Howard Schultz’s battle cry email deriding decisions the company has made in order to grow is making the rounds. If you haven’t read it, you can read it here.
He’s concerned Starbucks is in danger of losing its soul, its uniqueness—its remarkability. Howard says the romance and theater of coffee have disappeared from Starbucks stores because Baristas now use push-button machines to make espresso drinks. That stores no longer smell like coffee and that every store looks cookie-cutter.
Howard closes the email by asking his executive team to get smarter about the business and to get more innovative to once again differentiate Starbucks.
*** I am no longer accepting ideas. ***
Thanks to everyone who submitted ideas. The WHAT MUST STARBUCKS DO ebook will be available for download in early April. More to come…
Hmm … since we’ve all been to Starbucks (some of us more than once-a-day), we’re more than qualified to answer the same strategic question Howard asks of his executive team.
So, send me an brandautopsy(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)gmail.com with STARBUCKS in the subject line. Tell me what Starbucks must do to reclaim its uniqueness? To better connect with customers? To become the coffee company it once was?
My plan is to compile your answers into a free ebook. (Of course that’s contingent upon receiving good answers.) So in your responses … don’t ramble. Be brief. Be smart. Be fast. I’d like to have this ebook posted by the end of March.
BLOGGER NOTE: Blatant inspiration from Seth Godin and his What Should Google Do? ebook.