For our 16th wedding anniversary last week, Cindy got me a Keurig coffee maker. I first cottoned on to these devices when we got them at my last job, 3 or 4 years ago. They work kind of like espresso machines, forcing boiling water through ground coffee to make one cup at a time. They make GREAT coffee. Yet every day at that aforementioned workplace, the majority of employees showed up every morning clutching Tim Hortons cups.
My former colleagues were willing to: get up earlier, sit in line at a drive-through, and pay money for coffee in a cardboard receptacle; even though they could get much better coffee, in their own mug, down the hall from their desk, for free. What gives?
The rumour is that Tim Hortons puts nicotine in their coffee and that people get addicted. That’s silly, of course, but Tim’s has done something similar and almost as insidious: they’ve used good marketing to tell a story that resonates with a lot of people. Having a Tim Hortons coffee makes people feel something that drinking better and cheaper coffee wouldn’t. It’s not the same story as people who drink Starbucks or Sanka drift towards. And it’s not a story that I personally get, but it sure seems to work.