Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It's morning at the Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.

What's up with coffee? I mean, everyone's drinking it! Crazy stuff.

But seriously folks, I took a survey about coffee for a marketing firm that is branding and naming a new coffee maker. The questions centered on word associations and emotions having to do with coffee. I was tested on all the old favorites: rich, bold, robust, smooth, black. One of the words to be ranked, on a scale from 1-10, was "sassy." I ranked sassy a one, one being the lowest on the scale. I don't like the word sassy and I don't want sassy coffee. Or do I?

I'm a Starbucks fanatic. Love the product, love my friendly neighborhood baristas and I'm wild about the psychology-of-a-cult-insider behavioral stuff they do to me by requiring me to use their lingo. Triple Grande Non-fat Latte, how I love to speak thy name. But I do have a big complaint about the typical Starbucks experience. I dislike the mood of their stores.

Someone decided a long time ago that the modern coffee experience should be a throw-back to some imagined coffeehouse utopia of wood paneling and slow jazz. Starbucks took that faded image and sanitized it. The stores are studies in blandness, with caramel colored walls and indistinct lighting, faux-wood laminate shelving and focus-group designed murals. The prissy-folk-meets-drippy-jazz music puts me to sleep.

It's time for Starbucks - or a competitor, if there is such a thing - to get sassy. How about a coffeehouse experience that is as energizing as a double espresso? How about some loud colors and louder dance music? Let's see some people bouncing off the fucking walls. I would totally allow myself to be indoctrinated into ordering a Tres Wham Slammin Sassilatte in such a place.

You've been a great audience! I'll be here all week.


Shutt2u said...

And when I walk in with my kids, I feel like I'm treading on hallowed ground. As if it's a library or something....all the hushed tones annoy me!

clarebh said...

As someone who brought my computer to coffee houses and libraries to work for almost a year, I have to say, I like a more subdued atmosphere! I like the mellow music and hushed tones, because I can concentrate better. Unless I go to a coffee house with a friend, I always have either work or reading that I want/need to do. I can't imagine reading with dance music on. And that's how Sue C's it.