As the social media manager for Grounded Roots, an upcoming coffee chain based in Connecticut, a huge part of my research process is using Google Trends. I want to be able to get an inside look at what our audience is thinking and why. To begin my search, I wanted to look at the overall trend of coffee in CT over the past 15 years.

As you can see, there is a bit of an upward trend as coffee gets more and more popular. Over the years, it has become integrated into our society as an essential part of our to-go lifestyle. In today’s American society, coffee is seen as a way to make you work faster and longer. With more and more fast-coffee shops popping up around the country, the more popular it becomes. Now not only am I looking at trends in Connecticut, I’m looking at trends in New Jersey and New York. These are the first states that we will be expanding to. If we take a look at the trends for “Coffee” in NY and NJ, this is what we would see.

In both instances, we see an upward trend. This is a great sign, knowing that there is a need for our services. I tried another key word, “iced coffee”. Especially in the past couple of years, I have noticed a huge spike in iced coffee consumption and I wanted to see if it was reflected in Google searches.

Something that I found interesting about these graphs were the phases that it went through. But then I remembered, iced coffee gets less popular in the winter, meaning that less and less people are searching for it. Searches spike during warmer months because that’s what people are looking for, especially here in the Northeast, where we have true seasons. This Google Trends chart may look very different in California or Florida.

A huge part of the appeal for our establishment is that it is a drive-thru. People want fast and convenient. Especially during this global pandemic, the less contact, the better. I decided to look into the term “drive through” in all of the states. I wanted to be able to see if it created any traffic and if it created more traffic in certain states. Here are those results:

In each state, “drive through” spiked at the exact same time. This was extremely eye-opening to me because before COVID-19, drive throughs weren’t necessarily a feature that people found appealing. If anything, it was an added bonus. It wasn’t until minimal contact was necessary for customers to feel safe did this term spike. This shows me that marketing our drive through feature will be very important and will drive traffic to our site and our socials.

The last part of my research was looking at a competitor. I decided to look at Starbucks. I used the term “Starbucks near me” because it will show me how many people are looking for a coffee chain in our area.

In each state, Starbucks takes off around 2013 when they start expanding all over the East Coast. Something that I also find interesting in this data is that there has been a decline in the recent years. Maybe it’s because new coffee shops have made their way onto the scene. This could be a sign that customers are ready for something new. In this specific area, people are seen to be trend-setting and open to new options. They also show very similar patterns to each other. What is true in one state is true in others. They all seem to have an interest in drive-through coffee shops and better yet, they are ready to make room for a new chain, according to the decrease in interest in Starbucks.

I have learned a lot about what consumers are looking for in my target area. I learned that certain search terms, such as “iced coffee” may only be successful during certain seasons. I saw that the “drive through” term has become increasingly popular due to the pandemic. This is all great data to help me improve the marketing strategy for our company, Grounded Roots.

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