There’s an Italian Cafe in our neighbourhood serving good coffee and speciality cakes. It’s jam-packed every single evening—not because people are hungry for cake, but because they are hungry for the feeling of being connected. They seek out the place that makes them feel that way.
Howard Schultz recognised the power of people’s aspirations thirty years ago, when he transformed Starbucks from a coffee roaster into ‘the third place’ by grounding the brand’s value proposition in a story about ritual and community.
Just as a successful cafe isn’t ever just about the coffee, the products and services you sell create meaning for your customers beyond their utility. The truth is that as marketers, we often miss the opportunity to acknowledge and reflect that story back to them.
Does your story align with the story your customers really want to believe?
Image by Niall Kennedy.