Posted by: David Kiley on July 29, 2009
Can I pour you some booze in your coffee? Starbucks, which has been struggling the last 18 months to find new relevance in a world where a latte can be had just about everywhere including McDonald’s, is expanding its retail empire to include a new format: The new coffeehouse is called 15th Ave. Coffee & Tea, and is an attempt by SBUX to create an upscale venue that serves beer and wine, coffee made from a hand-pressed espresso machine, poetry readings, etc.
The new format store, if successful in Seattle, will grow into other cities.
Brand New Day and The CMO Club posed this question to the members of the CMO Club:
Starbucks is opening a new format store which includes beer, wine, new food, film screening, and live entertainment. Is this the right move?
101 CMOs responded:
25.7% No – Focus on improving cust. experience
18.8% No – Focus - Differentiate vs.McDs/Dunkin
16.8% No – Need new format but not this
A few Quotes from CMOs in the club who responded:
“They made themselves a semi-upscale destination during the morning and midday time periods with a concept that fostered relaxation and ‘connection’ (in all formats) and appealed equally to Boomers, Gen Xers and Gen Yers. Makes equal sense to create a semi-upscale destination during the evening time period, so they can have an anchor in all dayparts. I think this is an un-met need in the marketplace and they’ll certainly get trial. The trick will be to get repeat.”
“Starbucks can be a different experience vs. McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts. Many enjoy reading paper or on their pc with a cup of coffee without kids yelling at the next table. They should focus on their unique differences.”
“Customer experience is the only way to combat price differences with today’s consumers. Have they exhausted all new ideas and approaches to improved customer experience?”