John Moore over at Brand Autopsy has a great set of posts (here is one) on what he learned at Starbucks – some which definitely resonate with my high tech marketing background, others which are confirming what goes behind delivering the experiences that I have been enjoying as a loyal Starbucks customer.
Some of the lessons learned include – “rarely, if ever, can you sprinkle magical branding dust to create an endearing and enduring brand.” – referring to the fact that you need to first and foremost focus on building your business and not your brand. One will flow out of the other – not the other way around.
Another one is – “remarkable business make the common uncommon” – well Starbucks clearly did that!
And in a third post he quotes Howard Schultz, the Starbucks Chairman as saying “If we greet customers, exchange a few words with them and then custom-make a drink exactly to their taste, they will be eager to come back.” He calls it delivering great customer experiences though “touchology” – brilliant!
Like many of you, I have experienced firsthand how powerful the results of those practices can be – both positive as with Starbucks, and negative, as with Brueggers (update since I last posted this: the last time I went there they had virtually no bagels – their excuse: they ran out of dough – that’s like Starbucks running out of coffee beans – unlikely) and many others.
It is amazing to me how many companies are still not focusing on the overall customer experience – which happens through all the customer touch points – advertising, word-of-mouth, product, packaging, service, delivery, repair, etc. It must be too logical for silo-ed companies to understand. Or maybe it’s time to redefine the role of marketing!