When our Keurig coffee maker breaks (which I think will be in the next week) mrDiva and I will probably buy a new one. I know it’s about to break because it’s displaying the same symptoms our previous four Keurigs had before they broke irreparably. Yup, this is going to be our fifth Keurig in ten years. While a few of those were warranty replacements, we paid for most of them.
Why do we keep buying a product that is clearly low quality? It’s not because we think of it as disposable. Actually, when I pay $75-$100 for an appliance, I expect it to last more than 2 years. My parents had a cheap coffeemaker that lasted what seemed like my entire childhood.
So why, oh why, do we keep buying replacements? Because it is otherwise a perfect product for us. Here’s why:
- It requires zero cleaning.
- It makes one cup of coffee at a time, which means I can have decaf and mrDiva can have regular.
- It requires very little maintenance.
Plus, as another incentive, I have about $100 of k-cups in my pantry right now (some because we’re nuts about trying weird flavors and some because I needed a 5th Subscribe and Save item a few months ago on Amazon) – this stuff is sticky!
Mark Zuckerberg said, “if you’re building a product that people love, you can make a lot of mistakes,” and I think that’s a great insight. I used to think of it in the context of a startup – as you are finding product/market fit and iterating past your MVP, you can mess up as you learn things.
But this is a more interesting case – I’m totally willing to settle for a product that isn’t meeting one of my basic requirements (coffee uptime!) because it is otherwise so compelling. And the cost of switching (the investment in k-cups and the time to research) just isn’t worth it.
So, here we go again. Another year, another new coffee maker.