John Moore over at Brand Autopsy tells us why Starbucks Must Blog. And I’m inclined to agree with him, but I think besides the very real business concerns, there is a bigger why:
Clearly, Starbucks was ahead of the curve with tapping into satisfying the consumer need of a Third Place—a place besides home and work where people could form community. But consumers have evolved from needing a Third Place to needing a Third Space. This Third Space includes social media spaces like blogs, vlogs, podcasts, Twitter, and many more. These are spaces where meaningful online communities are forming.
I’ve had my share of unpleasant experiences at Starbucks, and I admit if I send in an email, I get an apologetic reply (and a free cup of coffee). But sometimes I really want to send an email back saying “Do you really think just that free cup of coffee is going to gain back that loyalty from me?”
Starbucks’s unwillingness to engage the public and blogosphere is unfortunate, but not surprising (Apple’s Social Media Hell, anyone?). Just two days ago I was talking about social media and blogging to an older professional, and blogs were instantly dismissed (perhaps due in part to the state of local blogging here in Singapore).
To quote John Johansen’s comment: It’s going to be an uphill battle for the foreseeable future
How sad that I’m writing this while having breakfast at a Starbucks.