Monthly Archives

October 2018

Is the excellent Caffè Nero roasting their competition?

By | Brand Intelligence

Why they are fab...

"Caffè Nero, a UK independent Italian-style coffee bar brand are renowned for excellent coffee and fresh quality food. They offer an inviting atmosphere served by friendly people who try to get to know their regulars".

How they differentiate themselves

It’s an Italian coffee house feel, good coffee and food. They focus on their core brand values.
They try and encourage a welcoming atmosphere. You are greeted and made to feel that there is no rush. They is no pressure to leave, and the layout is relaxing allowing friends to chat informally. They want to create a neighbourhood feel.
There is an attention to detail in the coffee house, from the lighting, colour of the wood, seating etc. The packaged cakes, biscuits and chocolate at the front of the counter are all Italian.  Despite being a national chain; they work hard to ensure it does not feel like it.
They create a European feel and avoid the American style of their competitors. Their branding is subtle and not plastered everywhere.
High quality coffee, broad product range and food offering are a given, but the overall feeling of the coffee house makes you think the coffee is the better than their competitors. Is it? Matter of opinion and taste. We think so.
They have resisted the temptation to roll out their coffee houses to every street corner, and you will not find a coffee machine in a tired petrol station. You will not find a Cafe Nero on an M1 Service Station; they will not sell burgers in the future and drive in’s are not for them. Their mobile coffee shop offering is even small and European styled.
They have a simple loyalty scheme too. No sign ups, just stamp a card.
They possess just under 15% of the UK coffee shop market, and they are financially secure with cash in the bank proving their model is working.

Their competition

Costa, Starbucks. Macdonalds, local coffee shops

Octorating

6/8

Best decisions made with your animal instincts

By | Intelligence

Blink

In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell explores how we process our intuition and instinct and suggests how we make split-second decisions and judgments.  Both good and bad ones.

Gut feeling is an inbuilt reaction which allows us to accurately read a dangerous situation or a person who may wish us harm.

The book offers an appreciation of judgments based on less information rather than more. On expert intuition or instinct rather than the less seasoned novice judgments.

Gladwell suggests that intuitive or “snap” judgments are valuable. And that the more experienced you are on a subject, the more this will allow you to make accurate decisions.

We agree with Gladwell, that gut feeling can be an excellent tool for minor points, life and death experiences. (not too many of those at Octopus towers recently) To give a general direction of understanding of what’s going on, but gut feeling must be backed up by significant verifiable information.

Gladwell introduces the concept of “thin-slicing”.  That’s your unconscious mind’s ability to isolate patterns and meaning within the most fleeting “slices” of experience and impressions.

He gives an example of the ability of one psychologist to predict, with 95% accuracy, if a couple would still be together in fifteen years’ time. According to Gladwell, this and other examples, show how experts can take small samples and make fantastic, accurate predictions.

However, we need to take into account our environment when using gut feeling, as gut feeling can change depending on where you are and how threatened or content you feel. Within Intelligence, if you are up against a deadline, then validated gut feeling is more achievable if you are relaxed, with all the time in the world.

Not as good as we think

Our gut feeling is not as perfect as we might think. Even though, It can be a great tool to deploy when we are trying to analyse what’s going on with a competitor or a market. However, it is not the magic bullet, and we must be aware that our gut feel is exceptionally open to wishful thinking and bias, and this must be taken into account.

The more market and life experience you have, the more this could prevent you using your gut reaction and picking up on those intangible warning signs if your industry changes or new competitors come along.

And yes, your industry can and almost certainly will change; it’s up to you to realise this. That industry experience and know-how should not let you lose sight of how potentially useful your gut feeling could be.

We can take gut feeling into account, as one part of a whole repertoire of tools, but the future direction of your business in an ever-changing market needs considered detailed analysis.

So, whilst we shouldn’t ignore our intuition, we should not make critical business decisions with it either.

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