The $75.00 Travel Mug … and a New Competitor?
I love good coffee. I'm the one who wants to hit all the coffee plantations when we are in Kona, Hawaii, even though we have been to these places multiple times before. I even have to watch our airline weight limits because of how much I buy. Hey ... it's Kona Coffee fresh from Kona and I've got to have it!
As someone who likes good coffee, I think the smaller chains like Peets and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, have better coffee than Starbucks. But Starbucks locations are everywhere and it seems to be a popular meeting spot. They have Internet (slow as it may be) and because Starbucks has locations everywhere, meeting there is convenient.
Just down the street from my home, they put a Starbucks in our remodeled market and shopping center. In addition to the Starbucks within the market, they are also building a new Starbucks about 50 yards away in the same center. Granted it will have a drive through (a blessing for some), but two Starbucks that close. Really? Their marketing research has shown, however, that where these stores are clustered, they all seem to do well. Starbucks seemingly knows how to drive business to their stores!
I confess to being sucked in to the Starbucks "program" earning "stars" for my purchases. I've earned Gold status, which gives me some perks. Because of this program I find myself buying more coffee to earn "stars" ... but that's the point of course. It's like the classic Seinfeld episode where Elaine is crazed trying to get her free Atomic sub when her sub card is filled.
Starbucks is pretty ingenious with their marketing efforts. In a recent promotion, for $75.00 you could buy a Starbucks branded tumbler and get a "handcrafted espresso beverage" every day in January. If you get a drink every day in January, it's a $140.00 value. This makes the $75.00 low-end travel mug actually a "deal!"