I bet you’ve heard about the common saying: “Starbucks has never just sold coffee. Starbucks has always sold an experience, with coffee adjacent.” What do you think? I do agree. What I see is a service that sells an experience, status and commodity. The thing is that their differentiator can’t be targeted to every single segment in the market. For example, you wouldn’t tell that Starbucks is the perfect place for a playdate. Right?
My generation is constantly scrolling through social media, specially Instagram, since it’s a cool application to share content with a few taps. Actually, we tend to identify places by remembering the picture a friend posted last week, for example. Can you see it? Instagram — and so many other applications — are part of our sources to get to know new spots to create experiences, and the picture from the iconic spot turns into a must.
At the end of the day, we are willing to create experiences, and not only at Starbucks. The thing is that businesses with products and services targeted to my age group, need to find the way to incorporate an innovative way to catch our attention. The social media photography strategy has become more powerful over the last years, and I want to share my personal experience when I clearly understood its potential while studying abroad at Seoul in 2019.
Stylenanda is a South Korea-based make-up and fashion brand that boasts of an interior done up like a hotel. The emblematic shop is located in Myeong-dong which is the most popular shopping area in Seoul. Sincerely, more than the product, I was amazed by the experience you can have by only visiting the store. There are lots of iconic spots throughout the building — yes! it has 5 floors — just to catch the eye from youthful customers who will end up buying at least something in their visit that began with “just one picture for Instagram”.
One of my favorite cafe’s at Seoul was the Cafe 연남동 239–20, which is an incredible space that makes customers feel as if they’ve stepped into a cartoon world, even the mugs, dishes, and cutlery look like flat line drawings. Long queues were held to take a sit, order a coffee, and live an amazing experience. Every single tourist wants to get to know this place, and definitely, their decision was previously influenced by photos seen in social media. To be honest, average beverages, but great experience.
Starbucks shouldn’t be the only place selling experiences. As presented, experiences could be adapted to fashion stores, makeup boutiques, cafes, you name it! At the end of the day, it’s just a matter of finding value in more than just your product or service. Gen-Z wants more than just cheap and easy stuff. I can surely state that at least my generation, is looking forward to make memorable moments with people we love!