Hi my name is Julia, I am a senior in college and I am addicted to coffee… and I don’t plan on quitting any time soon.
Coffee is an integral part of my life. Sometimes the only reason I can pull myself out of bed is because I know that in the next five minutes I can have a steaming hot, delicious cup of coffee. It wakes me up, it tastes delicious, and I love it!
As a college student coffee is a major factor in my food and drink budget. I save some money by buying coffee in bulk and making it at home before my walk up the hill for class. But sometimes I like to treat myself to some really good high quality coffee, and when I treat myself I consider a trip to Fourbucks… I mean Starbucks! I am not a complicated orderer (no double shot mochiatto with soy for me, I stick with a plain latte) but I can definitely appreciate a good cup of coffee. However, within the past few years Starbucks has taken some heat, and gained a little competition when it comes to “specialty” coffee.
Back in 2008 McDonalds threw their hat into the coffee battle, putting up billboards such as “four bucks is dumb” and “large is the new grande”. Highlighting Starbucks’ weak points, complicated names and expensive drinks, McDonalds opened up the playing field for coffee on the go.
Now serving espresso, McDonalds is taking the approach that coffee doesn’t have to be complicated. Small, medium and large, there is no new name for what size you order, and they’re keeping the price low.
However Starbucks didn’t feel the need to fight back. Wanting to attract a specific customer who wants to pay for the full price of coffee (from the farm to the cup) they are sticking with their prices and their signature brand.
Yet the two brands are so vastly different, perhaps there is no need for them to fight! McDonalds prides itself on being quick (hello drive through!) dirt cheap, and easy to order, but typically hides where their products come from and how they are treated.
Starbucks targets its audience with high-end ingredients and froo froo coffee, but also at a price that reflects the fair trade qualities the ingredients they source cover as well as their signature style, and it can be intimidating for people who just want a basic cup of coffee (small or tall, medium or grande = help!?)
Today Starbucks is trying to rebrand themselves yet again to set themselves apart within the competitive coffee world. What do you think? Is Starbucks worth the extra money, or is McDonalds good enough?