Second Cup Research

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Second Cup Smart Options Campaign

Our approach to this assignment was to visit Second Cup vendors and their competition, Starbucks. Upon speaking to the management at the Second Cup at York University, we were able to obtain promotional material, including a poster from a recent campaign for orange-flavoured beverages.

We decided to investigate their “Smart Options” campaign to determine the types of market research they had used in order to arrive at their final positioning strategy.

Types of Market Research


We believe that Second Cup would go to their stores and monitor what their customers are ordering, and how they're ordering it. They would find that a lot of customers, primarily women, order their beverages with skim milk as opposed to cream. They would take this information and apply it to a healthier choices campaign which promotes “Skinny” drinks that use skim milk.

These “Skinny” options are an area that Second Cup has the upper hand on. Starbucks has the option of using skim milk as well in their beverages; however, it is not promoted as a campaign.
The “Smart Options” line of products will also likely appeal to those wishing to lose a few extra pounds in order to get into “bathing suit” shape.


In-store surveys would also be a beneficial research method. They could conduct a brief personal interview with customers, asking them whether they prefer full fat or low fat beverages, which coffee shops they frequent, their perceived images of each coffee shop (ie: which one they see as healthier, which they think has more options, etc.), their opinion of tea, whether or not their beverage choices change depending on the season, whether or not they visit coffee shops such as Starbucks or Second Cup for beverages other than coffee. This survey could also take the form of a small card placed on each table in the restaurant, left there for the customer to fill out at their own leisure. Experiments

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