Thursday, 3 January 2013

A whole cup of wrong

“I know what all the marketing people are thinking right now too, “Oh, you know what Bill’s doing, he’s going for that anti-marketing dollar. That’s a good market, he’s very smart.”

Oh man, I am not doing that. You fucking evil scumbags!

“Ooh, you know what Bill’s doing now, he’s going for the righteous indignation dollar. That’s a big dollar. A lot of people are feeling that indignation. We’ve done research – huge market. He’s doing a good thing.”

God, I’m just caught in a fucking web.

“Ooh the trapped dollar, big dollar, huge dollar. Good market – look at our research. We see that many people feel trapped. If we play to that and then separate them into the trapped dollar…””

-          Bill Hicks

So the Guardian reports that some yummy mummies are distressed as they can no longer tell what an ‘independent’ coffee shop looks like now that Tesco is disguising its joint venture of rapidly replicating coffee shops as cool places to be seen.

“Bridget Chappell, a full-time mum, said of Harris + Hoole, a new coffee shop in north London…

"I like to try independent shops, and it was really very nice with great coffee," she said. "But when I got home, I looked it up and discovered it was a chain."”

Poor Bridget can no longer tell whether she is cool or not now that the corporations have co-opted her signalling mechanisms for finding an ‘independent’ shop and sold them right back to her. What insecurities does Bridget have which mean that she goes home and googles her coffee shop?

Other coffee shop cools showed similar dismay;

“Katy Smith, another Harris + Hoole customer, said: "I don't really like Tesco. I don't shop in Tesco. Now I'm in one of them. They'll probably be on every high street soon. I would avoid it, like I avoid Starbucks and Costa, which I thought I was doing today – putting money back in the community."”

Well Katy this is news because if you think about it tangentially the money going to Tesco is going back into the community more than an independent shop. This is because Tesco is a public corporation owned predominately by UK pensioners and investors in mutual funds therefore Tesco dividends are funding retiree’s coffee cups. On the other hand a private independent shop is shoving cash into the hands of the usually single family owners enriching them at the expense of the community!

These women fell for the whole ‘independent’ feel and then found out they had been drinking cups of Tesco. Obviously Tesco didn’t call it Tesco coffee because it’s a different brand; its called market segmentation – people who would not shop at Tesco might buy a coffee at a non-corporate looking shop. Clearly the ruse works for Tesco because these people are actually buying coffee and only have a sense of disappointment when they discover after the fact that its part owned by Tesco. Was there anything wrong with the coffee? I think this article says more about the sort of person who spends their time in a coffee shop than the shops themselves.


  1. Tesco once again providing what the market wants: consistent (if not particularly nice) coffee in a clean place that doesn't moan about prams.

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