I'm sitting in a Caribou Coffee in Atlanta right now. Even though my friend is good for 23 holes of golf, he doesn't have wi-fi at his apartment. So, I'm spending a few hours catching up on emails and news before I eat breakfast again with my friend at local spot Radial.
I like Caribou. They're smart. Free refills on coffee. Free wi-fi. And everywhere you look, they place something in your line of site to nudge you to buy something.
It's not in an overbearing kind of way. Nothing's flashy or out-of place. It's the subtle things that wake up your psyche and remind you that you do want to spend money on something:
- The branded napkins whose corners read, "Better grab a muffin."
- The stuffed animals nonchalantly sitting on the mantle above the fake fireplace (these joints are ski-lodged themed).
- The sign on your way out that says, "See you tomorrow."
- The cardboard sleeve that reminds you, "You are holding our pride and joy."
And, the coffee is actually pretty good. And the people at the register are very nice.
This is everything the chain-store coffee experience should be. Give me the conveniences and the selection of a big conglomerate, along with the service and kindness I demand from any experience. If you do that, I won't mind your subtle, clever ways you choose to market to me.
If fact, I might actually like it.
At least enough to write about it.