Creation of Customer Experience

The Evidence of Marketing Theory

After last week’s post on what actually makes an idea remarkable from the Marketing perspective of Seth Godin. I tried to find a suitable evidence how a brand had been changed through a vision of just one person, making a brand recognized all over the globe.

Inspired by the dilemma of my personal business-hero-story, I chose Howard Schultz, who made the Starbucks brand  insanely successful and not just for its coffee! After a visit in Italy – seeing all those small, & cosy cafés – his vision started to arise:

“I wanted to blend coffee with romance, to dare to achieve what others said was impossible, to defy the odds with innovative ideas, and to do it all with elegance and style.”
Schultz wrote in his 1997 book, Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time.

Create Customer Value

Like most Marketing professionals like Seth Godin or Guy Kawasaki point out:
You have to create customer value – not just a product. Being remarkable and thus recognized.
Applying that method, Schultz envisioned the “customer experience“  where Starbucks is  “the third place” – people spend their time between home and work.
What he had in mind was definitely beyond the $4 cup of coffee – being more than just a good product.

The Desire for More

Well, Schultz’s vision could have stopped there, but it didn’t. As he told an audience at UCLA in September 2008 in this video, his goal from the start was to build a “different kind of company” – one with a “social conscience” and a “soul.”
His remarkable value lies in a balance between making a profit and being a benevolent employer and a generous part of community.

Schultz incorporated a number of revolutionary concepts others thought financially unwise, including comprehensive health insurance for part-time workers and investing in the communities where it does business. We all know how that turned out – it became a major part of the Starbucks brand.

If you don’t believe me, look at the current SWOT– Analysis of Starbucks, which I found surfing the net. Where I see a lot of Schultz’s points reflected.Especially looking at strenghts!

In short, some major points, I think were most influenced through his vision:

Strengths

      

● High visibility locations to attract customers

● Valued and motivated employees, good work environment

● Good relationships with suppliers

● Industry market leader

● Globalized

● Customer base loyalty

● Product is the last socially accepted addiction

● Widespread and consistent

● Knowledge based

● Strong Board

● Strong financial foundation

I’m curious about your feedback. Feel free to comment.

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5 comments

  1. Very well done. Good content. I appreciate the reference to Seth Godin one of our favorites as well:
    “You have to create customer value – not just a product. Being remarkable and thus recognized.
    Applying that method, Schultz envisioned the “customer experience“ where Starbucks is “the third place” – people spend their time between home and work.
    What he had in mind was definitely beyond the $4 cup of coffee – being more than just a good product”

    When you can provide an “experience” attached to your brand through products and services, you are establishing an essential connection between your brand and your customers!

  2. Excellent topic, and Starbucks is the place to start, because it was such a tremendous advance on what has come before and has paved the way for the newer, more completely interesting coffees and places to enjoy them. Look for Kelefa Sanney, “Sacred Grounds: Aida Battle and the new coffee evangelists,” for what happens when people with savvy marketing go back to the family farm and restructure production, work out problems of production and ramp it up, and then transform markets — our tastes and what we are willing to pay for them. I just looked up “alternatives to Starbucks” and found all sorts shop, roasting, distribution models building on the Starbucks model … examples that you could weave into your existing post and extend its argument considerably. If I were to do that, I next visit one of the Berlin cafes (also discoverable on the web, easily) featuring “fair trade” coffee and ask them what they think about ordering a “tall” from your local Starbucks ersatz World Coffee (not much) and what distinguishes the from the competition. I think starting with a hero is just great, Justinus Pieper has offered us valuable lessons for how this might be done, but to make this live, in our present, we business people probably want to know about emerging patterns, opportunities, etc., and in comparative perspective so we can present options … or?

  3. julesproject · · Reply

    Your blog entry is very convincing, what I like most is, that the employee is brought to the foreground.

    It reminds me of my Business hero “Anita Rodick”, who showed me that commitment and ethics are important elements in the economy.
    To create a customer value it is necessary to build up your company with a “social conscience” and a “soul.” If a good working environment exists then nothing can stand in your way of a further positive development of the company
    Motivated employees will convince the customers to be part of the community and will follow your brand.

  4. […] Creation of Customer Experience « (jules4kotics) […]

  5. Wow, thanks for your fast replies – so sorry for my late response! At the moment, I’m trying to improve in blog writing, so I’m always grateful for advice, discovering different perspectives & comments in any form.
    Found some great posts from Transition Marketing & will definitely visit your page more often. Furthermore, I really appreciate the point Bruce Spear made & will research to broaden this topic. Kelefa Sanney’s article “Sacred Grounds: Aida Battle and the new coffee evangelists” is of great help! While reading her very inspiring & passionate descriptions about different taste & quality of coffee beans like a little romance, detecting that there is so much more potential in that field.
    But I don’t want to take the excitement – my thursday post will reveal more on that topic in more detail 🙂 Not to forget: totally agree with julesproject: “Motivated employees will convince the customers to be part of the community and will follow your brand.”
    Let your employees being the brand ambassadors, working with a smile will convince the customer, feeling comfortable & getting the experience of the brand’s atmosphere.

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