If Ryan Collis really wants to elevate the experience of buying ready-to-drink coffee, there may be no better way than trapping people at a business conference.
I didn’t bother offering this unsolicited advice to the vice-president and general manager of the PepsiCo-Starbucks North American Coffee Partnership, but I thought about it. I was in a Q&A with him at Cult Gathering in Banff recently, where the lineups for coffee during the breaks were so long that I often simply gave up.
Contrast that with the grab-and-go convenience of the ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee market, which Pepsico and Starbucks have been pursuing as a joint venture since 1994. Collis and his team of approximately 100 people are charged with determining how to continue to expand and grow, which certainly has its challenges.
“There are a lot more convenience stores and supermarketers than there are cafes,” he says, “but in terms of actual quantities, I mean, the average person consumes 3.6 litres of liquid a day. You can’t really double that too easily.”
This is where, presumably, customer experience (CX) could play a key role.
I asked Collis how he was thinking about it, given that buying RTD coffee isn’t quite the same as, say, visiting a well-designed Starbucks with super-friendly staff. Here’s what he said:
Shane Schick tells stories that help people innovate, and to manage the change innovation brings. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and Yahoo Canada and is the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.