DE the dutch coffee legend
My first experience drinking Douwe Egberts (DE) was in Sydney in 1998. At that time this brand was quite new from me, but I like the logo. Until 2010, when I started to live in the Netherland, I find DE almost every where, Honestly speaking, I am not a big fan of DE coffee. DE has too fruity and quite light for me (but please read my post at Hometown Den Haag about DE).
As i remember correctly, for the last four and a half years I bought the beans two times and the instant coffee one time. I hang out about 5 times for coffee at DE cafe Eindhoven, where I live. And at the early years when I came to Eindhoven, there were still limited options for cafe. Yes, DE cafe was not on my cafe list.
However, at least once per month I visited DE to see coffee accessories.. cups, mugs, pots, drippers..and everything relates to coffee (and tea) always attract me to visit DE shop. I admire their products with the DE logo. For me DE has good design for coffee and tea accessories (Pickwick is their tea product). I, myself, have little collections of DE accessories at home.
I was a bit sad knowing that the shop was closed at 4pm a day before Christmas. I stopped by around 5pm to look for myself xmas present. But it was a big surprised when I tried to visit just after Christmas. I found DE Eindhoven is closed! What?? I heard the rumours about DE was going to close some months ago.. and now is coming true.
I don’t know the reason. Is it because of the increase of their competitors? Since the last two years cafe places in Eindhoven grow like mushrooms. I feel sad, knowing that one of the legend shop is close. It’s not about romantic feeling, it’s about a story of coffee. The Netherlands and DE.
On my point of view, a city like Eindhoven, which has a big variety of people coming from many countries, could be a better place to nail DE. I do believe many Eindhoveners, out there, are also willing to support local to keep DE survive. The history of Netherlands coffee habits has DE in it.
From my journey… Whenever I smell coffee in a city I visit… I found it is not easy to run this business. Especially with the mushrooming cafe’s issues it is not easy to build up the customer loyalty. What I see the trends now to keep the customer loyal to the business are
1 keep update all activity via social media (FB, twitter, website, etc) or forum group discussion, or gathering activities that involve some target markets
2 keep contact with customers, the baristas should be friendly and communicative.. ask some suggestions to your customers directly
3 keep update with the customers’ expectation and their behavior on drinking coffee. Especially in the Netherlands consumers slightly sift their habit to go only for drinking coffee (without considering the place) and for enjoying coffee (considering the place). In the second option, they start to pay attention on the taste of coffee, atmosphere, and other aspects.
5 more open towards coffee & tea experiments; as these are the strength of DE and disseminate these knowledge to the customer
6.. and of course keep on analyzing the consumers’ data
PS: DE cafe will come back per April 2015 and combine the cafe with optic