Coffee in a recession
Wind the clock back 8 years. Who would have thought we would pay £3-4 for a cup of coffee? Yet in the middle of the recession, Starbucks has just announced that it has tripled its corporate profits.
A large portion of this remarkable performance can be accredited to the rationalisation of the business structure and a return to focusing on the core of the business.
Coffee has changed our lives
The performance of Starbucks indicates how we, as a society, have changed. We have embraced the coffee culture with vigour, and we can often use the phrase, “let me buy you a coffee” as informal way of suggesting a meeting.
Many companies have even allowed concessions of branded coffee shops into their receptions, meaning staff and visitors can enjoy the experience of the coffee culture.
Brand is king
Branding is important to the consumer, with individuals showing strong preferences for specific coffee chains – which we shouldn’t be surprised by. The Starbucks phenomenon is part of a wider trend of brand association and lifestyle profiling.
Changing consumer habits
Quite simply, our consumer habits have changed. We are increasingly defining ourselves through brand association. The consumer not only enjoys the coffee but also the associated experience of ‘chilling out in a coffee shop’, which is more informal and suggests an individuals approach to life. Although the actual experience may be very different to this, with busy shops, long queues and premium priced products, - the overall impression of the consumer remains that of ‘a treat’ – and one that they have proved they are not willing to give up.