Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I take it all back. Schultz will get it done.

I posted here on December 24th (only semi-tongue-in-cheek) that Starbucks would go Starbust in '08. But with today's news that Howard Schultz has committed to closing down stores for 3 hours of retraining on the brand experience, coupled with yesterday's commitment to bring in AT&T Wifi in place of old school and off-putting TMobile service, I'm officially backing off that view and adding Starbucks back to my watch list. Not ready to buy just yet. But I gotta hand it to Howard for stepping up and doing what needs to be done from the employee interaction/sensory experience out. Excellent and absolutely necessary triage step toward restoring the brand experience at the most critical point of delivery. Will it take more, ongoing work?
Yes. But this is a clear sign that Howard has the apron back on and is serious about getting his hands as dirty as necessary. More companies (and most of us humans) can learn from this humility and willingness to admit and correct mistakes. Go Howard.

1 comment:

gregory said...

watching starbucks from their first store in pike place market to what it is today gives an insight into modern business practices that is actually quite distressing. in ways that i could articulate, but won't here, starbucks, and mr. shultz, are everything that is wrong with the american style of capitalism. in the long run, a souless consumer society is not really a place where one wants to live. it may or may not be good for your pocketbook to invest now in the brand, i think "not", and it may or may not be good for you to drink a lot of their product, i think "not", but as a case in brand dilution, mr. schultz's legacy is set in stone. no matter what he does next.