A bit late in the day to wish, but - thanking the morning cuppa' coffee that got us all here, let me wish you a happy "National Coffee Day"!
A little background of my association with the drink -
I always thought of myself as a tea person (what's the concept of being an "x-person" anyway? Most of what one likes is a result of what one's exposed to. One can only like things one knows well about). So, well, I grew up in India, which is regarded as a 'tea-nation' (more like 'tea with milk' nation). Coffee was really limited to the context of dating - Yes, if you're 'spotted' with someone in a coffee shop, you're most probably dating. Well, almost.
Things changed when I got here. Nobody here (that I knew of) drank tea. There were no tea shops, or chai ka galla's. Only coffee shops and coffee makers. Some how, I never happened to missed tea. I felt good about not being addicted to any drink (let's say so). And then came coffee.
It's not difficult to get dragged down in the habit once you get into this country:
Say you have a 7 am class. You barely make it in time, and feel like you're napping away. You look around, and notice that every one has their eyes (forcefully) wide open.
You ask them "How so?". And every one tells you the same story about - how they're up and running, just and just because they stopped at a place, called 'Starbucks' on the way, and got this magical drink in their hands.
"That's it?", you ask.
"Not really, I got a refill too", they stress.
Things like these get you in. Starbucks in every other block doesn't help. Free coffee maker in your graduate buildings and offices doesn't help either. Result: You easily get addicted to these beans. Fast forward to today, I have a cup of coffee every single day. I'm not addicted as some I've seen, but I like it being a part of my routine. Just like I'm okay with keeping other other false feel-good assumptions (not all, some). If having some caffeine makes me feel like I should have more energy on my side, sure - let's have a blast.
How did we get here? Why did I write this?
Well, I've never written a 'Happy Coffee Day' post before, and never intended to write one. Since some days, I have wanted to write about a marketing messaging I'm seeing within the app economy though (which is centered around coffee). And as I got to know of today being the National Coffee Day, I started to write, and as you can tell, my historical association with coffee 'spilled over' most of this post. Maybe I need a cup. Anyways, the marketing trend I was mentioning is the one where: Apps are trying to convince you to pay some bucks a month, by evaluating the amount to some cups of coffee. Maybe you've noticed it too.
With me, this started a year back. I ended my Spotify premium subscription, and a pop-up appeared which looked like it came up just to convince me to 'stay premium'.
"Maybe they're giving me a discount to stay on, as I just cancelled", I thought.
I clicked - what did I find?
"Listen to the music you want, all for the cost of 3 coffees a month", it said. I wasn't convinced. I went ahead with being a freemium user (loved Premium by the way, just don't feel the need anymore).
Lyft came up with a similar marketing message this month. I've seen billboards that read "Hail a ride, at the cost of a cup of coffee".
Now, I'll admit cabs (Uber/Lyft) are so cheap these days, that I do feel like calling one when I'm less than convinced of needing one. However, in this case, it came back to the message of communicating cost of subscription to cups of coffee. Let's put some thought to it.
What if someone doesn't drink coffee - it will surely not appeal to them, right?
Well okay, it's a safe bet to market this in US (as most are coffee drinkers), but then - doesn't it depend where are you buying coffee from? If I drink a K-Cup, should my ride be worth less than a dollar?
Why does it assume I always buy a cup from Starbucks, and that too a Grande?
Also, with Starbucks ramping up price increases of coffee by ~20 cents every year - am I supposed to think less of services by every passing year?
Aren't they missing the point by quantifying cost of coffee, while they could market it with the association that make people addicted to it?
That got me thinking - what's a cup of coffee worth, after all?
Spill in your thoughts..