectrum.
“I am ultimately surprised that our non-logo Slayer Espresso machine is so recognizable amongst consumers,” said Dooley, adding that the company regularly fields communications through various channels praising the design of their machines.
Notwithstanding notions of recognition, loyalty, and exclusivity as they relate to equipment sales and café patronage, Dooley stated that the map isn’t a calculated or tactical move; it’s just a fun way to respond to frequent inquiries while supporting their clients at the same time.
“Our coffee community is very lovey,” said Dooley. “We’re hungry for fellowship, cross training and networking… We don’t need much of an excuse to get together and geek out.”