ICS Magazine

A Small Change Can Make a Huge Change in Perception

December 18, 2008

Those that know me know that I am an avid Starbucks customer. I am in excellent company of others in our industry: Bill Yeadon, Howard Partridge and Lisa Wagner to name a few, but I digress; I go to Starbucks, not only near my home or other Denver-area locations, but all around the country…it’s a priority to find a Starbucks. Don’t believe me? Ask those that I mentioned.

So, earlier this week I am in a Starbucks that is not my usual and I order my Venti Soy Latte and I am given this without a sleeve….not even double-cupped. Did I mention that I like my drink almost as hot as the water from the steamiest truckmount? I ask for a sleeve and the Barista tells me that they are “right there” (in the fancy new sleeve holder/dispenser)

"Hmmm," I say "I’ve never seen this before." She replies, "We are one of the few stores that have it."

My guess is they are test-marketing the concept of having the customer take a sleeve if they want one…maybe to save the pennies these cost for each or perhaps more magnanimously to save trees.  I don’t know about you, but for me it doesn’t feel like a Starbucks cup of coffee without the sleeve…I would think the liability issue alone  would be enough to stop them from proceeding down this road.

The point is, this is a “small” change…isn’t it? But the change in my perception is HUGE

What small changes are you making that may be creating a larger negative perception?

The little things do matter.