Reusable versus Disposable - Coffeecups Blog


There’s been a lot of stuff in the news recently about disposable cups. The #LatteLevy, stories about how these things aren’t fully recyclable so are just ending up in landfills, people just assuming that they are recyclable because they look like they are made of paper, or are just badly labelled as such, and their contribution to some of the environmental issues our planet is facing.

Mislabelling, lack of consumer awareness of how these things are made and the saturation of the market have all contributed to a situation where disposable cups have been vilified and a movement is beginning to find alternatives and to redesign disposable cups to make them more environmentally friendly. Excellent. Way to go guys.

One of the other issues with disposable cups is that they enable people to drink coffee or tea on the move. I get it. Really. People live busy lives and need their coffee fix without having to disrupt their commute or take too much time out of their lunch breaks. Companies plaster their branding onto disposable cups in the hopes that passers by may get a millisecond glimpse at their logo while the person holding the cup marches by, cup in one hand – phone in the other, on their way to work/home/an appointment. Does that approach really work? The only time you can get a good look at a company’s branding on a paper cup is when it’s in a bin! And with more places offering discounts if you bring your own refillable mug (or just outright banning disposable cups!) we are going to start seeing less and less branding on disposable cups out on the streets in future.

Isn’t there a better way?

What if people were encouraged to actually take the time to go into a coffee shop, order a coffee (or tea) to drink in, and just sit there for as long as they were able, watching the world go by and enjoying their coffee instead of just using it as fuel to get from one place to the next? All the while sat at their table with a nice ceramic cup, tastefully (or not!) custom printed with a logo which just helps enhance your café’s brand, and the whole experience the customer is having.

I know when I sit in a coffee shop, aside from people watching, I spend at least a few minutes looking at the logo on the cups – this may just be me being a graphic designer and doing weird ‘graphic designer-y’ things – and the brand goes in. The colours and the design of the logo go into my brain. Then I start looking at how the logo ties in to the design of the café; how it’s laid out, the colour scheme, etc. That is what branding should be. It should evoke a reaction in the customer. It should get into their brain and good branding should make them want to come back for more.

Isn’t that better than a millisecond chance viewing on a rainy street in mid-November?

There are better ways to get your brand out into the world than on a non-recyclable disposable cup. Make your ceramic cups look equally amazing. Tie them into their surroundings, make it seamless and let people Instagram your brand for you. Give customers a good experience and let the social media machine – and also good old-fashioned word of mouth – do the job for you.

If you want to create this brand synergy for your business, just give us a call or use the website to add your logo to your order and we’ll show you what the power of branding can do. And if you haven’t got one, we can always design a logo for you!

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