Internet marketers could learn a thing or two from Starbucks. Instead of setting up “just another” coffee shop, Starbucks decided to be different. Rather than do what everyone else was doing it opted for a psychological approach.
What they wanted was to make people addicted to Starbucks, not necessarily to coffee. The idea was that Starbucks would become the third most important place for people in their daily lives, behind home and the office. In order to do that, Starbucks had to offer something other than coffee.
Instrumental in this process was the choice of tables; they are always round, never square. Round tables help people socialise more easily. Plus they invented words to create their own “culture” – such as “frappucino”. What this did was make people feel part of a special community.
That’s precisely what good web sites do – they allow people to socialise and connect with each other, or feel part of a special community. If your sales web site doesn’t achieve either of these things, then you are “just another” shop amongst the millions of others. Starbucks didn’t want to be “just another” coffee shop and look what happened to it when it decided to go the social/culture root. That’s surely something to consider for your online shop.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+