I came to a Starbucks to get some work done today, and the rebranding/remarketing of the interior of the shop really intrigued me. Yup, I'm that loser who gets interested by other businesses' decisions.
This store has removed most of the sofas and low chairs, and replaced them with long 'work' benches and hard seats. Like study halls.
I also noticed this in a Starbucks in Amsterdam recently.
It's such a great example of how a business (no matter how big or small) needs to listen and watch their customers. Their habits may change, and how they use your product or service may not be quite what you expect. Starbucks are responding to the 'coffice' culture, and making these spaces more useful to those of us who like to work with a coffee.
What I also found interesting was that this Starbucks have also started taking reservations of tables for business meetings - and you get a discount on your coffee if you do!
If you run a small business, it is so crucial to watch, listen and respond to who chooses to spend their hard earned cash with you. Your customer base may not be quite who you expected, or their expectations may differ slightly from what you had anticipated. Starbucks still have the same philosophy and the same product, but they're now packaging their offering in a different way. Maybe you can (or need to) consider doing the same?
I've previously blogged about another coffee shop listening to it's customers, have a read!