First of all, if you read this blog and all you can think at the end of it is, “Man, Dane really loves coffee and I don’t, so this is a stupid blog,” then you missed the point. We all have things we like and things that we’ll spend money on, so try to think about what you like to spend money on and how you can relate.
Second of all, I saw firsthand tonight how my capitalist little brain works. In fact, the whole process made me realize just how complicated the process of deciding when to spend money can be… it’s not just as simple as bottom line dollars and cents.
I left our home to go to Quill’s to study, plan the rest of my week, and read the Bible. I wanted to get some good coffee and get some stuff done, so I drove over to Baxter Ave because I like the atmosphere a little bit better than their Cardinal Towne location. When I got there, I knew that it was very important to pull out my Macbook and check the wireless connection because it can be shoddy. Sure enough, I couldn’t connect to the internet after tinkering for a minute or so. At that point I was faced with a few decisions:
- I could stay at Quill’s and drink good coffee with no internet, which would be good for my taste buds but not for my to do list, which was on the web.
- I could go to nearby Vint Coffee, which has a good atmosphere but generally bad coffee.
- I could go to a Starbucks which is always a gamble for coffee taste, but I knew I could count on a solid internet connection and get free refills with my gold card.
At that point I knew I needed to get to a Starbucks, although I didn’t really want to. Starbucks could give me what I needed, and even though the price was better, I wasn’t in a great mood about it. On my way there, though, I realized that Starbucks was a pretty good option for a few reasons:
- Their coffee is usually pretty good. It’s not Folgers, which is always a plus. In fact, it’s way better than Folgers.
- They have a solid rewards program which made me actually commit more money because of the ease in which I can load $10 (the minimum) on my card via their iPhone app.
- I can usually count on an outlet for my charge chord and a consistent internet connection.
- They have also branded well, because I drove past two close ones to go to one that I like (mostly due to the employees that work there and friendly atmosphere).
So, tonight, Starbucks managed to get me to drive further and pay more for product of less quality. I think the point of this is that it didn’t boil down to one factor, like price or product quality, but a well rounded product/experience that can meet my needs. This is why I don’t get discouraged when I think about the future of my profession (book selling). If you can offer a package that meets some or most of your consumer’s needs, you will compete in the marketplace.