I live in Austin, TX. Home to breakfast tacos, Hook ‘Em Horns, frequent 100 degree summer days, and the infamous Jo’s Coffee. Sure, Jo’s is a fantastic place to get some coffee goodness, however my love for Jo’s goes way farther and deeper. More on that in a minute.
If you know me personally or professionally outside of the world of LinkedIn, you probably know first-hand about my obsession with Jo’s Coffee. Going to Jo’s is my daily ritual, and it’s certainly not because they have cheap coffee. Far from it, in fact. Their price for my drink of choice (Iced Turbo, in case you were wondering) is around $5. If I pair my drink with a breakfast taco, after tip I’m down around $9. Every single day. Since I frequently work remotely at Jo’s, the cost definitely adds up fast.
Jo’s has strong Wi-Fi and a big outdoor sitting area for people watching. They are located in very close proximity to the South Congress strip, a very popular hot-spot for locals and tourists alike. They compete with another coffee shop that is walking distance. By far, Jo’s blows their competition out of the water, every single day.
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Here’s what really sets them apart from every other coffee-shop in Austin: Jo’s has a mural on the outside wall of their building that is spray painted in big, bold red letters:
I Love You So Much.
This message clearly resonates with many people because there is a constant huge line of people every day, waiting in line to take a photo in front of the Jo’s wall. On the weekends, often the wait is 30 minutes or more. All shapes and sizes: singles, couples, friends, families, sometimes with pets…Once, I actually saw a man ride up to the wall on his horse to have someone snap a quick photo of them. Austin can be weird at times.
By observation, most people really don’t seem to mind the wait. Meaning, the unusually long line around the block is definitely not hurting their business, which I find fascinating. I will never win an award for my patience and yet, oddly enough, waiting to get my daily caffeine fix at Jo’s just doesn’t bother me. However, when I went to Starbucks a couple of days ago, (someone had given me a gift card) as soon as I saw the line (which was significantly smaller than the Jo’s line usually is), I felt annoyed.
This got me thinking recently about my fervent loyalty to this coffee-shop. There’s so many coffee-shops that are way closer to where I live. In fact, there’s at least 3 Starbucks that come to mind that I easily could go to. Nope. Instead, I go out of my way to drive to Jo’s. Why?
They care, plain and simple, and it shows. Customers will remain loyal to a brand if there is an emotional connection. Jo’s is building an emotional connection with each and every customer that snaps a photo in front of their mural. They are (1) humanizing their brand and (2) making it personal.
Beyond the fact that they care about their customers, they also have unique offerings that truly sets them apart from their competition. During SXSW, a 3 week music/film/interactive festival, they have an annual week-long free concert, open to all. They recently hosted a pet parade for Easter. Speaking of pets, you can even bring them to Jo’s on Valentine’s Day for a custom photo shoot. No joke!
It’s the little things and it definitely adds up for this business in dividends. And believe me, while other businesses are taking a big hit lately, Jo’s is thriving. Not to mention the fact that most people who take a photo in front of their wall are re-posting it on their social outlets like Instagram, Facebook, etc.
Jo’s is creating hundreds of brand evangelists on the daily because of their consumer messaging and that’s what my advertising and marketing brain finds fascinating!
A few recent 2017 stats from Accenture to consider:
· 55% of U.S. consumers express loyalty by recommending the brands and companies they love to family friends.
· 43% of U.S. consumers spend more with the brands and companies they are loyal to.
· 86% of buyers will pay more for a better Customer Experience.
Moral of the story: brands that are embracing personalization and making emotional connections with every customer and at every touch-point will lead the pack. Also, if your company has a call center, investing in technology such as behavioral analytics is mission-critical. Truly understanding your customers and connecting with them, particularly if they are calling in for issue resolution, is essential. Organizations that don’t put a focus on a customer-obsessed mentality will get left behind.
If you happen to come to Austin, PM me and let’s go to Jo’s!