The Perception of a Website

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

As you walk into Starbucks the aroma of coffee brewing permeates your senses. Trendy music plays in the background with earth-tone painted walls, nicely lacquered wood and friendly baristas all help to create an inviting perception of quality and comfort.

Of course this is all by design – Howard Schultz, then CEO of Starbucks made a trip to Italy during which he visited some 500 espresso bars in Milan and Verona. He observed local habits, took notes on decor and menus, snapped photographs, and videotaped baristas in action. He was looking to create the right perception.

Now compare this to McDonald’s – what’s your perception of McDonald’s? Probably fast, convenient comfort food; who do you think would have a better cup of coffee, McDonald’s or Starbucks?

Perception dictates reality – Starbucks coffee tastes better because the consumer thinks it tastes better. But, a recent Consumer Reports found that McDonald’s coffee was actually better than Starbucks. That is the power of perception!

So when you start to build a website it’s imperative that you know the perception you want the website to present.


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