Posts Tagged ‘starbucks’

A Starbucks Blog?

February 6, 2008

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.


Meatball Sundae Trends 1 and 3

January 22, 2008

I blogged just about a week ago about starting Meatball Sundae, unfortunately I got too bogged down with deadlines to read more, until tonight. Two trends struck me:

Trend #1: Direct communication and commerce between producers and consumers

Here Seth Godin talks about why permission is not up to you (the marketer), my favourite points:

  1. Permissions exists to help me, the moment the messages sent aren’t personal or relevant, you cease to exist in my world
  2. I don’t care about you. Not really, I care about me. If your message has something to do with my life, then perhaps I’ll notice, but in general, don’t expect much
  3. I demand your respect. I can get respect from plenty of organisations, so if you disrespect me (by mistreating me, by breaking your promise, by cheating or lying or by undervaluiing our relationship), then sure, that’s right, you’re history.

I’d say those are the reasons why various feeds are in my Google Reader, and I allow mails from Men’s Health, Amazon,, Facebook and the like to get to me, and almost every other email from clubs are automatically thrown into the spam box. (By the way, Google’s spam algorithm is amazing. I don’t even know why the clubs bother)

Trend #3: Need for an authentic story as the numbers of sources increases

Basically his point here is that whatever your company stands for should be conveyed by everyone, all the time, consistently. This reminded me of one nasty experience at Starbucks, where this staff went around telling anyone who looked like a student “Sorry, no studying in here” even before they sat down. I emailed this in and got a response of remorse, typical politically correct response.

The point here is that it doesn’t matter if Howard Schultz comes out and says that the Starbucks experience is commoditised, or that he intends to return it to its roots. As long as that isn’t believed, communicated and executed on by every single touchpoint in the company, it fails.

On a minor note, Seth also mentions John Moore over at Brand Autopsy as someone worth reading, and it humbles me that John took the time to reply to one of my posts that referenced him. After all, an SMU student probably doesn’t compare much to the people he rubs shoulders with!