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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Statistics: World Warms to USA, Lowest Tax in 60 Years but Teabaggers Don’t Get It

Views of the US around the world have improved sharply over the past year, a BBC World Service poll suggests. For the first time since the annual poll began in 2005, America’s influence in the world is now seen as more positive than negative. The improved scores for the US coincided with Barack Obama becoming president, a BBC correspondent notes. As in 2009, Germany is viewed most favourably while Iran and Pakistan are seen as the most negative influences.

Taxes at lowest level in 60 years… so why are Tea Partiers angry?
Almost all Tea Party activists have seen their federal income taxes drop over the past few decades, thus Tea Party anger focused on the federal government is misplaced. The financial sector bailouts are also poorly understood by most (not just Tea Partiers). The bailouts imposed stringent requirements on recipients of government funds. The funds were also conditioned upon payment to the government of warrants or senior equity or debt securities (designed to help recoup government losses).

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Ambient: Kit Kat

Kit Kat | Street Posters Chair
Reforçando o conceito “Have a Break” da marca de chocolate Kit Kat, a JWT de Auckland criou alguns pôsteres interativos que foram colocados estrategicamente na entrada de parques e praças onde as pessoas podiam destacar os pedaços e montar uma cadeira em estilo flat-pack para curtir os shows de música com mais conforto.

KitKat: Chair Street Posters (ibelieveinadv.com)
Photos of 100+ different flavors of Kit Kat (boingboing.net)
The Kit Kat Chair Poster Project by JWT NZ (theworldison.blogspot.com)

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Creativity: Out of Print Clothing

I love second hand book shops, and I am also a fan of graphic tees (depasse I know). That’s why I was intrigued by Out of Print Clothing.
With Out of Print Clothing, you can proudly wear some of the world’s great books. Each tee-shirt depicts an iconic or out-of-print book cover ranging from classic to long forgotten covers, yet all are strong images that speak for themselves. (Reminds me of the various Penguin artifacts I own). The company works closely with artists, authors and publishers to license the content that ends up in their collections. Like a well-read book, each shirt’s quality is made to feel soft and worn.

Out of Print T-Shirts (coolhunting.com)

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Eco Friendly is the New Luxury

‘Eco-Friendly’ Replacing Luxury as New Status Symbol
More than twice as many global consumers say they would rather drive an eco-friendly car (67%) than a luxury car (33%), and an even larger percentage would prefer to live in an eco-friendly house (70%) vs. merely a big house (30%), according to results from this year’s goodpurpose study, conducted by PR firm Edelman.These results, Edelman said, indicate that the global tide of conspicuous consumption is turning away from traditional status symbols of the past and moving toward products and brands that support sustainability. Protecting the environment, improving healthcare and reducing poverty are the causes that global consumers care about most:

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Apparel: Hipstery Mystery T-Shirt, Madmen Suits

There are no t-shirt designs to choose from on Hipstery’s site. Instead, customers select a size, pay EUR 17 (plus shipping) and answer a series of questions about themselves. The Hipstery’s ‘style scientists’ run the responses to this quiz through their ‘innovative style algorithm’—both concepts which the site’s irreverent tone would lead us to interpret loosely—to select the right t-shirt from their exclusive range of designs, many of which are out-of-print shirts from small suppliers.
hipstery
You can’t drink Patio diet cola anymore and you probably shouldn’t smoke in your office, but you can still live the “Mad Men” lifestyle by dressing in a new Brooks Brothers suit that is officially endorsed by that hit AMC drama. On Wednesday, Brooks Brothers announced that it would begin selling a limited-edition “Mad Men” suit, designed with the help of the show’s costume designer, Janie Bryant, and inspired by the tailoring favored by Don Draper and Roger Sterling.
madmen suits
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