Oh, for another quad venti snob-uccino…

I know that I can’t be the only one who is missing my time doing work from a coffee shop, thanks to COVID-19. I’m pretty sure it’s my pathetic, internal whining about missing my work spot at the local Starbucks that is driving me to think about customer experience.

I’m a CX guy. I believe in the experience economy. And, really, it’s not a question of belief; beyond even the data, you can just see it happening. Four Seasons, Apple, Jeep, Nordstrom, Target, and many, many other brands that have skyrocketed to great success through delivering amazing customer experience.

Superior customer experience is the strategy that wins in every market sector.

But every strategy has its counterpoint.

McDonald’s UK hilariously presses on that counterpoint in this 30-second spot.

But is it really such a counterpoint? Starbucks has become a global brand by focusing on the customer experience that McDonald’s mocks.

It’s really a matter of different customer types. Utilitarian Coffee Gal may care merely about taste, convenience, and price, but Artisan Java Guy is quite happy to pay for quality, ambiance, and friendliness. We simply have to understand our audience and create our products, experiences, and promotion for who they are and what they most value. 

Which of course means getting to know them. (Not study them, by the way, but know them, in a deeper way. More on that point in a coming post.)

Because it might be that our clever ad doesn’t work on our customers (and donors) like we think it might.

For example, I love this McDonald’s ad, but it won’t change my behavior. I’m a Starbucks guy. I live a mile away from one of the newest, nicest McDonald’s you’ll find. Sure, I’ll take my children to it for “special time with dad”. But I’ll never go there myself, laptop in hand, and order up a McCafe for a few hours of good work. The fast-food smell, the big televisions, and the constant buzzing of automated food prep timers simply aren’t conducive for enjoyable productivity. 

And, because of that, Starbucks will get fifty times the revenue from me that McDonald’s will this year.

Even if McDonald’s has better ads.