(Graham Brown mobileYouth) Give customers what they need: not more technology but more Social Space

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Why is Starbucks so popular with young people?

Starbucks doesn’t sell coffee, it sells space.

mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture

analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown
Give customers what they need: Not more technology but more Social Space
March 6, 2014 by Graham Brown (Edit)

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CREATE SOCIAL SPACE

Why is Starbucks so popular with young people?

Starbucks doesn’t sell coffee, it sells space.
Starbucks - The Third Place

Starbucks – The Third Place

Howard Schultz labelled the coffee chain as the “3rd place” where people could hang out without restriction. Nobody takes away your coffee cups while you’re sitting at the table.

Metaphors are powerful tools to shape how we sell products or technology.

Metaphors shape how we see our role in serving the customer.

With a positive metaphor like “The 3rd Place” we commit ourselves to improving the experience.

You can move the comfortable chairs and tables to entertain friends. Comfortable leather arm chairs, piped music and freely available literature encourage you to stay.

Coffee was never traditionally a young person’s interest, but youth have always needed social space.

Visit any Starbucks in the world and you’ll see groups of young people hanging out.

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(Graham Brown mobileYouth) Give customers what they need: not more technology but more Social Space

  1. 1. mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org Give customers what they need: Not more technology but more Social Space CREATE SOCIAL SPACE Why is Starbucks so popular with young people? Starbucks doesn’t sell coffee, it sells space. 1 / 5
  2. 2. mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org Starbucks - The Third Place Howard Schultz labelled the coffee chain as the “3rd place” where people could hang out without restriction. Nobody takes away your coffee cups while you’re sitting at the table. Metaphors are powerful tools to shape how we sell products or technology. Metaphors shape how we see our role in serving the customer. With a positive metaphor like "The 3rd Place" we commit ourselves to improving the experience. You can move the comfortable chairs and tables to entertain friends. Comfortable leather arm chairs, piped music and freely available literature encourage you to stay. Coffee was never traditionally a young person’s interest, but youth have always needed social space. Visit any Starbucks in the world and you’ll see groups of young people hanging out. More From Graham Brown's Series on How to Sell Technology 2 / 5
  3. 3. mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org Change Your Metaphors: How great leaders sell technology These 2 Social Experiments Show How Stories Sell Technology Why you need to become a Farmer not a Hunter to sell technology Technology Companies need to Embrace the Unofficial or Die Why People Buy Technology: Social Proof LOSS OF SOCIAL SPACE The 3H’s (Homes, Hangouts and Hideouts) for this generation are always under attack from 2 sides: a) General loss of physical social space as a result more efficient processes, commercialization and development. b) Helicopter society - the creep of parents, teachers and future employers into private social networks. 70% of parents say they monitor their child's online activity while on Facebook and other social media sites, and 46% have password access to their children's accounts (source: MobileYouth Report). So what happens? 3 / 5
  4. 4. mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org Use turn to technology and brands to help them reclaim that lost social space. GROWTH IN BRANDED SOCIAL SPACE This generation’s need for social space is greater than ever. In our zero tolerance, no loitering culture, youth seek space where they can be themselves and be acknowledged by their peers, without fear of judgement or making mistakes. Consider how successful brands are responding to this need. English: A girls run at the Quebec City Red Bull Crashed Ice 2011 in Canada. Français : Une vague de filles du Red Bull Crashed Ice 2011 à Québec (Canada). (Photo credit: Wikipedia) * Starbucks creates its 3rd Space. * Red Bull focuses on creating events that bring people together. * Apple creates a retail store where it’s okay to hang out all day and use the wifi. Record labels complain about the loss of revenues to downloads but the need for music is greater than ever. One of the enduring appeals of music for previous generations was the act of hanging out and discovery in record shops together. With more efficient digital distribution channels, this behavior is lost but the need 4 / 5
  5. 5. mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org still remains. The rise in the popularity of music festivals and live events for the current generation reflects this change. 51% of youth attend music festivals to meet new people and 47% attend them to try out something new (source MobileYouth Report). FROM SHIFTING BOXES TO SELLING SOCIAL SPACE We often see selling technology as shifting boxes. We view new products as category fillers, fodder for the retail boys to take off your hands and turn into revenues. But, this lazy mindset is not how to successfully sell technology. You need to sell the experience. If customers want boxes they turn to Ebay, Amazon or any online retailer. The experience this next generation is seeking is a social space where they can connect with others. Your role is to first connect them with each other and then leverage this social benefit to sell to them. Create the space and stand back. Don't interrupt it by trying to impose a conversation about your own brand on your customers. They know how to talk to each other and don't need your help. Powered by TCPDF (www.tcpdf.org) 5 / 5

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