What baristas tell us about the power of marketing (and PR)

The Guardian ran a piece on why over 1,700 people applied for eight roles as baristas with Costa Coffee in Nottingham. The article delves into how the coffee industry has grown and how a generally poorly paid service job has acquired a certain cache. What the article neglected to say was that this is as much about the power of marketing. Coffee culture as made mass-market by Starbucks managed to move the consumer away from the diner (or Dunkin Donuts) cup of joe in the US into a more refined experience. The third space is a sign of being middle class or a ‘creative’ in fast developing economies like China. It is amazing how in the space of a few years in London the modern coffee shop became an embedded part of my own life.

Being attached to this phenomena has also given the workers in these stores a bit of cache rather than being seen as a ‘mcjob’ the term coined to deride fast food restaurant work. This couldn’t have been possible without the businesses involved carefully managing their reputations, Starbucks current media woes over tax non-withstanding.

More information
Why did 1,701 people apply for just eight barista jobs? | Guardian

Archived from blog posts I wrote for PR Week