At eatsalem.com we followed the rise and fall of the Bad Ass Coffee franchise in our town. To see the original posts click here.
I know we've talked about this subject ad nauseum but I think it's a good example of how important packaging is to people. I think when they came up with the idea for Bad Ass Coffee it was a way to rebel against the norm, stir up some controversy in the hopes that they would get some free publicity from local papers and blogs. They were trying to be cute with the name, saying that it didn't mean what everyone thought. The trouble is, if you asked a hundred people on the street what the name "ass" means, 99 of them would say the lower back part of a human torso. So before a customer ever takes a sip of their coffee, the thought of a rear end is already on their mind and weakening the strength of their appetite. The name might actually harm the business of other nearby restaurants. The owners need to see how their business looks from the customers point of view. They should think about someone holding a cup of their coffee walking down a public street or walking into a place of work. When someone has a cup of Starbucks, it's almost like a status symbol. It says this person has the money to spend $3-4 for just a drink. It says this person drinks the top of the line coffee, a company that trains and pays it's employees well and there is little public controversy following the brand. What does someone holding a Bad Ass coffee say? It says that this person wants everyone to think that they are tough. That they do things that put them at odds with the law. That's fine, I have no problem if that's what you want everyone to think. To each his own. But to a business that brand identification limits the number of customers who will find the product acceptable to consume. I can't imagine a school teacher walking into a classroom holding a cup of Bad Ass. What about a priest or nun? A politician, car salesman, lawyer, ceo, accountant, etc? Maybe some of those people would, but a lot wouldn't. By the time the barista has a chance to explain what the Bad Ass is really about, the customer is long gone. When I think about Bad Ass Coffee, it always reminds me of this scene from Pulp Fiction.
By the way if you'd like to order one of those wallets there is a site that sells them. Check it out.