I still remember those times I used to talk about “Brands”, “power of branding” and the importance of a competitive edge to sustain in the rather turbulent, uncertain business world. A few names always used to be on top of my mind when writing/talking/discussing these issues and Starbucks never missed the list; it was usually up there, among really very few other brands, that seem to go all out tugging at caffeine-addicted hearts of some millions of people.
Starbucks is yet another International brand that “puts people first” – everything is about you, as if the coffee has been brewed after you sauntered into one of its many coffee shops. As if that wasn’t enough, you will not get the “Starbucks” anywhere else.
Now, check out My Starbucks Idea where Starbucks has a singular focus – to brainstorm and gain ideas from its own customers ( that just busted the bloated egos of thousands of marketing departments and senior managements suffering from a “no show” profit statement). Why listen to suits and ties while they have nothing much to contribute and they have to get paid for it while Starbucks customers are “screaming” with ideas pouring forth – all for free?
Consider the latest deal Starbucks made with Foursquare. Location based services, happen to be the latest phenomenon with the power to bring many more customers into enterprising brick-and-mortar establishments which took the trouble to understand how Foursquare works and how these business could tap into the “Twitter like” potential the former has.
Are you following Starbucks on Twitter? An unbelievable 890,000 odd “people already follow Starbucks and there just doesn’t seem to be anything that would make that number shrink. Now, that’s almost a trend, isn’t it?
Starbucks is certainly capitalizing on the power social media is slowly, but surely, rising to become. What can your business learn from it? If a coffee chain can strengthen in brand, boost its sales, create fans, invoke ideas straight from customers and get more in terms of competitive edge; where are all the other companies?