Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Best Espresso in the Neighborhood

One area of marketing I've focused on in this blog is the idea of congruency and authenticity. You should deliver an authentic experience, congruent with the image that your company and/or product represent.

I was surprised yesterday to see on the door of the Starbucks in downtown Silver Spring, a sticker saying "Best Espresso in the Neighborhood." This immediately raised a number of questions in our group, none of them positive for Starbucks.

1) We're not really part of a neighborhood, at least, not with connotation they're searching for. Downtown Silver Spring has been gentrified. The street this particular Starbucks is on, includes Potbelly, Noodles & Company, Barnes & Noble, Cake Love, a kebab place, Ben & Jerry's, and a few more chains.
2) Everyone knows Starbucks is a huge chain. Clearly, it's not a homemade sticker, of a small, beleaguered coffee shop, trying to assert its position in a competitive marketplace. They're a big brand - "Starbucks - we're the biggest coffee buyer in the world, and we bring the best coffee to you" would at least line up with who they are at this point.
3) The sticker implies a certain type of atmosphere... Maybe a small group of devoted coffee fanatics toiling away in search of coffee nirvana. This location, on the other hand, typically has a high percentage of high school students flirting with each other, crowding the store, and ordering drinks that likely contain a higher percentage of sugar than coffee.

What's interesting about this particular store, is that the people working it, are some of the nicest you'll meet in the chains locally, who manage long lines with panache. "Starbucks - good people getting you your coffee quickly" would work better :)

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Monday, March 24, 2008

SEO job in Reston

If you're looking for an SEO job in Reston, I have some friends who are hiring. Nice opportunity...you can ping Lisa, at Simplexity , at 703-657-4834.

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Monday, March 17, 2008


Interesting online shopping observation on ProFlowers yesterday. No shopping cart. They're all about selling you that one arrangement, and getting you checked out as quickly as possible. Given that's probably 90-95% of their business, it makes sense. But, there doesn't seem to be any allowance for ordering a combo of two of their products. I know one of their marketing folks, so I'll see if I can learn more about the rationale behind it, and pass it along.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pepperjam vs. CJ

Good summary of the PepperJam vs. CJ situation by Zac Johnson.

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