So I finally relented, and tried Starbucks Via today. Over the last 5 years my pallet has adapted to love only Espresso based coffee, but that was not an available option at an event I attended today.
Out of curiosity I tried Via instead of the brewed Coffee option, and was stunned to find it so drinkable. So much so that I was tempted enough to have a refill - an unexpected positive experience. Yet it wasn't really so unexpected, because they keep telling me it tastes better than brewed coffee...but that just was not believable until now.
For sceptics of Via like myself they could have done much more to get me to try it, to provoke me out of my apathy/rejection.
But how ? As I follow Starbucks on Twitter, they could have sent me a DM or @ message, and I wouldn't have minded that, because I'm enough of a fan to follow them. If they had incentivized me I probably would have driven to a store flashed my Iphone app and tried a free sample, but they didn't.
Ultimately they had my permission to change my mind because I had already reached out to them through my Twitter follow and my Iphone app, but in the end they got me by accident.
I struggle with the fact that by only delivering a 'good enough' (according to me) product they managed to change my perception and make me an advocate. I also struggle with how Starbucks is re-framing its coffee Equity. Do they stand for great tasting coffee or good enough coffee ? Do they stand for a great experience or more frequent good enough experiences ? I think you know which one to choose here ...right ?