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Collaboration or Competition? How about Coopetition.

Coopetition is a hybrid of the words collaboration and competition. The Oxford dictionary describes coopetition as a collaboration between business competitors, in the hope of mutually beneficial results.


Coopetition looks at the market both vertically and horizontally; vertically coopetition recognizes competitors as also being suppliers. Horizontally, it recognizes that certain companies may have different market penetration rates.

Companies are starting to look into this idea of coopetition because markets are becoming more complex. By complementing instead of competing, companies open up doors for growth for both parties. Customers are no longer committing to a single brand or company, they are looking for the combination of solutions that are the most convenient and efficient. By combining the expertise and complementary strengths of multiple companies in the same market, a more complete solution is made for the customer.


Coffee Cup Collective is doing just that. We are a catalyst of coopetition between coffee shops. Currently, many coffee shops are looking for ways to reduce their environmental footprint and waste production. When evaluating their largest source of waste they are faced with the disposable coffee cup, lid, and sleeve. Now, there are many routes to take to combat this.


Coffee shops currently and in the past have tried to mitigate their waste in a few ways, these options have not proven very effective. To start, many cafes have offered a discount for reusable cups to encourage their customers to use their own. The second is selling their own reusable cup sold with a subscription of coffee (i.e. free drip coffee in that cup for a year).

Blue Bottles offers reusable cup.

Finally, coffee shops offer reusable cups for purchase. All of these options, however, are unique to each individual coffee shop. So what happens when the customer visits three different cafes in one week? Unless they remember their personal reusable cup each time, there is no environmental benefit or standard operation for using their reusable cup.


Now this is where Coffee Cup Collective comes into play. Coffee Cup Collective is a third party service that allows competing coffee shops to cooperate under one reusable cup program. Customers do not have to limit themselves to a single coffee shop to check-out and return a reusable cup and receive a discounted drink. Customers instead are now able to subscribe to a service that unites a variety of coffee shops, cafes, and bakeries in Boston that are working towards the same goals. Coffee Cup Collective is working towards minimizing the challenges of being environmentally and sustainably conscious by combining all the benefits of cooperation and competition between coffee shops.

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