[First in a series of posts on Starbucks Tribal Knowledge]
Starbucks never sought to create a brand. The company was too busy being a business than trying to be a brand.
Starbucks was too busy building a viable and profitable business to think about something as seemingly trivial as branding. Starbucks was too busy sourcing and roasting the highest-quality coffee beans to think about branding. Starbucks was too busy educating customers on how and why they should appreciate a stronger, bolder cup, more flavorful cup of coffee to think about branding. Starbucks was too busy creating a comforting and welcoming place for people to exhale to think about branding.
And because Starbucks was busy working on and working in the business, they built a business, of which, the by-product was the creation of a strong brand.
Starbucks teaches us that rarely, if ever, can you sprinkle magical branding dust to create an endearing and enduring brand.
But that doesn’t stop companies from trying. Instead of spending money to improve the functionality of a product, the quality of services offered, or enhancing the customer’s experience, many companies will attempt to build a brand by throwing money into multi-million dollar mass advertising brand image campaigns.
These companies fail to realize that your business is your brand.
Starbucks Tribal Knowledge tells us you cannot create a brand before you create a business. Your business creates your brand. Your brand should never create your business.