The Spring/Summer issue from KNOW Magazine has an interview with Howard Schultz, Starbucks grand poo bah. It’s a way worthy read as Howard shares his insights on the importance of businesses connecting emotionally with consumers. Enjoy this snippet:
KNOW asks: How do you explain this need by consumers for emotional connection?
HOWARD says: The fracturing of our humanity, fracturing of trust in public institutions and corporations has created significant cynicism. However, people want to be a part of something that they can believe in. They want to be associated with a product or service that they can rely on. Companies that are serving these emotional and human needs of the customers will really stand out amidst this cynical backdrop.
KNOW asks: You built Starbucks without traditional advertising and marketing spending; we are particularly interested in your views regarding the loud industry voice that the marketing mix needs to shift…and that many nontraditional vehicles are the wave of the future, like product placement or orchestrated word of mouth.
HOWARD says: Let me answer it with a story from a recent speech. I asked the audience how many were wearing a Live Strong bracelet from Lance Armstrong’s charity or how many non-Bostonians in the room were rooting for the Red Sox to win the World Series. The theme is that people want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to be part of something that touches their hearts. T
The art of marketing today is the ability to build this emotional connection. I am not going to tell people where they should be spending their money, but I would advise that all marketing be authentic, and relate to reaching into people’s hearts to let them know that you want to be part of their life.
At Starbucks, we have integrated ourselves in a way that is very different than selling a cup of coffee. We have an emotional relationship with our customers. It’s not one thing, but a lot of things. It’s not good enough to have a good ad, but everything you do helps complete the circle…the packaging, the community involvement, the service all help build that emotional connection.