I am a big coffee fan, but when I say that I don’t mean that I drink 20 coffees a day. I usually start with one at the start of the day – strong, black, one sugar.
In the UK we have three main chains: Caffe Nero, Starbucks, Costa Coffee.
I personally only go to Caffe Nero and they have done very well at creating loyalty through their loyalty card. But they have also differentiated very well and created a relaxing and authentic Italian atmosphere, with an excellent selection of quality coffee products and pastries. There tagline is: “The Best Coffee this side of Milan”, and I would agree! They have recently expaneded into Turkey which is a very good strategic move as this is a big coffee drinking nation, but no large chains (i.e. Starbucks) really have a dominating presence.
If Caffe Nero was a car, to me it would be an Alfa Romea – great quality, very comfortable, different but authentic.
Costa Coffee is also quite authentic and the product seems good too. I rank Costa as just behind Nero – this is the place I would go if I was desperate for a coffee and Nero wasn’t near by. The atmosphere is relaxed .
If Costa was a car, to me it would be a Volkswagen – good quality and exactly what you expect.
Starbucks feels like an artificial, manufactured brand that is there to appeal to the masses who just want a normal product at a normal price – you know you will get an average product. The atmosphere of the coffee shops are very “plastic” and dirty – almost like a McDonalds! You also have lots of screaming kids… really not a place I want to be!
I don’t really have much to say about Starbucks – If Starbucks was a car, to me it would be a Ford – an okay product and you may have some complaints.