Coffee is not my cup of tea.
So the recent Starbucks ploy to get us coffee-obsessed workers scrambling for the nearest store was a free latte (as if we needed an excuse) with our name on it – literally. The initial feeling was positive, I mean, anything free is good. A few weeks on though, how effective is this personalised cup of coffee?
I must admit, I am not a big coffee drinker – although I am partial to a bit of caffeine every now and then (and even more so with a freebie). It was only when I walked past the Starbucks near the office with a queue leading down the street that it occurred to me something amazing must be happening. This PR campaign had obviously worked; joggers, dog-walkers, their dogs, mothers, babies, workers were all in this (ridiculously) long line. I was tempted to join them, but in the end I asked myself ‘Am I that desperate for Starbucks?’ Clearly not.
My colleagues on the other hand are all about the teas and coffee, but not many had claimed their potential Clareville Coffee. Why not? Well, first of all, who really wants to wait? Impatience is a virtue. The general consensus was that we all like to keep ourselves to ourselves, we don’t want our name being called out to an entire store, and have everybody look round to see who ‘Kylie’ is. There were Twitter rumours that people now had to go for their coffee runs as their alter-ego, like a celebrity. Privacy gone mad you may think, but at the end of the day – it is just a cup of coffee. Most of the time people are preoccupied with other matters, we do not really care about a personalised coffee, as long as we get our coffee, we leave happy.
Also, what if you have a ‘difficult’ name, or even just a name that has different spellings? Having to spell your name and then teach the waiter to pronounce it correctly just adds more minutes lost. I have a relatively common name, but I cannot explain the frustration when people spell my name wrong, (even when it has already been written down correctly), so I automatically spell it out for them to avoid any issues, however the situation gets awkward when you come across as patronising. Remember, this is all just for coffee.
The overall feeling about this personalised coffee is that we are not really bothered, to put it bluntly. We just like a good coffee, and to be honest, if the office were to compile a top 5 of favourite coffee shops, Starbucks would miss out, so if anything, this ‘coffee with your name on it’ just gives us another excuse to go to the independent coffee shop down the road, pay that little bit extra for more caffeine and an environment where everything seems that little bit more pleasant and quirky.