Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A BIGG 'Thank You' to Jackson Coffee

Yep that's right "Thanks Jackson Coffee" it's been fun watching you try to capitalize on our logo, our reputation, and all that we have built in these short 10 years we have been franchising!

An interesting business model you have...let's see, create a unique logo and identification for Jackson Coffee. Ahhhh not so much, simply change the highly identifiable BIGGBY rectangle block orange and black B logo to an orange circle with a black J....hmmmmm, not feelin' too original there, ya'know?

Then let's see, for marketing....strike a notable difference in the marketplace by creating a unique identity. Ahhhhh, not so much again, instead chase after BIGGBY customers by buying the paid keyword BIGGBY on GOOGLE (and other sites) and offer those people a free beverage...or better yet, now, buy $1,600 dollars worth of outdoor advertising to emphasise BIGGBY COFFEE, it's font style, and the unique spelling of it's name to people (customers, maybe even yours) that may not have even considered going to BIGGBY COFFEE before, but definitely will now...Wow! Unbelievable! Again, Thank You! Thank you for making BIGGBY COFFEE the one to beat!

On another note this idea that you roast everyday is at best interesting...I mean we are not able to roast all of our 500,000 pound annual usage in one day either, but I assume the larger point you would like to make is that you roast on site...but, even that is akin to somebody like KFC suggesting that they slaughter their chickens at their stores (yuk.) The coffee shop industry is littered with concepts that have come and gone based on the idea that they roast at their shop...many from Michigan, including Java Master to name one, or Lone Star Coffee to name another. Although in store roasting is a quaint idea that some have done well with including the Woolly Bugger in Harbor Springs...this manufacturing process called 'roasting' is a sophisticated and scientific process and tends to be very inconsistent in a small applications...and is often explained away with the use of words like artisan and micro. Don't get me wrong, there is such a thing as Artisan and Micro Roasters out there doing a great job...but none that are trying to articulate that great job by first emulating another company in one breath and then knocking them with the next breath. No the companies that I know that do a great job all have their own distinct personality and ID' should try it !

Of course I couldn't resist flipping through your website a little, and there are a coupla points that you may want to brush up on there too. You suggest that you are 'family operated'...certainly a noble statement, but if it's going to be a point of differentiation...then make sure it's different. All BIGGBY COFFEE shops are independently and locally owned, and of course pretty much everybody comes from a family, right? I mean that's the way that works, I think? Sure it does, and the Jackson BIGGBY COFFEE is no different it's owned and operated by a local family too! Wad'ya thinkin'?

Another little nugget of state you use a 100% arabica does Folgers in some of their blends, but that doesn't make their coffee good, ya'know? This is tantamount to you saying you use 100% coffee...whoppeee! Please note that because coffee is 100% arabica is not a statement of quality...there are good and there are bad arabica's, and there are good and bad robusta's alike. Please also note that, how many countries you buy from, is completely irrelevant, oh and, FYI coffee needs to de-gas for at least a day before it should be brewed and consumed. Freshness is key in coffee production...and coffee really does start oxidising right away after roasting, but some of this oxidising is necessary to begin to develop the beautiful and complex flavors that we all look for in a cup of coffee. Come on get with it!

My last little rant is your reference to no 'secret blends'...and of course BIGGBY COFFEE has some blends that are secret...and after I have watched a company like yours try to copy so much that we it any surprise that we may not divulge every recipe that we have?...Particularly in our core product. Duh!

Well, usually I'd let this kinda thing go...and simply chalk up your emulation as a form of flattery. But seriously, I have watched companies try to copy things we do and try to tear down who we are...and I find either pathway not very healthy or doesn't work. It doesn't work because it doesn't come from a good place...sure everybody has a right to compete, but if you look at the great companies they never do it do it this way. They know who they are and where they want to go...and they pursue that with integrity and passion. I would encourage you to choose a better pathway than the one your on and fire whoever is making your marketing decisions(even if they are a family member)...simply said, they are doing more for BIGGBY COFFEE than anything...and although I would love to thank them personally someday, I'm guessing that might never happen :)

But until then keep this in mind...

