Monday, January 07, 2008

Maybe they'll leave me alone next time.

Besides waking up today and dropping my long distance business carrier for Comcast (we were getting hosed), I also had to run a bunch of errands in town.

It was blustery 67 degrees today in Philly - a sure sign of the looming apocalypse - so when I stopped on the corner of 4th and South for a lunchtime Jim's Steak I was rocking one of my classic "no meetings today" uniforms: Velour pants, my Risque video hat and a long sleeve black tee.

I basically fit right in with the South St crowd so I don't know why I surprised when I got stopped in front of Starbucks by a CN8 anchor with a camera man to be interviewed about McDonald's apparent foray into the overpriced and overrated high-end coffee market place. Way to be 3 months late on that breaking story Comcast!

So picture me in my goofy outfit, on South St, now about to be interviewed by a "man-on-the-street" team concerning what I think about MCDonald's competing with Starbucks and who would I buy from.

I have no doubt that they were expecting my response to follow the same format of most folks they already interviewed today with something along the lines of "To me it look like a leprechaun, to me." so I decided to screw with them.

I was asked an honest question which I could have answers simply with a "I hate both and refuse to pay for coffee", which is really how I feel. Just for kicks though I decided to throw them a curve ball - unfortunately for them, brands, their products and their positioning is something that I evaluate daily for work.

I'm not sure if they were expecting a response chock full of coffee price point analysis, evaluation of emotional customer response and the reiteration of the fact that at Starbucks you're paying extra for a (canned) authentic & exclusive experience from an aspirational coffee brand.

I think by the time I was done I had two blank stares looking back at me, really not sure how to react. Hilarious.

My closing argument was at least soundbite worthy, "Prices aside, I am not sure how happy I am going to be trusting the same guy who makes the mcmuffins to craft me my high-end coffee."

No doubt a complex answer to a simple question. They definitely got more than they bargained for. I had to chuckle.

I just hope when they run the story there is no amateur sketch involved. Who all seen the leprechaun say yeah!

Anthony Bucci

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