Saturday, March 03, 2007

howard, if you're serious my phone would be ringing

this howard story refuses to die. the ny times is all over it today in 2 separate articles, both of which show little understanding of the retail coffee business.

the first article, which i can't link to since it's a times select thing, features business writer joe nocera mocking howard for his desire to try to save the cachet of his brand. nocera argues that the dilution has already occured; the mermaid's now just another drive-thru fast-food chain.

and in a certain sense this is true. but it's actually not too late to return howard to his specialty coffee roots, if he really wanted to redeem himself.

even i can think instantly of 3 strategies with which he could do it, and i'm far from a retail expert. but i do know my coffee and how to interest people in drinking it.

to quote the beatles here, howard, "you know my name. . .that's right."

the second article tries to take howard -- and by extension all coffeehouses -- to task for charging for wi-fi. the author, randall stross, doesn't understand the details of the retail specialty coffee business at all, which is demonstrated by his use of panera as a comparison.

stross, you need to meet tonx. he will 'splain it all to you: free wi-fi is electronic cocaine.

and in a specialty coffee context, that's a problem. and what i was drinking while reading all this?

andrew's ecco sweet-n-syrupy daterra reserve espresso as a post-yoga americano, of course. . .

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posted by fortune | 1:45 PM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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