B-Happy, Have Fun, Love People, Make Friends, and Make Great Coffee!

All my best,



Anonymous said...

Amen Brother Bob! BFerris

Lunatic Ravings said...

Not to mention - it is impossible to copy the BIGGBY way. I have been to Jackson Coffee - they are no BIGGBY!

Tim M said...

oh burn!

Anonymous said...

Jackson Coffee is the rock ‘n roll equivalent of a very bad “tribute” band. Kind of like a Van Halen tribute band with the overweight David Lee Roth, it just doesn’t work man.

Anonymous said...

Great post Bob, Jackson Coffee Company is not even on the same level as the Biggby in Jackson!!

Anonymous said...

It seems like the folks over at Jackson Coffee have a pretty big inferiority complex. Maybe they should have taken that $1600 they spent on the billboard and used it on some group therapy. You can't get very far in life or in business unless you can B-yourself.

Anonymous said...

TACT - The ability to tell a man to go to Hell and have him happy to be on his way. Nice job, Bob.

Anonymous said...

I'm a marketing master. I don't drink coffee, but know the market. What's happened here is exactly what Jackson Coffee wants to happen. Biggby should be smart enough to know this.

Biggby is #1 in the market place (I assume that because they are the big corporate chain, although I see that Jackson Coffee was voted best coffee two years in a row). The #2 coffee guy (and anyone else after that) is always trying to take a jab at #1 and have his name mentioned in the same sentence as #1, and to be seen by the public as similar to the person who is currently #1. The guy who is #1 never mentions #2, because it brings up the lesser guy to the upper status. Doing so makes the customer wonder if there's something to that #2 guy, and they may shop there. It's marketing 101.

So, from a marketing stand point, #2 wins. They got #1 to talk about #2. If #1 says something negative about #2, the public often disregards it. Here the writer seems extremely upset that #2 would dare take a swing at the corporate chain. Why the writer feels it should go so far to justify it's position against a one store business, only helps to solidify that Jackson Coffee may have a valid point.

The public then gets to decide if the Unique Selling Position (USP) of Jackson Coffee is worth while. Looks like JC tries to differentiate itself from its competition by roating their own coffee, and by having a unique environment. And by telling the consumer that they are a family business located in the community. I guess Jackson Coffee also adds that they are not some corporate chain. These things may matter to the buyer, which has the ultimate control of the dollar.

Irregardless, this is brillant marketing from a "text book" approach. I plan to use it in my classroom.

I used to sell billboards and you can buy one off the highway for $600 or so.

Just an odd prof seeing marketing work itself out in the market place. Love it.

Anonymous said...

Marketing Master - there is a saying..those that can do - do, those that can't teach. Now that doesn't apply to all for sure but in this case you didn't read the blog. JC's statements aren't true as it relates to the desire to be different - Biggby Bob dismantles every statement with a surgical knife.

Stealing ideas and trying to build your identity based on the path someone else has forged doesn't work.

That is the difference between real world and classroom.

Anonymous said...

If JC had a great product and a unique identity, they wouldn't have to use Biggby Coffee to position themselves... and each time they do, whether it's with their rip-off logo, color scheme, billboards that directly reference Biggby, et al.... all they prove is that they have nothing worthwhile to say for themselves.

They are, as has already been noted, the equivalent of a bad "tribute" band.

No offense, "marketing master", but all that stuff about "marketing 101" is crap, and I'm glad I'm not spending $$ for your class.

I guess I've been lucky to have had good teachers who have taught me that that if you're using somebody else's identity to try to define yourself (as JC is), you have nothing worthwhile to define.

I love that they bought a billboard -- whether it's for $600 or $1600 -- that mentions Biggby... now, even more Jackson residents will have heard of Biggby, and after they taste the schlocky coffee at JC, they'll know where to head next.

I've got a funny feeling that mr. marketing expert may actually be a jc coffee employee. Hmmm. He sounds irrationally defensive to me. It would be just like them to try to define themselves in Biggby Bob's blog without ever actually having the courage to admit who they are.

