There is something very polarizing about a cup of coffee; in fact, I know a lot of people who would define themselves by where they buy their brew. Like any other addictive substance, this caffeine cocktail is a recession-proof way for businesses to get you in the door and hopefully have you spend some money on other foods as well. Lately I’ve been noticing an increasing number of coffee-centric commercials on television for various chain restaurant brands. What interests me the most is how you can draw up a consumer profile for each brand based solely on their sales approach for coffee.
The McDonald’s coffee drinker is kind of an asshole, but he’s okay with it. He needs his caffeine fix to function and he’s willing to travel a great distance to get the cheapest cup of joe in town. McDonald’s guy will gladly be a jerk to everyone around him because he knows it’s not his fault. Deep down he believes he’s a nice guy, but not until he’s had his coffee. He generally doesn’t plan on eating breakfast, but once he sees how cheap breakfast is he may spend that extra dollar every now and then to throw a McMuffin in the mix.
Mr. Denny’s officially addresses Mr. Chino, but I doubt he’s ever actually tried an espresso drink. He sees coffee as an essential part of a balanced breakfast, but only if it’s a bottomless cup of the brewed stuff served straight up. He sees cappuccino drinkers as snobs, but presents this information in an equally snobbish way. He thinks drinking black coffee makes him a real man, a working man, a regular dude making a living by the sweat of his brow. He also loves bacon. Really loves bacon.
The Dunkin Donuts coffee customer drinks it because that’s what he’s always done. He probably stops there every morning on the way to work and orders the exact same cup of coffee. For the Dunkin Donuts guy routine is king; it is a sacred ritual that must be replicated exactly or else the day is shot to hell. If breakfast is part of that ritual he will eat it, but he is unlikely to be persuaded into eating if it’s not what he usually does. When asked why he drinks their coffee he is likely to say it tastes better, but in reality the taste doesn’t really matter.
Starbucks doesn’t seem to be advertising so much these days. Why? Because a Starbucks customer is too intelligent to be persuaded by an advertisement. He drinks their coffee because it is obviously superior and it is custom-crafted to his exact specifications. If you don’t share his views on coffee you are uncultured. That being said, he is also willing to drink instant coffee if it bears the Starbucks logo. Even if he can’t taste the difference he will insist that their coffee is better.
What kind of coffee drinker are you?