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Backpack Executive

I'm Jason. I've spent most of my career developing marketing strategies for student housing communities. Now, I own Pixel Riot - We help your website send the right signals to land the right visitors. Need Google Ad management? I'm your guy. I have 14 years of experience in digital advertising for Multifamily.

Why I Pay Twice As Much For A Cup Of Coffee

Why I Pay Twice As Much For A Cup Of Coffee

I'm at Starbucks almost every day. It's not because I'm rolling in the dough. Starting your own business means you have to be scrappy. You have to tighten up your belt. Nope, I still pay almost double for my morning cup of Joe because Starbucks pays attention to the small details.  Starbucks, in other words, is premium. Think about those two things for a second. One, offering premium services means a hyper focused attention to small details. And two, people are willing to pay ridiculous prices for your product if you do. 

Here's my typical experience when I go hang out at Starbucks.

Logistics Design: I walk in and order my coffee. The line is usually short but, when it's not, it moves quickly. Since I'm ordering a drip coffee, they immediately pour it for me when I get to the register. I don't have to wait behind someone that ordered a double frappuccino with skim milk, whipped cream and chocolate syrup. I hand the card to the Barista (instead of having slide the card myself.), no "debit or credit" question, no entering in a pin, no waiting for the software to log onto the internet. Nope, just hand my card, they hand it right back. Done. That is not an accident. That is a well planned logistic design strategy. 

Interior Design: I grab my venti cup, walk over to a table and place my backpack on the back-end of the seat. A seat that is purposely heavier than normal chairs so the weight of my bag doesn't tip it over. I take my laptop out of my bag, set it on the table...oh no! I'm at 20% battery. No sweat. Look under the table and Voilà - outlets for me to plug my computer into. Again, intentional and well thought out.

Technology: I open to my browser, click "accept" and I'm connected to Starbuck's free WIFI. No passwords, no account needed.  

Premium is eliminating even the smallest points of pain for your customers / residents. It's applying thoughtful designs, processes, and people to the smallest details of the buying experience. The smaller the detail the better, I say! Think about it. Can you think of a small detail in your consumer experience that made you say "Wow! I can' believe they thought of that!" (Hit me up in the comments!)

In terms of student housing, premium isn't ordering leather couches for your brand new lease up. Premium is introducing your furniture vendor to your architect and letting them design a floor plan with the furniture in mind. Can we get a bedroom where the outlet lines up with my bed correctly? You may be thinking - "first world problems, Jason!". And you'd be right. But solving those small details also gets you first world premiums. And almost no one is doing it in our industry. Be the first.

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Interesting analogy Jason! Loving the student housing posts, keep them coming.

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Well said Jason. I work with numerous student housing developers. The biggest challenge is not in determining what rents are attainable, but rather, what aspects of a prime student housing development do they need to offer to stand out from the crowd, at opening and ten years down the road. What are the critical elements to a property's potential for success....these will always be unique on a market by market, school by school basis.

  Brian Gault
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Couldn't agree more, Jason! And speaking of outlets, why aren't more USB outlets being installed these days? ;-)

  Danielle Noel

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