Redesigning the Coffee Shop


Coffee shop owners say they are failing to turn a profit because remote workers spend too much time in their cafés without spending a lot of money. 

++ UPDATE: Barbara Kahn and I will discuss this topic on April 11, 2018 at 5:30 ET on her Wharton Business Radio show Marketing Matters.++

On Monday, March 11, 2018 I will be talking to a number of CBC radio morning shows about some of the fascinating sociological and marketing implications of this recent marketplace phenomenon.

Topics that I will discuss include

  • how consumer researchers use ethnography and other methods to reveal the hidden meanings of commercial spaces,

  • the history of coffeeshops as a social space and as a workplace,

  • negotiations about what is a public or private space for consumption, 

  • the presentation of the consumer self in everyday life,

  • the marketplace history and politics of nomadic work,

  • commercial spaces as sites of class/ethnic/intergenerational identity and struggle,

  • how experience designers draw on stories and materiality (e.g, light, sound, furniture, temperature, product, people etc.) to shape commercial spaces (and influence our behavior and choices as consumers),

  • and to shape our sense of time,

  • the techniques coffee shop owners can now use to more subtly change consumer perceptions of time,

  • and how consumers who co-create experiential reality frequently resist and undermine these efforts.

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 No Laptops - Source: The Barn Coffee Roasters Berlin (click to visit their website)

No Laptops - Source: The Barn Coffee Roasters Berlin (click to visit their website)

Interview Schedule (EST)


Markus Giesler

York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Canada

Markus Giesler draws on concepts from economics, technology studies, and sociology to inform his research in marketing. He determines how ideas and things (products, services, experiences, technological innovations, intellectual property, brands, etc.) are made valuable over time, with research focused on improving marketing strategy through an understanding of markets as evolving social systems. Giesler's research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the European Research Council (ERC) and published in top-tier academic journals such as the Journal of Consumer Research and the Journal of Marketing. Giesler has an extensive entertainment industry background. He founded his own record label at age 17 and has worked in various production and marketing responsibilities for over a decade. He lives in Toronto, Canada.