Do you like coffee? No? Well, if you don’t I am sure you know at least one person that does?
Let me tell you a little story about a coffee company. A coffee company that almost missed their train of opportunity to grow and expand their business.
It all began about 40 years ago when three friends decided to start a coffee business. In this business they would cater to the American consumer and provide top notch gourmet roasted coffee beans.
Life was good! And their business was growing at a nice steady pace. Then one day they decided to hire a young Director of Operations and Marketing. This new guy brought, well, a new perspective to the three friends, and one day this new guy traveled to Milan. This was a trip that would change his young life forever!
While in Milan the young man was fascinated with the coffee shops that littered the streets and the culture that was centered around those coffee shops. Right then and there he knew this would be a huge success in America... So, what did he do?
He reported his findings to the three coffee shop owners. He explained the culture to the men, and how people bought their pre-brewed gourmet coffee in the shop... How they sat down to read the daily news and sip their cup of joe in the shop... And,well, how they just enjoyed the social and laid back atmosphere of the coffee shop. In fact, it was really a cafe setting.
What did the three owners think about this revolutionary idea? It won’t work. They believed that coffee was meant to be enjoyed in the peace and quiet of the home, and not at a local cafe.
Needless to say, those three men eventually sold their company to the young man, and that young man grew the revolutionary coffee cafe idea into over 17,000 stores in more than 55 countries. In fact, it’s a household name today.
What’s the company’s name? None other than Starbucks!
You see, Howard Schultz foresaw where the coffee industry was heading, and he saw to it that Starbucks would reap the benefits of this new trend.
The lesson? Businesses need to be aware of the different market trends and embrace them. This will promote growth which will ultimately promote new revenue streams.
Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s happening again. A new trend that is. And this is a trend which affects every business, and this means you, too!
What is this trend? It’s blogging. It’s social media. It’s customer relations in the 21st century. It’s being connected with your consumer, and engaging them.
You can be like the three old friends and sit down on the opportunity, and there’s nothing wrong with that. They grew a successful business providing their local market with freshly roasted gourmet coffee beans, but they lost out on an opportunity to take their business and brand to the next level.
Or you can be more like Schultz and follow the trends... You could go where the consumers are. And where are the consumer’s today? Online.