We have four coffee shops in town and several pastry shops that sell the option of one flavored coffee, but no mocha, ect. We also have convenience stores with an array of types and flavors. Their mocha and latte come from powders and not brewing. Readers of my book Gone to Southwood are introduced to a café owner who will not dispense her coffee in a take-out cup. I met such a restauranteur in southern Mississippi. Her coffee is to be enjoyed, not used as a fix for an addiction.
A coffee shop must have tables and ambiance. Unless I want a latte or mocha, I prefer my own blends at home. One of my shops has lost its feel or ambiance. The coffee is house roasted and brewed and not limited to one refill. But I seldom go there anymore. We now have two Starbucks. One is in Target and I have seldom gone there except on sale days because it is primarily a take-out place. It has never felt like a coffee shop to me. Since “community” is a prime value for Starbucks, the take-out element is a big contradiction for me. There is a drive-thru coffee hut at the mall. Their variety and taste is excellent. I can go there in the summer when I can sit in the car otherwise, McDonalds works.
I went to the new shop. I stood in the entrance and looked around. The employees got nervous when I lifted my hands to test the air for ambiance. It has potential. I don’t like the taste of Starbucks, but I might go back because of the one element—what I feel when there.
I have given this a lot of thought for a reason. I’m concluding that I prefer a coffee shop that is not shiny. Something like a New England inn or a pub or South Carolina porch with real cups if I choose. It is complicated and it has only secondarily to do with coffee. I go to coffee shops to read, think and pray. It is beneficial if the coffee is good.
Bernadette Jiwa (Difference, 2014) reminds me of an old marketing rule that has new power:
“(We) fall in love with how ideas, products, services and places make us feel.”
And therefore, join, buy, agree with, support, follow and tell others about.
Studies of the current election cycle say that people are willing to “take a chance” and set aside some of their core values and important preferences and vote differently this time because of what the outliers make them feel, such as pleasure that someone is going to blow up Washington and really use the broom this time. Unless you understand that feeling element you will be confused by people voting in the primary for one candidate and then say in exit polls that another candidate better exemplifies their values or one of the other candidates would do better in foreign policy than the one they voted for.
I am currently writing three novels about the fictional antebellum mansion that is the centerpiece of my book Gone To Southwood. That will make 7 books in the Southwood series. My marketing challenge is to help people feel attached to that land, buildings, ministries, and characters—to help them love the land, ministries and the people who visit and work there. I know if you feel about that land, the buildings, the ministries and characters like I feel you will want to read every Southwood book. But to do that, something has to connect with something that matters to you—not just to me. “Let him who has ears, hear.”
These are a couple of the things occupying space in my brain today. All quotes from Bernadette Jiwa:
“Building a product or experience where return on investment is measured by delight.”
“There are a heck of lot of people who care that chicken in their curry was happy before it died.”
“People are telling us what they care about. It’s their journey, their story, the meaning they want to create in their lives.”
©2016 D. Dean Benton—writer & wonderer