Like endless coffee into a paper cup

Last Friday, when I was returning from GITEX Technology Week and waiting for my flight’s departure at Dubai airport, I fancied a large cappuccino. As usual I could choose from a variety of global coffee house chains in the departure hall. But, beside Costa Coffee, Caffè Nero and Starbucks, there was also a small – well, relatively small, as nothing’s ever small at DXB – local coffee shop near to my boarding gate.

I was attracted by that particular place, because it had a selection of 5 or 6 coffee roasts from different origins on display and let me choose from several brewing methods. The menu card also told me that the beans were sourced from sustainable plantations and that the company’s connoisseurs created their own blends. That sounded and smelled really good. So, after I ordered a cup of Indonesian Takengon I could hardly wait for tasting it.

After a few minutes, to my surprise and disappointment, my cappuccino arrived in a paper cup. The same kind I would have gotten at any of the multinationals in the hall, with a different logo printed on it. And that banal recipient completely ruined my customer experience. Delivery is an integral part of a product. Customer experience is a key differentiator. A good cappuccino deserves to be served in a premium coffee mug or – even better – a wide bowl cup. Delicately topped with some velvety steamed milk and finished with a dash of cocoa powder.

By the way, the same is also true for your business presentations. Good content needs to be presented by an even better speaker. Delicately prepared and attractively delivered as a story. Never let your your company’s message flow out like endless coffee into a paper cup!

Some background reading for coffee lovers: