Monday, October 31, 2011

Here for the Coffee, or for the "something else"?

No much intro .. intro will come later. For now, I'd like to share with you the following research questions and results.

Research Objectives
The research aimed to answer the following questions:
  1. What are customers’ drivers to visit a coffee shop?
  2. How much is the coffee shop’s offering in synch with those drivers?
  3. What are the other areas the coffee shop should look into to grow the target and redefine a new focus?

Following is a brief of the Results of the research
  • People come to coffee shops for many reasons; amongst which is not to just drink coffee.
  • People do create their own categorization and classification of coffee shops and on "what coffee shop fits for what purpose."
  • Customers reported some cases where coffee shops are doing more than just offering coffee like the cases of meeting rooms and match-watching setup.
  • Being not coming for coffee, all customers have substitutes for coffee shops that also offer some extra value.
  • All customers agree that they wouldn’t drink coffee if they don’t have to.
  • Coffee shops are designed to make customers consume coffee. The decoration in researched coffee shops included nothing but texts on coffee, pictures of coffee, they were all shades of brown and yellow, all equipments in place and staff are there to sell coffee.
  • Customers can’t understand what else could coffee shops offer them to make their value creation better, but when certain concepts are offered they like them.
  • There’s low involvement in the value creation process, this resulted in all happy moments and pain points having nothing to do with the service being delivered but more with the activity (he’s happy when his friends arrived, he’s upset when subject of study got harder).
  • Some customer’s were affected by the perception of value creation of other stakeholders (one customer goes to coffee shops with his wife because for her “happy families go to coffee shops”)
  • Service providers don’t keep consistent value proposition and delivery. Some branches of the same brand were smaller, more confined, noisier than others. Some come in multistory, independent buildings while some would be small stores. In return, customers create their own virtual value proposition and perception of each individual branch and act accordingly.
I would like to ask if this makes anything spark in your mind. Is it the same way in your community? Is there a service you know suffers from similar problems or root causes? what's it we're missing and what could be done?

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  1. hi Mahmoud,
    Right now,I'm trying to define my research question ( PhD Thesis) in Service Value Creation. And is interesting that I would like to test my framework in a Case study with a Coffee House.
    My research question would probably be something like : " identifying how and what value is created between network actors: towards the conceptual framework"...
    best regards

  2. Indeed, most of coffee shops are very similar and look as clones of each other (primary of Starbucks)
    So there is a huge place/potential for differentiation. Coffee shops may introduce at least some special elements- and they will already be difficult to "substitute"
    For example: what about creating coffee shops with children corners: so that moms can meet in a social environmnent with each other, feeling safe that their small kids are close and also have fun.
    Or- as the coffee is the main product the place focuses on: it would be worth to organise cofee workshops- ex.: coffee art (drawings with milk on top of cofee)
    To deliver value shops should focus not on the What(coffee) but on HOW clients get/perceive it.

  3. As a regular visitor to coffee shops I can say that you are absolutely right, it is not about the taste of the coffee it is more about the place and how much it will fit the purpose.
    As for the experience that you can have in a coffee shop, there is a coffee shop I know called Silver Cafe, and it is attached to a football stadium for one of the famous football teams in Qatar, it really has different experience, it is not coffee shop for coffee, it is for football. everything around in the place is about football; even the plates, cups, mugs, posters on the wall, the walls colors are white and black (same as the ball), TV screens everywhere only for football matches most of the time. Many times I find football team sitting with their coach and having coffee during taking instruction :)
    Last year there was a football match between Real Madrid and Barcelona, the place was divided into two parts, one for each team supporters, and flags for each team are there...creating different experience.

    Have a nice coffee

  4. Hi Driton,
    I guess this will be a very interesting case. I'm looking forward for the case study. One example I would also like to share is the hotel. I guess this is very controversial but I believe something deserves some digging there. I would like to qoute the following from the intro of my research. "I’ve always pointed to hotels as an example; hotels continue to innovate in the inside-the-hotel moment while the customer’s value creation process takes place entirely out of the hotel. Hotels are wrong if they think customers are coming to stay in the hotel because of the hotel; they’re coming to the hotel because they’re mostly doing something else outside the hotel. This “something else” is basically why they’re here, if they didn’t do it successfully and satisfactorily, they’re not probably coming back to this hotel or any other hotel in the area." As I said, it's very controversial and many can easily debate that hotels are made to contribute with such a role, but I believe that they're a lot more capable today to play a radically different role.

  5. Hi Tatiana,
    I totally agree. I think the "get together" is the business concept here where so many variation could be offered. I would elaborate on your concepts with some ideas that were also suggested in one of the meetings with a customer who used to take his 7 years old daughter to a coffee shop to strengthen their feeling of friendship. In the center of coffee-consumption, You can surely imagine the inconvenience of not having a good variety of drinks for children. But leave alone the drinks, what if we have a menu of games? board games? new arrivals? games to order? games you can take home and bring with you next time? games you can buy if you liked?
    Another example is the get together. What if the coffee shop/get together concept can schedule your meetings? call friends a day in advance to remind them? call around the meeting time to check where everyone is? confirm who would attend and who can't make it? offer you socializing activities which can make the time more meaningful, productive and sustain the spirit of the relationship to be a time you're looking for more than a commitment and liability that rose in a moment of enthusiasm.

  6. Hi Shady,
    A perfect example! I'm looking forward for similar offerings in for other coffee shop uses. I believe needs like get together, business meetings, family outings, studying or even relaxing do all offer room for richer propositions that can offer a higher integration in the value creation process of the customer.
    Regards to Villaggio and Landmark staff :)

  7. HI Mohmoud,
    I have created a Coffee shop brand which is based upon a story of the history of the coffee houses... with the first coffee house created in Mecca around 1450...many people believe that the first coffee house is made in Vienna, Venice, Paris or London but it is actually Mecca where it all started...
    we have 4 shps so far and we are slowly growing