Is Premium Always Better?

In a charming little town, two neighboring businesses flourished side by side. On one side stood “Café Serendipity,” a coffee shop with a barista extraordinaire named Sarah. On the other side was “Bookworm Haven,” a cozy bookstore owned by the book-loving enthusiast, Alex.

Sarah and Alex had always maintained a friendly rapport, sharing business updates and recommendations. But little did they know, a silent rivalry was unfolding.

The Coffee Shop’s Innovation:

One sunny morning, Sarah had a revelation. She decided to elevate her café by introducing a premium line of coffee beans. Sarah believed that her discerning customers would appreciate the superior quality of her coffee, setting her café apart from the competition.

The Curious Disappearance of Customers:

To Sarah’s bewilderment, her café experienced an unexpected decline in customers shortly after introducing the premium coffee. It was as if the locals had abandoned their beloved coffee shop. Perplexed, Sarah couldn’t fathom what went wrong.

The Coffee Shop’s Detective Work:

Determined to uncover the mystery, Sarah became a self-appointed detective. Sporting dark sunglasses and a trench coat, she discreetly observed the scene outside Bookworm Haven, trying to understand her rival’s secret.

The Shocking Discovery:

What Sarah witnessed left her flabbergasted. Her loyal customers were indeed flocking to Bookworm Haven, but they weren’t there for the subpar coffee. Instead, they were immersing themselves in the cozy reading nook that Alex had thoughtfully created, complete with plush chairs, warm blankets, and a curated selection of books.

Sarah’s Epiphany:

Sarah finally grasped her oversight. She had focused solely on offering superior coffee beans, assuming that was the sole attraction for her customers. But what she didn’t know was that her customers craved not just great coffee but also a serene atmosphere and a space to lose themselves in a good book.

A Lesson in Understanding Your Customers:

Sarah’s unintentional rivalry with Bookworm Haven was a wakeup call. She realized that even if you offer a superior product, not knowing your customers’ true desires can impact your business. Her customers weren’t just looking for excellent coffee; they sought an experience that combined comfort, ambiance, and literature.


The tale of Café Serendipity and Bookworm Haven serves as a poignant reminder that in business, offering a better product alone might not be enough. Understanding your customers, their needs, and their desires is equally crucial. In the end, it’s not just about what you know; it’s about what you don’t know about your customers that can make or break your business, even when you have the superior product

Linda Ruffenach

Founder / Chief Strategic Officer at Execuity. Linda is an experienced entrepreneur, skilled facilitator, and bourbon badass. Her 20+ years of C-level experience enables her to relate to the challenges business owners face every day. As the former CEO of a $100 million international enterprise, she has been through almost every stage a company can experience from fast growth, rapid decline, to complete transformation. In addition to running multiple businesses, Linda is Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Louisville's School of Business, leading and mentoring undergrad and graduate students on their path to business ownership Linda’s superpower is turning strategy into results.