Second Cup: Time for a Change

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Second Cup is a small chain of coffee shops struggling to stay afloat due to the competition from big and famous names like Starbucks, Tim Hortons and McDonalds. It is a very competitive market and Second Cup has tried several times to boost their name and sales.

After working on our second group assignment and giving recommendations to our chosen small business, it’s interesting to read an article that suggest ideas that use the same tools we used. For example, the company has been advised to “improve beverage innovation, expand its menu and adopt new technology.” They also need to look at “attracting consumers” and focusing on “the younger generation.” In essence, Second Cup must choose a more specific consumer segment to target with their branding, advertising, and product creation.

In my opinion, instead of looking at the younger generation, Second Cup can look at targeting a niche market, one that consists of adults with an acquired taste for coffee. Starbucks is already the go-to for the generation of pre-teens and young adults with their variety of flavours that do not truly taste like coffee anymore. McDonalds and Tim Hortons is for consumers who want a quick and simple coffee for cheap. There are fewer coffee chains who create quality coffee. I also think Second Cup should look into creating a specialty drink that is completely unique in order to have a point of difference. Perhaps implement a rewards system, which encourages brand loyalty.


Being a very visual person I like to look at the branding and logo of a company. Looking at Second Cup, as a consumer, I automatically feel like it is a low-class coffee chain. The logo is very typical and not very creative. The colour palette of tan and brown are dull; there is nothing that stands out. As this is the fourth time Second Cup is trying to turn around the company, I believe it is about time for them to completely rebrand the company and look at approaching their business from a different perspective.