As I headed home from the March for Science, I passed Compass Coffee. However, not the Shaw location but the Farragut Square Location. This is what I found!
Digital Archive 1:
Walking into Compass Coffee, here is the view looking to the left. The first thing I notice is the large window letting in natural light. Many businesses, corporations,
Fig. 1. The inside of Compass Coffee; large window with natural light, food and snacks in the fridge under the spotlight
and restaurants alike, use natural light because it has a very calming and peaceful effect on our moods and emotions. Adversly, lack of light can trigger depression. The brain chemical, serotonin, that promotes calmness declines on darker days causing negative moods. Daylight, does the opposite.
Digital Archive 2:
Fig. 2. Compass Coffe store view; merchandise placed near cash register and menu, only standing benches
This is also the view (straight ahead), when you walk in. This Compass Coffee location has no seating, only standing room. Even a table at perfect standing height. This location is meant more for the “grab-and-go” coffee run rather than the “lets sit and talk” kind. Similar to the first archive, Compass Coffee uses light to draw the customer in. In addition to the natural lighting they also have spotlights on the products next to the cash register. When you walk up to order your coffee, your gaze is directed to the merchandise in the spotlight. Since you are checking out, the hope is you will purchase merchandise as an impulse buy.
Digital Archive 3:
This picture was taken right next to the place where you pick up your cup of coffee. First, you see the mural of D.C. with their slogan, “Made in D.C.” written on it. Immediately the customer feels as though they are getting authentic D.C. coffee that is made right there. It is more of a personal relationship with the store, rather than going somewhere like Starbucks, where most people aren’t sure where the coffee is made. Second, the orange and blue compass on the wall right next to the D.C. mural.
Fig. 3. Wall murals; directly in front of the door and behind the coffee pick-up station
In past digital archives I have talked about the significants of the colors in the compass. Placing it on the wall (directly in front of the door) ensures that both these paintings are the first thing that customers see. Having the coffee pick-up station directly in front ensure that this is the last thing customers see. Now, both images are branded in the customers mind with the association of Compass Coffee.
Digital Archive 4:
Fig. 4. The Kitchen; many gallons of milk, free water for customers
Here, the customer is able to see directly into the kitchen. They clearly keep the kitchen spotless. The consumer unconsciously develops a level of respect for the company – just as they would develop a more conscious level of disrespect and repulsion for companies who kitchens are a disaster. In addition, the customer is able to see that they aren’t scarce on materials (i.e., the large number of milk cartons). There is nothing more frustrating than ordering a drink and the company not having enough milk or coffee to make your drink.
Digital Archive 5:
Fig. 5. Coffee grinds at milk station; the logo tells people that it is special to Compass. Since it comes from Compass the consumer also knows it was made locally.
My last digital archive is a picture of the table where you can add your own milk, sugar, honey, or whatever you desire in your coffee. However, it is impossible to customize your drink without looking at the large amount of coffee grounds made by compass on the shelves above. In case you happen not to look up or relatively straight ahead, there is a mini shelf with mini coffee grounds … also for sale. In a store surrounded by merchandise (especially something as imperative as coffee) it is almost impossible to not buy.
Scott, Erica. Compass Coffee Photographs, April 2017, Compass Coffee.