What Is the Purpose of Business?

The recent “Race Together” initiative from Starbucks — and the criticism it generated — requires us to reflect on the purpose of business.

Continue Reading

“Oh … Milk!”: Is This the Solution to the Customer Interaction Puzzle?

What Occured and the Experience of What Occured 

In the last post I shared with a customer interaction that took place at Starbucks. If you are to get value out of this conversation it is necessary for you to go and read that last post. Before we proceed, I feel compelled to issue a warning: this post is not for those whose attention span is limited to 30 seconds.

Continue Reading

Would You Like a Coffee with That Wi-Fi?

Once upon a time, Wi-Fi was a novelty in coffee shops. It was an unexpected bonus that we encountered when patronizing certain Starbucks or some other forward-looking establishments.]

But what was once a delight if found has become a disappointment if not found, or not working, or not free. Now any self-respecting coffee shop wouldn’t be caught without free Wi-Fi.

Continue Reading

Starbucks Loyalty Fail

Starbucks knows a thing or two about loyalty. I’m a Gold Card member, and enjoy the free refills as well as the periodic free drinks I accrue by using it. (Green Card members get the refill benefit, but not the free beverage after every 15 purchases. In addition, Gold Card members get a personalized card in that color and, theoretically, are addressed by name by the baristas.)

Continue Reading

Starbucks: Venti Plans for Micro Loans

The micro-lending revolution, which made it possible for community-based lending institutions to bundle together micro-donations of $25 into loans for entrepreneurs in emerging markets, is making its way to your local Starbucks.

Continue Reading

Starbucks 3.0 – A Retail Experience

(This is the second in a mini-series of reviews of retail concepts that have caught my eye. Yesterday I introduced 77kids in Times Square, today it’s Starbucks in Seattle, and tomorrow will review one last example of what makes a store more than a store – a real experience.)

Continue Reading

The Land of Lost Brands

Though I often like to riff on smart or silly marketing decisions, I'm more interested in the business strategy behind brands. In considering Dell and Starbucks, I'd have to say that both companies are utterly and somewhat similarly lost

Continue Reading

Starbucks and 'Lean Retailing' Innovation

Throughout 2009, Starbucks has been making waves about how much it is changing in response to new consumer spending patterns.

First, it was the announcement that it planned to revisit the pricing of its coffee and baked goods and go back to basics with the re-introduction of Pike's Place coffee.

Continue Reading

A Starbucks by Any Other Name

A new local coffee-shop called "15th Avenue Coffee and Tea" is opening this week on Seattle's Capitol Hill, only it's not new, nor is it local. It's a test concept from Starbucks that, if successful, could appear in other markets.

Continue Reading

Starbucks & Saks

by: Jonathan Salem Baskin

As the economic meltdown continues to challenge our very premises about brands and selling, I'm intrigued to watch two well-known names respond to our dire circumstances in somewhat similar ways.

Continue Reading
Subscribe to RSS - Starbucks