In-Depth Interview Findings
Following our observational study, we conducted in-depth interviews with our brand users to uncover the reasoning behind their behavior and actions that we had observed.
While most of them are not super brand conscious, they are loyal to a few brands and will repeatedly stick to them due to personal preference such as taste. A preference for personal touch and interaction with the staff also plays a part in their loyalty.
Most of them value convenience, shortcuts and making quick decisions. Some of them only drink coffee to stay awake and are not particular to the brand of coffee. As such, they would stick to the same few brands as it serves as a shortcut to them. As their loyalties lay elsewhere, this explains why none of them patronized CBTL during their 2 weeks of keeping the diary.
The working professionals have less personal interaction with people due to their working hours. They only have time to catch up after work. Those that are studying on the other hand, have more personal interaction as their school hours are less structured and they have more chances to encounter many friends throughout the day.
Users who are more socially active tend to accept the recommendations of friends more for a new product/new drink/food as they find it easy to communicate and have an exchange of ideas.
A Day At Coffee Bean
Wanting to find out more about the users of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, we decided to do a hands-on approach and went down to 3 different Coffee Bean outlets across Singapore to observe them.
One Friday, from 9 a.m. till 9 p.m., the seven of us were scattered among three different Coffee bean outlets. We picked the ones at Junction 8, Paragon and Manulife Centre as they are all of high visibility and have heavy traffic. During this twelve-hour observation, we segmented the customers into 5 distinct groups of Coffee Bean users.
Group A users are the “Hardcore Coffee Bean Fans”. They walk in the store with smiles and greetings ready for the staff. Some customers even know the staff’s names. And their greetings are always reciprocated with warm, friendly and personal conversations, such as “Hi Ivan, the usual caramel macchiato for you today?” This sense of familiarity between the staff and users make them come back to the outlet every single time.
Group B users would be the “Coffee Bean Hipsters”. They are the youth who are seen to sit there for hours with just one or two orders throughout the night. They may be joined by a couple of friends and they are seen to talk through the night. These “Hipsters” usually arrive around evening time only and will hang out until closing time.
And there are the Group C users, or more affectionately known as the “Coffee Bean Oldies”. These are usually senior citizens and homemakers who with hang out with fellow “Oldies” over a cup of coffee, food and magazines. They usually arrive early in the morning for breakfast and coffee and leave by 11am.
Group D users are also known as the “Coffee Bean Workaholics”. They are the people who go to the outlets specially for the free Wi-Fi, the availability of empty tables and also assessable power points to charge their laptops. They are seen to be on their computers typing furiously and usually they will be alone or with a friend.
Finally, Group E users who are known as “Hurried Ones”. They appear to be always rushing for time and after queuing up for their order, they leave immediately. These group of people usually arrive at the store around lunch time.
After a day observing brand users at the different Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf outlets, we realized that as the CBTL marketing manager has indicated in our Assignment 1, there is no main customer profile that patronizes the store. The store is open to people from different walks of life and we see people as young as toddlers to senior citizens and there is a huge variety of drinks that caters to everyone.