Biggby Coffee Takes On Starbucks

Biggby Coffee, a chain based in Michigan, just opened it’s 100th coffee shop. While this franchise-based company isn’t about to displace Starbucks’ 11,000 US locations, it has an attitude that should help it continue to grow; even while Starbucks closes down some of its newer locations.

I really like what the Biggby Coffee CEO had to say (from an article in the Lansing State Journal):

  • Customer engagement is exactly what the folks at Biggby strive for
  • The culture is what makes us successful. The Biggby way is a way of looking at customers as people, and that kind of engagement we have at our stores makes it a personal experience. People love our coffee, but the reason they come to our stores is it makes them feel good.”
  • We are a franchise company and Starbucks is not. Most of our operators are people from the community. There’s a big difference between an owner running the store and any other restaurant chain with many, many units. They’re not just an employee; they own the business. It adds energy, excitement and enthusiasm.”
  • The most effective thing I can do is go out and spend time at the stores, just hang out and engage. What I’m trying to do is make sure people have that heart that it takes.”

One of the larger franchise owners added this: “One of their philosophies is every customer must leave the store in a better mood than when they arrived.”

The bottom line: Seattle doesn’t have a monopoly on great coffee experiences; or good moods

Written by 

I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about leading-edge XM topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

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