You should not focus on being a better Starbucks or QuickChek. You should focus on certain aspects of competition in the coffee industry. You must pick and choose where and when your efforts will be most effective in specific areas. These areas of focus will support your signature drink. Starbucks and QuickChek offer two different, but equally effective strategies to develop areas of focus and promote a signature drink.

Initially, both companies had to follow the same basic steps of establishing areas of focus. This means consistently observing and analyzing customer preference and trends in the industry. These trends are stocks in the market and you must determine the most likely investments by your customers. Keep track of what sells, who buys it, and ask how this can improve. Find out why regulars who don't partake of the coffee don't partake. This would be a good opportunity to explore new flavors.

QuickChek, Corp. determined that an area of focus for them should be a new blend of coffee. Their strategy is to create its Reserve Blend that comes from a slightly darker roasted bean than their other coffees. They promote their new signature drink on two fronts: 1) for a limited introductory period, any size cup, purchased between 4 a.m. and 11 a.m. until Oct. 5, will be only 99 cents, and 2) the beans are harvested from sustainable sources in Brazil and Colombia, countries that receive support to protect the soil and the surrounding environment, provide farmers with low-interest loans, and guarantee better working conditions.

Starbucks chose flavors and packaging, and their signature drinks are also promoted on two fronts: 1) seasonal flavors and availability, and 2) signature seasonal packaging. Their winter season kicks off Nov. 1 with the distribution of their seasonal red cups, and their pumpkin spice, gingerbread, and peppermint mocha lattes.

You may also experience some success if you offer customers a comparable flavor that is great tasting and less expensive. You could introduce the Spicy Jack-o-Latte in opposition to the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks. Present it in a singular display complete with decorated cup dispenser, organizer for condiments and sugar, and a chilling chiller for milk and other dairy products.