Almost every great brand is based on emotions. And it is not surprising, because people are no longer willing to pay a premium cost for the quality. Quality products today more a duty than a defining characteristic of any company. Therefore, organizations that want to get more, have to invent new categories.
What brings together brands such as iPod, Nokia, BMW, Harley Davidson, Guiness…? This list can be very long. Right! – the emotional component. Just try to hint to the iPod fan that there are better MP3 players than the ones that Apple produces. In the best case you listen to a long lecture on why iPods are out of the competition and why no iriver, Samsung, Panasonic, Sony never compare to their level. In the worst case you will have no teeth. And it’s not a joke (especially when talking about supporters not iPods, and Harley Davidson-s)… Fans will not be managed by common sense – they are guided by emotions.
However, emotion is not bad. This is a new field for competition between companies. New market. And some manage to achieve the full benefits in its niche. And some, like the top five manufacturers of cameras (Nikon, Cannon, Olympus, Minolta, Pentax) have to share a considerable share of his “emotional market” with fellow competitors.
And don’t forget that emotion, like any other component of the brand, usually depends upon very heavy and laborious work. No single brand can not become GREAT without GREAT efforts on its development. Exceptions happen except by accident. And, as they say, do not last long.
The loss of the emotional component can very seriously harm your brand. In fact, that is what is happening with the Starbucks company is the most famous coffeehouse chain in the world. An interesting discussion unfolded on the site dedicated to Sturbucks, with a very original name “the Rumors Starbucks” (Starbucks gossip). The reason for the dispute was the letter to the Vice-President of the company. In particular, the letter discussed the installation in coffee shops new machines for espresso and cappuccino. Thanks to these devices the drink will be prepared several times faster. However, thus, managers run the risk of destroying the “emotional” component of the brand, because it is a “manual” coffee experts the opportunity beginners with coffee professionals was the “chip” Starbucks.
Everyone have the opportunity to see the reaction of readers just on the Starbucks website, but the essence of the debate is very simple. Ten years ago when the number of coffee shops was limited to a thousand, they really worked great experts who could explain to the visitor the peculiarities of a dozen varieties of coffee and talk about the nuances of making each of them. Today, the network has more than 13,000 coffee shops (such rapid growth was made possible by franchising), and this means reducing the level of staff and quality coffee.
Almost the only obvious way out is transition to fully automated production. And here the company is faced with a problem – because people went to Starbucks and pay an amount which is four times the cost of a coffee in any other location, that is why that it did “soul”.
Well, apparently we had the opportunity to observe a very interesting phenomenon – death emotional component of the brand. I wonder will be able then Starbucks also successfully grow and flourish? Of course, there is another way out – to divide the chain into two: one with professional staff and the other with coffee machines. However, this is unlikely to be able to return the brand to its former glory and reputation. It is a pity that in the debate between “emotion” and super-fast growth of wins last.