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Posts Tagged ‘Starbucks’

Starbucks or Save?

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

This is the question that haunts us on early mornings five days a week. On one hand if you saved five dollars every day, that could really add up! One the other hand, five dollars is a small price to pay for happiness…

Or could it be that it’s not even the taste or caffeine that you want, but rather you want something to hold. Let’s face it, people are more confident with a drink in their hand. Alcohol? yes—but your morning coffee shop drink can have some similar effects. Just like a singer who has never had a mic stand before, there’s comfort in holding on. Having a Starbucks drink in hand does a lot for a person—all of a sudden they’re caffeinated, part of a club, more proficient in their skills, and five years older.

So, when you go to choose if you’ll be settling for your Keurig or embracing that five-dollar Pumpkin Spice latte (or whatever your drink of choice may be), you’re really deciding who you want to be that day.

Maybe this should be considered in terms of your return on investment. If that Starbucks drink will motivate you to work harder which in turn pushes you towards success, you might make more money that way than you ever would have by saving your daily coffee spend. Or if you invested that Starbucks money right now, and make your own coffee for the rest of your life, you might be able to retire early. It’s certainly something to ponder…

But, in the end regardless of your opinions on this debated topic, you’ll still be in the Starbucks drive through on Monday. Happy Drinking!

Starbucks is discontinuing its best product – the original coffee shop experience.

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

There are a lot of places to grab a good, quick cup of coffee; and Starbucks is certainly one of them. However, Starbucks’ skyrocket to success wasn’t a result of its coffee. Since opening in 1971, Starbucks was inherently different from most coffee shops because it focused on creating a community experience and human connection. Howard Schultz’s (Starbucks chairman and long-time CEO) vision for Starbucks was a place for conversation and a sense of community. A third place between work and home. And the mission of Starbucks is ‘to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.’

For years, this idea of focusing on the customer experience and human connection was evident in Starbucks locations throughout the world. In 2008, Annamarie Ausnes, a regular Starbucks customer who suffered from polycystic kidney disease was in need of a kidney transplant. Her Starbucks barista, Sandie Andersen, noticed a change in Annamarie’s sunny disposition. Usually, Annamarie was friendly and upbeat; sharing stories of her grandchildren and even bringing Sandie vacation souvenirs. When Sandie asked what was wrong, Annamarie shared her story and need for a kidney. Sandie immediately got a blood test, and when she found out she was a match, told Annamarie that she wanted to donate her kidney. A few months later, the kidney transplant was a success!

But Starbucks has begun to lose sight of its fundamental roots that are responsible for its success – good coffee and a human connection. Today, the focus on relationships and customer experience is taking a back seat to convenience and speed. The main objective has become ‘how quickly can we get customers through the line’ with very little interaction between customer and barista. This has only been intensified by mobile ordering, which further moves the “experience” to focus on convenience. Now a customer doesn’t even have to talk to an actual person to get a coffee – how is that inline with the mission of inspiring and nurturing the human spirit?

Starbucks has not only lost sight of its focus on the experience, but also its commitment to its core products. Starbucks coffee is coveted because of its reputation for being a quality, high-end, valuable product. However, through its newest promotions, Starbucks has offered its prized coffee to customers for free with the purchase of non-fundamental menu items, such as sandwiches. What kind of message does it send to give away a prime product that was once viewed as valuable, all to promote an average breakfast sandwich? If the coffee is so invaluable that it can be given away for free, how can Starbucks continue to justify its higher industry prices?

If a consumer wants a breakfast sandwich and coffee fast, why wouldn’t they just go to McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts or any of the other countless fast food options focused on speed and convenience over quality and customer experience? Without the commitment to customers and human connections, Starbucks is no longer a treasured community experience – its just another humdrum fast food joint that will start to seem severely overpriced, without its unique vibe and prime product status.

Brands that Rock

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Last week Google released its social networking tool, Google+, winning most of the headlines in social media marketing news as Facebook’s latest competition in social networking. Google+ has a leg up on Facebook with more advanced features and placing more control over information sharing in the hands of the user. But without a means for brands to engage with Google+ users, Facebook remains king of social media marketing.

We want to break it down for our Piehole readers and pay tribute to some brands that we think do Facebook right. These brands understand social media as an opportunity to connect with their followers in unique and inspiring ways. Some of these brands are iconic, some are local, but they all have one thing in common: we love to follow and interact with them.

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