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Free business plan – SMS Coffee July 21, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in marketing, work/life.
Tags: , ,

The lines between marketing and business strategy are, in my mind at least, getting fuzzier and fuzzier. Note I am placing a premium on value over a better campaign to sell a lousy product, but that’s just me. If businesses suddenly created nothing but products worth talking about, everyone in the ad industry would need to go and find new jobs (best of luck to them).

Mmmmmm...coffee....*homer drool*

Mmmmmm...coffee....*homer drool*

Friends who know me know I am passionate about coffee. I regularly go to tastings which are held a one of my favourite cafes here in Melbourne, and while I have hauled myself back to a respectable two cups a day, I savour every minute of it and look forward to the next.

So I was thinking about how people could enjoy more coffee, more conveniently. I’m a big believer that the future isn’t online, it is mobile, a platform that encompasses everything the internet has brought to us without needing to be tied to a desk. I’m already starting to live that life, but we’re only a short way through the wealth of possibilities.

With this in mind, I want it to be easier to buy coffee. Particularly if I’m on the move, I don’t like the standing around waiting for it to be made. So here is something I think is a pretty good idea. If someone could go build it I’d really appreciate it.

  1. A coffee house does a deal with a micro-billing provider to bill people via their mobile rather than having to fork over cash (further towards a paper-less society – this is a good thing)
  2. Sarah, almost at the city train station where she will jump off, sends an SMS to the coffee house with just “1” in the message body
  3. This is received by the coffee house. Sarah’s number is in the database, 1 is her favourite, a long black.
  4. They accept the order and this pushes a message back to Sarah saying her coffee is being made
  5. Sarah’s train pulls in to the station, she gets up to the coffee shop across the road from the station, finds her coffee waiting for her and off she goes. No lines, no waiting, no fumbling for change.

We have the technology to do this, and the know-how to apply it to hundreds of other industries. Why aren’t we people? This doesn’t need a 30-second spot; it creates value and is worth talking about. And that is enough.

Image courtesy of Amit Gupta, with thanks to compfight.


1. oolong - July 21, 2008
2. David Gillespie - July 23, 2008

No self-respecting coffee lover drinks Starburst!!!

(due respect to my friends who do, you know I ❤ you)

3. Mission accomplished - SMS Coffee « Creative Is Not A Department - November 9, 2008

[…] I went along to the Victorian barista championships on Saturday to cheer on Talor Browne who makes one of my favourite cups down at Brother Baba Budan. She got to the finals, which is a fantastic effort for her first competition, I’m more so excited about theemergence of SMS Coffee. […]

4. Rachael Crane - September 1, 2009

The world of googling never fails to surprise me. I suggested this concept to a client tonight as a promotion. Thought I would do some online reseach to see if anyone is already doing it and seems nothing is cropping up. That is, except you having the same idea! Stay tuned. I think it is a good idea too…hmmmm wonder if I can get work out the details and get it off the ground? I suggested we trial it with one company nearby first.

5. David Gillespie - September 1, 2009

Make it happen Rachel! Only make sure their coffee is worth drinking in the first place – if I find this is a promotion for Starbucks I will be reaching for my angry eyes! 🙂

6. Shanny Sena - February 22, 2010

We receive coffee orders via SMS each morning, and our customers love the convenience! I don’t quite understand why no one else in Melbourne is doing this…. it’s so simple.

7. hatequeueing - April 20, 2011

Im a coffee drinker, and at my fave, Velvet in Perth, sometimes 20 minutes can go by, queueing, then waiting, if only they could get something like coffeerunnr so we could order from work or wherever, then just pickup when its ready, even 20 minutes later, but spare me the degradign wait in the queue.. i want a coffee, not to be put on show or lose valuable billable hours.

8. Roy - April 20, 2011

Want to see ordering and paying for coffee by SMS live in action? Check out this video for Vivo Cafe Sydney.

Much simpler than fooling around with credit cards. Beautiful example of innovation at work.

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