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How Coffee Became As Seductive As Diamonds

I have no idea how this happened, but twenty five years ago when my husband and I were choosing my engagement ring on student budgets, I found myself inside a tiny strategically lit room with a £20,000 ring on my finger. £20,000 was enough to buy a house in Dublin in those days.

Fast forward to last Saturday when I had a flashback of the moment we were seduced into a plush room by a hopeful jeweller. This time though I was in a coffee store.

Nespresso have made choosing and buying coffee as seductive as shopping for diamonds. Their stores are expensively lit, architecturally designed boutiques, where coffee machines are uplit in recessed walls, tiny glass cups arranged like works of art and muted coffee pods are displayed in glass cases. Their goal —’a retail experience that satisfies your every desire.’

And it works. I watched as people queued behind velvet ropes to speak to a ‘specialist’ about their coffee choices, while others jostled for position at the Carpe Diem tasting lounge. There are limited edition flavours that sell out in a week and are resold on eBay at a premium.

The last line of a review of the Sydney store on Yelp says it all.

“I purposely buy only 2 weeks worth of capsules, so I can keep going back.”

‘Experience’ has change how we perceive commodities. People buy what they buy, not just because they believe in what you do, but because of what they want to believe about themselves.

Your customers want to be seduced. What will they keep coming back for?

Image by Martin Stabenfeldt.

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