Coffee shops are ubiquitous in any major city. So winning a customer’s loyalty is as difficult as herding cats. So what’s the answer? Personalization. And by personalization I mean the Ripple.
The Ripple, is in effect, a coffee printer. Which is to say that it can print images on top of cappuccinos and any coffee sporting a layer of foam.
Included with the Ripple are a set of preload images, including inspirational quotes, images and more. There is even an iPhone app to customize and create Ripples or download customer’s Facebook pictures. If that latter one doesn’t gain their loyalty, then I don’t know what will.
What does the Ripple print in? Ink? Almost. Coffee ink. The company has concocted a patented coffee extract made from a high-quality mix of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. It housed inside of a pod. And yes, you guessed it, you have to order the pods from Ripple, which of course offers a monthly subscription so you never run out.
And speaking of the pods: each one is good for up to 1000 prints, or in this case “Ripples”.
To control the Ripple Machine there is a large touch LCD screen. There images can be selected and printed. And to remove the guess work of what to print next, there is even a random button which will randomly pick images or quotes. And if I’m reading their website correctly, there is also a customer facing app, where your patrons can create their own Ripples.
Sound like a good idea? In theory, yes. However, the Ripple Machine might be best assessed as opportunity cost, as it adds production time and cost to each cup of coffee, albeit seconds. In other words, I don’t see Starbucks carrying this any time soon. Though for the mom and pop coffee shop, this could be a game changer.