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The psychological coffee cup

Recently Tim Horton’s changed the size of their coffee cups, allowing them to increase the size of an extra large coffee to something that more closely resembled a paint can.

Shawn Casemore
Shawn Casemore
For coffee connoisseurs, you will recognize this size as somewhat comparable to that of a Starbucks extra large, and therefore it makes sense that Tim Horton’s would evolve their product offerings to ensure they fully saturate their market niche.

Of interest however is the psychological impact this cup size has. I recently stopped in to a Tim Horton’s the other day, standing amongst a long crowd I asked for my usual “medium” coffee. The cashier explained to me that cup sizes had changed and my “medium” was now considered a “small.” Not wanting to be one who purchases a “small” coffee, I opted to move to the new “medium” which in fact was the previous “large” size of coffee.

Here are some lesson’s we can absorb from Tim Horton’s marketing campaign:

1. Continue to expand product offerings to compete with others in the market place as long as quality and profit margins are not maintained or expanded.

2. Ensure the market expansion is explained to customers from the perspective of “what’s in it for them.” In this case, Tim Horton’s made it very clear that the move was to somewhat standardize their product offerings with the market place, and that coffee prices remained untouched for the same volume of coffee.

3. Find other means to capitalize on the new offering. Recognizing that there are many who will be used to saying “Large Double Double,” Tim Horton’s recognized that revenues will increase by making the change as some individuals will simply opt to purchase a larger size. Remember, old habits die-hard.

An example of marketing performance at it’s best. How can you capitalize on your existing offerings in order to increase market share?

Shawn Casemore, President, Casemore and Co.

The psychological coffee cup

Mercredi 1 Février 2012

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