Howard Schultz: “Onward”

So Howard’s people sent me a review copy of his book today. One assumes that reaching out to marketing bloggers was part of the launch strategy (I’m all in favor of that!) I was also interested to see copies of his book floating around Starbucks outlets (hey, if you have a massive retail footprint, why not use it?)

I confess I have not yet read the book but please check back for some deathless prose on the subject!

Here’s the blurb:

ONWARD
How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul
by Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks
March 29, 2011, Rodale

In 2008, Howard Schultz made the unprecedented decision to return as the CEO eight years after he stepped down from daily oversight of the company and became chairman. Concerned that the Starbucks experience had been compromised by its quest for growth, Schultz was determined to help it return to its core values and restore its financial health. In ONWARD, he shares the remarkable story of his return and the company’s ongoing transformation under his leadership, revealing how, during one of the most tumultuous economic times in history, Starbucks again achieved profitability and sustain­ability.

Schultz not only had to act fast and aggressively on a global scale, but had to look in the mirror, confront the company’s blemishes and search for answers to such hard questions as:

·    How can you evolve your brand—especially an iconic one—to be relevant to a new age while being true to its roots?
·    How can you grow a company without losing an intimate relationship with each customer
·    How can you revive your employees’ passion for your company’s founding principles?

There was no easy roadmap and plenty of risks. From a leaked memo that exposed Starbucks’ troubles to the world, to the costly decision to close all Starbucks stores for a day of retraining, to introducing an aggressive pipeline of new innovations to land the next blockbuster offering, ONWARD takes readers through the tough decisions and painful steps of a turnaround that should inspire anyone to reinvent themselves and triumph against the odds.

Well alright then! Sounds like a page-turner. In general I am an admirer of Starbucks marketing, so I think I will make a valiant attempt to read it.

To show what a stand-up guy I am, and as a thanks to Howie for the book, here’s a link to buy it on Amazon.

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Too Effing Modern: Location Based, Crowdsourcing

Location based social networks are the current darling of social media. Foursquare is leading the way with what seems like a new Fourtune 500 endorsement each week. It is unclear where all these tools will lead us. Foursquare, Gowalla, Whrrl, and even MyTown are getting a lot of attention and a lot of businesses, big and small, are experimenting.So let’s take a moment and capture what all has been done with these tools to date. How are big brands testing the space? What are brick and mortars playing with? Nothing earth shattering here, but the more businesses experiment in the space, the more we all learn.
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Advertising: Christians v Atheists

Christians respond to atheists with pro-God campaigns
A number of Christian groups have responded to last month’s bus sides by an atheist group declaring “There is probably no God” by launching their own counter campaigns. The original £130,000 campaign by the British Humanist Association (BHA) was backed by ‘The God Delusion‘ author Richard Dawkins and ran on 800 buses and 1000 tube cards.

christian-bus-adatheist-bus-ad

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