My husband loves Starbucks, a “Venti Carmel Macchiato upside down” to be exact; a drink for which he believed there could be no improvement. But then he was listening to a morning-drive radio program and the hosts described what it was like to drink their favorite Starbucks concoction from a mug, instead of the paper to-go cup. In all our time visiting Starbucks, we have never seen anyone drinking coffee from a mug. Even our cashier had not tasted Starbucks in a mug. With more than a small dose of skepticism, my husband tried it. The result?
My generally non-expressive husband (thank goodness we balance each other out) fell back in his chair and said, “That is incredible.”
Really? “Incredible?” I had to try it and I was surprised at how different and improved the coffee tasted. Here’s a picture of his coffee.
Notice the cup. Beautiful isn’t it? I just love the intricate pattern on it. Don’t you? The colors suit the cup perfectly and the logo practically pops off the saucer…
You’re not crazy, there is nothing there. There is nothing on the cup. And that is the point.
The customer experience is not about the cup, it’s about what is in the cup.
While I’m sure a Starbucks team scoured the earth for the best, plain, white, porcelain cup, the company spent thousands more hours and dollars perfecting the art of creating a Carmel Macchiato. The cup, while important, is not the main focus. The cup exposes and enhances the object of customer passion – the coffee.
Where is your focus? Are you devoting more resources to your cup (office decor, website, business cards, marketing materials) than you are to discovering and perfecting that thing for which your customers are longing?
Starbucks, with billions of dollars at their disposal and access to the best marketing minds in the world could have chosen any type, shape, color of cup they wanted. But they chose something unassuming. Why do you think that is?