Is “Over-Marketing” a Thing?

Is it possible to over-market your business? Is it possible to do so well at marketing that your business can’t keep up and therefore turns customers off and actually ends up hurting the business?

There’s a local coffee shop here my hometown in Colorado. They have crushed it in terms of marketing their small business. Their instagram is brilliant, they’ve built valuable partnerships with other small businesses, they get positive media coverage, and they even created a semi-viral YouTube video. From a marketing perspective, all of that stuff is fantastic. So what’s the downside?

The downside is that their coffee shop literally has about 30 seats (I counted them). Most of them are small two-seater tables, so if customers are there doing work alone, then the space will be functionally maxed out at about 20 people. This is a problem because now it’s hard for me to decide to go there. It’s too risky. There’s a high probability that I will drive the 15 minutes there from my house only to find out that there’s no where for me to sit. This happens almost every time. I end up crowding into a small bar section that is barely deep enough for my laptop and watch like a hawk until someone leaves.

I think this coffee shop has marketed themselves into a problem. Many people that I talk to avoid going to there for the same reason. What is the shop owner supposed to do? Not market at all? Of course not. I know they are loving the attention, but I think they have “over-marketed” themselves and now they have a new problem to solve.

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