I met a client at Caribou Coffee last week to review some logo comps. If you’ve never been to one, Caribou is like Starbucks’ rural, woodsy cousin. Anyway, I picked up my coffee and grabbed a couple of napkins to wipe off the table. I did a double take, and grinned:
“Yet another thing to stay awake for: Write a really, really short novel.” followed by their tag line, “Life is short. Stay awake for it.”
It’s just a napkin. Two-color printed on one side. But the clever message spoke to a core group of coffeehouse-goers: the artists who camp out for hours, sipping coffee while working on their masterpieces. It relates perfectly to their tag line (which I never noticed before picking up this napkin.) It addresses the key pain point of their consumers. They’re tired. How can Caribou help? By serving you coffee, because “Life is short. Stay awake for it.”
A napkin, by definition, is something to be used and discarded. Yet, by printing a simple message, they are encouraging you to use it in another way — as the perfect place to scribble notes and ideas — which means you won’t toss it. And if you did scrawl something brilliant on this fun napkin, you’d create a positive subconscious association with the coffeehouse.
How can you surprise your customers? How can you show that you “get” them? Are you paying attention to the smallest details, even things that are meant to be discarded?
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