Creating a “Starbucks Experience” with your Online Business

If I set up a table in my front yard and offered to sell you a cup of cold coffee for five bucks, you’d probably laugh in my face. If I offered to toss in a blueberry muffin for an additional $3, I’m willing to bet you’d give me a strange look and walk away.

Why, then, are people around willing to pay so much for coffee and less-than-stellar baked goods at Starbucks? Considering that there’s a Starbucks on every other corner, apparently a lot of people are willing to drink away their hard-earned money on over-priced caffeinated beverages.

People who drink coffee have the ability to make it right in their own kitchen, and if it’s the whipped-cream-on-top thing that lures them into Starbucks, well, Reddi-Whip is readily available at the grocery store.

A Personal Example…

A few months ago, one of my friends bought a fancy coffee maker and bragged about all the money she was going to save by making her own cappuccinos and frappuccinos and whatever-inos each morning. I ran into her before I left for Europe the second time around, and she was holding a telltale green and white cup in her hand.

“What happened to the coffee machine?” I had to ask.

She looked embarrassed and stuttered, “Oh … well … “ before admitting that she used it a few times, decided it was a pain in the neck, and went right back to hitting the Starbucks six days a week.

My friend isn’t the only one. People know they’re spending a small fortune on coffee, but they keep doing it. Why? What’s the secret?

McDonald’s recently added a rather extensive coffee lineup to their normal menu, and the McCafe was born. Apparently it’s doing well, but they haven’t put Starbucks out of business.

Why Do People Go To Starbucks?

Students hang out at Starbucks with coffee and laptops, businessmen review documents while sipping espresso, and women meet up with friends to complain about life over mochas. CDs of the jazzy music that plays over the PA system are conveniently offered for sale at the register, and Starbucks mugs and cups line the walls and somehow silently scream “Buy me!”

Starbucks can charge double what you’d pay elsewhere for a cup of coffee because people are willing to pay for the experience of going there.

Personally I like to go to Starbucks because it’s a nice relaxing atmosphere that allows me to get out of my house and still get work done.  In a way, it’s my office away from my home office.

Creating a Starbucks Experience on your Online Business

What sort of experience do you offer your blog readers or your customers? What keeps them coming back for more? Is your site exciting enough that people want to sit at their computer and hang out for awhile, or do they scan a page or two and leave?

If you’re experiencing problems with website traffic or you’re trying to come up with some sort of master plan, think of Starbucks. They may sell some rather complicated beverages, but all-in-all they’re a coffee shop. It’s actually a simple concept: treat people a little bit better than they’re treated elsewhere, and tweak your site until you feel it’s a notch above similar sites. Promote yourself in a way that tells people why you’re better than the rest, and see what happens!

Take Action. Get Results.

9 thoughts on “Creating a “Starbucks Experience” with your Online Business”

  1. I think Starbucks is an excellent analogy for blogging. A lot of the topics we write about can be found in droves elsewhere, but it’s our job to use our own individuality to make them unique and interesting enough so that readers will find them interesting once again and hopefully stick around.

    The site design and layout is another important factor as well, but it’s something I personally a need a lot of practice on, hehe.
    .-= Noel´s last blog ..UFC 116 REVIEW PART THREE- THE MAIN CARD =-.

    • Yeah, it really comes down to packaging. There are a lot of sites that I love, even thought I know I can find the information elsewhere. I read them because I trust the person behind the blog, not just what they’re discussing.

    • Definitely packaging. It’s weird… but during my travels, one of the things I miss is being able to sit down with my laptop in Starbuck’s and have that calm feeling of being able to work in a relaxed atmosphere. They’ve completely programmed my brain!

  2. You all are right, it really is experience and packaging. I used to live directly across the street from a Starbucks and I found myself going there just for something to do. Then I realized that all the $3 here and $4 there was adding up to quite a bit, but somehow it was just “better” than drinking coffee at home.
    .-= ShortHairDiva´s last blog ..Tampa Social Media Day =-.

  3. Pingback: Wednesday Wisdom | Big Red Tomato Company

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