Blog 5.1: Chalk Talk at Caribou Coffee

Describe how the company/business used the four “P’s” to add value and/or promote the product or service.

Product- Coffee, bakery items, cards, and spontaneous purchase items (cup holders, key chains, yoyo’s, car scrapers).

Price- Items in the store range from $2-$6. Coffee is Caribou’s primary product that averages a price around $4.50.

Place- Chalkboard in the retail store next to the counter with honey, half & half, and sugar.

Promotion- This chalkboard is placed in each retail store with a topic that Caribou chooses and then leaves open for customers to respond. This chalkboard is indirectly promoting Caribou Coffee, but it is creating “news” about Caribou Coffee that is likely to come up in participating customer’s conversations and facebook profiles. This will add value to the lifestyle brand that Caribou is trying to create.

2. What industry(s) is the product or service a part of?

Food. Coffee. Retail. Hospitality.

3. Describe the target market.

Caribou Coffee is the second largest coffee retailer in the United states with 415 company-owned coffee houses in 40 states. Caribou has made significant efforts to penetrate the market and directly confront their primary competitor, Starbucks. In order to be a successful coffee shop you have to adopt and successfully execute the third place strategy. This strategy targets business people, students, or anyone who needs a place other than home and work to chill at. Their target market isn’t specified within the typical demographics, but looks like anyone who likes coffee and food and wants a change of setting for a meeting, place to work, or a place to chill. They specialize in quick service and providing a place to linger.

4. Does it work? Why or why not? Any general observations?

Yes – these chalk boards provide a place for customers to interact with each other and the store. It has become a signature for Caribou’s brand. They place these comments and conversations on their coffee cups. People read, write, and post these to their facebook pages often providing free word of mouth marketing for Caribou.

Chalk Thoughts


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