Published on: December 20, 2018
This commentary is available as both text and video; enjoy both or either ... they are similar, but not exactly the same. To see past FaceTime commentaries, go to the MNB Channel on YouTube.
Hi, Kevin Coupe here and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy.
It seems appropriate, since this is the last FaceTime of 2018 - in the last MNB of 2018, because after this morning, I’m going to be off until January 2 (assuming that Apple gets my damaged laptop back to me by then, as promised) - that I am coming to you from a new coffee shop that has just opened in my Connecticut town.
It’s called Cafe Nero, and I’m mildly familiar with the company because they have 26 stores in Boston - this is the 27th in the US, and an expansion elsewhere in the US is planned. (There are some 900 around the world - this privately held company ain’t exactly Starbucks, but it is clearly a company with ambition.)
Speaking of Starbucks … there is one, about a half-mile from here. There’s also a local independent just a block and a half away. So these guys aren;’t avoiding a fight - in fact, they seem to be spoiling for one.
I like that. I like the idea that this store is different from the other two in town - it is nicer, with the coffee served in ceramic mugs, with leather chairs, a small fireplace, and a sense that this is a place that you can relax and hang. Even the food seems fresher. You know, like Starbucks says it is, but sometimes doesn’t execute on because, quite frankly, sometimes they get too busy. Which isn’t the worst problem to have.
But if we’re going to end the year with one business lesson, it is this - if you are going to compete, it has to be with something different. In fact, that’s also a pretty good lesson with which to start 2019 … if you are going to compete, your offering has to be relevant and resonant and differentiated and compelling. Otherwise, why bother?
Other than that … i just want to wish you the best of times in the coming days - whether your holidays are about to begin, whether they’ve just concluded, or even if you don’t celebrate the holidays at all.
I want to thank the entire MNB community for your loyalty over the past year … it only makes me want to work harder to deserve it. I want to thank Michael Sansolo, Kate McMahon and Tom Furphy - each of whom makes the conversation richer and deeper, teaching me much as we go along.
And, thanks to all the terrific sponsors that make it possible for MNB to come to you each morning; if you get the chance, check them out, because they all have much to share in terms of ideas, products and services.
The MNB archives, of course, remain open … and I’ll be back on Wednesday, January 2 with fresh, hand-crafted news in context and analysis with attitude.
If my laptop comes back in time.
That’s what is on my mind this morning. As always, I want to hear what is on your mind.
- KC's View: