FastCompany has an interesting article on McCafes. Good grief, I never thought I'd write such a "word": McCafe (except maybe in reference to an SNL skit on McCafes). But this is a video form the Wall Street Journal (no, I'm not sure why they choose the computer-generated voiceover for the piece). Moving on: "They will fail and here is why" is the basic premise. I disagree. Some of the points are valid, but I think the FastCompany article is thinking about it wrong. Will McDonald's beat Starbucks? Maybe or maybe not. That's not who will keep this rolling. There is a brief pass in the final paragraph:

"McDonald's does have a fighting chance at selling coffee if it can persuade existing customers -- ones who wouldn't normally buy coffee while at Mickey D's -- to replace cheaper [drinks] for [these] more expensive coffees as their meal-side beverage."

I think more than a fighting chance: that's who this is about. And, as the WSJ points out, there are several other drink options. For McDonald's this isn't about getting money that would otherwise be headed to Starbucks. It's about getting money that would otherwise stay in the customer's pocket. A Venti McCafe costs more than a large coffee. Will some people who might otherwise hit Starbucks for "a coffee" stop by McDonald's first - because it is closer? Sure. Will someone choose a McMocha will the McMuffin? Definitely. If you hit the link to the article, be sure to read the comments - some are worth the time as well.

Thursday, January 10, 2008, 12:00 AM

tagged: branding, competition, McDonald's, starbucks, strategy