Yes, I know. Originally I was in the, "What is Starbucks thinkin'?!?" camp.
Starbucks and instant coffee just didn't seem to jive for me. Starbucks was about an experience & I had stuck Via in the same camp as the nasty coffee one finds in hotel rooms.
But this past summer my family and I went on a summer break in the middle of nowhere. No Starbucks. No cute coffee shops. Just a cabin, a boat & a lake. We were too lazy to make coffee, [hence the "vacation" part] so we snagged a few Via packs on the way.
Wow. It's actually really good... And insanely easy.
I decided to continue my President of the Lazy Club activities at home & have been hooked ever since. [Seriously, how hard is it to microwave water and stir] I also love the packaging--intentionally designed to take with you so a fresh cup is always on hand.
At this point I realized, they hadn't extended their brand into instant coffee. The extended a lifestyle habit to be more travel-friendly.
Quick lessons I learned:
- Don't be too quick to judge
- When extending your brand, it's possible to stay true to the value proposition even if the product/channel/service is quite different
- Wait until the initial dust settles before trying to convince others of the new idea
What do you guys think? Have you seen this idea played out in other organizations? Yours?