Me, I'm a coffee fan. I drink coffee at Biggby every day. And the more I know about the competition, the happier I am about my latte.

ScottyH said...

Bob, great post - love Biggby's (wish you coulda kept your original moniker, though) and thanks for the coffee last week!
"marketing master" I had the same thought as anonymous @ 10:21p had that he's from the competition. Also, I highly doubt JC is 2nd, and who really cares about the Best of Jackson voting? (oh, K105 wins yet again as the best pop station in Jackson!!, wink-wink) Also lost me at his improper usage of the English language:
USAGE NOTE Irregardless is a word that many mistakenly believe to be correct usage in formal style, when in fact it is used chiefly in nonstandard speech or casual writing. Coined in the United States in the early 20th century, it has met with a blizzard of condemnation for being an improper yoking of irrespective and regardless and for the logical absurdity of combining the negative ir– prefix and –less suffix in a single term. Although one might reasonably argue that it is no different from words with redundant affixes like debone and unravel, it has been considered a blunder for decades and will probably continue to be so.

Anonymous said...

Did that guy just refer to himself a "marketing master?" I’m afraid our “professor’s” grip on reality is about as firm as it is on the English language. For the love of god, I beg you to post more wisdom. That would be awesome. True story.

Lady Di said...

Barista Lady Di here...
I guess I needed to clean up my post, so I try again...

I have to wonder about the "Marketing Master" who uses the non-word "irregardless" had you chose to use your Webster's before posting, you would have known....not there. I guess I would have thought someone who professes to be a "Master" would have already been aware of this phenomenon.
Now let's establish what you really are the "master" of and (if it exists) what educational instituton would have bestowed a marketing degree upon you.
nice try...
many will try---few will succeed
Much BIGGBY love,
Barista Lady Di

and nice job on that ScottyH

Anonymous said...

Who is this Lunatic Ravings who is poaching my territory?

Anonymous said...

So there's a cat fight going on in Jackson. I do agree that Jackson Coffee is getting a bunch of free mentions in this blog, so to that extent, whoever that Community College marketing master is, you are right on that score.

However, here is another point. The coffee at Jackson Coffee sucks. Roasting is a science. Coffee blends are a science. The guys who run Jackson Coffee are not scientists. They're just businessmen who think they can make a buck selling coffee. Which, evidently, they can not because they need to confuse the customer in order to get people in. There's a marketing term in your more advanced classes for this, it's called "shoveling smoke." Heard of it, right Mr. (or is is Doctor) Marketing Master.

To the guys who run Jackson Coffee remember this. You can be great but you have to be self confident to hope for that. You can imitate greatness but then you still have to do it well. Or you can be just another wannabe, which, I'm afraid, its your lot in the coffee business. What future is there for number 3 in any market?

Anonymous said...

Best...BIGGBY Bob post...ever. I'm entertained both by the post and the back-and-forth in the comments.

p.s. ScottH--you are my god now.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about the coffee. The owner of Beaners in Jackson only wants one thing, and that's your money. He could care less about the customers. It's all an act. You should hear what he says when the customers leave. Not nice stuff.

What worse is what he says about Bob Fish and the big corporation Beaners is becoming. Only person making any money is Bob and the company. Screwing each store out of 6%, or whatever you complained of. If you figure each store doing $1000 a day, and there are 100 stores, Bob is sticking $6,000 A DAY into his pocket. No wonder he can go around and give away free coffee. The store owners are paying for it.

It's why you always kept two sets of books. One for the company and the "real" books. I guess I can't blame you for that too much. All the complaining you did about them was probably justified.

What I do blame you for is your lack of caring for employees and your community. You always said you were broke and never had any money. Thank god the State raised the minimum wage and gave us all a raise. All while you drove that hummer. You always complained when someone asked you to donate to something in the community. You'll be out of business in 1 year. All just my opinion from YOU KNOW WHO... And yes, I'm still upset over what happened.