Let me start by writing that “I do not drink coffee!”
We enjoy giving it as a gift to our clients at the holidays. I also love to meet with clients, and prospects, and potential employees as they drink it. While I feel like I should enjoy a cuppa joe, the reality is: “I do not drink coffee!”
Keeping in mind my aversion to coffee, you’ll appreciate my amazement when one recent morning, I witnessed an unending line of vehicles at one of our local Starbucks. I’m talking about a line that went out of the parking lot and down the street. Like I mean way down the street on the shoulder. There had to have been at least fifteen or twenty cars lined up for their “Americana with room.” It was a bit mind stretching, to say the least.
Now, on the other hand, I love ice cream. I love chocolate chip cookies. I love live music. And I love the hapless Detroit Lions football team. But, I’m not sure I’d wait in a line like that for any of those things – let alone each morning. So why was there such a long line at Starbucks?
Whether the coffee is superior or the marketing amazing is not for me to decide – especially since “I do not drink coffee!”
What I can say is, almost universally among coffee-drinking-people, Starbucks is the first choice. Before pulling up at a McDonalds, one of our local Mill Mountain Coffee joints, or someplace else, the average drinker of that caffeinated hot beverage must consciously decide not to stop at Starbucks. Let’s face it, they’ve captured the mind of the coffee-drinking consumer. Why else would people sit in a long line of cars and trucks on the road’s shoulder at 7:45 am every morning?
Like Starbucks, you need to decide how you want to be known and then do whatever is necessary to capture that same loyalty. You don’t have to do it with millions of people like the green-branding beverage giant, but it is important you carve out that space with your key stakeholders. Know them. Know why they’re buying from you and get them to make it a pattern, then a habit. Intentionally make your product (or service) the very first (and maybe only) consideration for your customers or clients. Start small, but with purpose. Then grow and expand.
Before you know it, people will be standing (or driving) in line to do business with you.
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