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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Starbucks Free WiFi (Finally) Just as Broadband Demand Slows

Starbucks is not just offering its customers free wi-fi on the hazy notion that if they spend more time surfing the Web they will drink more coffee. No, the ubiquitous coffee shop retailer has plans to debut the second piece to its digital strategy this fall, which offers a more clear monetization path for it and its partners. Called the Digital Network, Starbucks intends to offer exclusive and premium content from such providers as Apple, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and health publisher Rodale.

Broadband Adoption Generally Slows
After several consecutive years of modest but consistent growth, broadband adoption slowed dramatically in 2010, according to [pdf] the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Two-thirds of American adults (66%) currently use a high-speed internet connection at home, a figure that is not statistically different from what the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found at a similar point in 2009, when 63% of Americans were broadband adopters.

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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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Partnerships: Foursquare v Starbucks, Courvoisier v Daily Show

Foursquare Lands New Partnership With Starbucks
Starbucks is partnering with location-based social network Foursquare to offer discounts to its most loyal customers, Mashable reports. The “mayor” of each Starbucks location — the person who has checked-in there on Foursquare the most — is entitled to $1 off of any Frappuccino. It’s a one-time offer, lasting only for the next month, but Foursquare says it is confident that it will continue working with Starbucks on more offers in the future.

Courvoisier, the UK’s number one selling cognac, is to become the first sponsor of More4’s The Daily Show. The deal, brokered by ZenithOptimedia, forms part of a £15m investment in Courvoisier in the UK this year by its owner Maxxium. It will comprise a series of idents screened from 2 June for a whole year, aimed at promoting Courvoisier as a mixable and versatile drink for cocktails and punch. The move follows its 3D advertising campaign on Channel 4 in November.
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POS: Mobile, Cameras

The new POS: Mobile
It’s the ad served while you are reading the news in the morning on an e-reader that knows you’re at home and three blocks from a Starbucks. It’s a loyalty program on your phone that, through a hotel-room sensor, sets the lights and thermostat and turns the TV to CNN when you walk in the door. It’s finding a restaurant in a strange city on a Tuesday night, discovering that a store nearby stocks the TV you’re looking for, or that a certain grocery on the way home has the cut of meat you need.  Forget Foursquare or Gowalla: Soon every website and service will be able to tell where you are, opening up the floodgates for location-based marketing and blurring the budget lines for advertisers. “What used to be called point-of-purchase is now called mobile advertising,” said Kip Cassino, VP-research at Borrell Associates. “Mobile can be an extension of a retailer’s storefront.”
There is a growing number stores deploying video cameras, motion detectors and other sensors – some hidden, some overt – but all doing more than merely monitoring aisles for shoppers. Increasingly, whether customers realize it or not, and often they don’t, this technology is being used to study consumers for behavior, shopping and product preferences and other insights that will lead to more marketing opportunities and increase sales, according to the New York Times.
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Social Media: Adversaries, Ambassadors

Us vs them is one of the oldest, and most powerful marketing ideas. Apple is a quintessential example: from their beginnings they’ve portrayed themselves as the small guy against the big powerful bully. In 1983 it was IBM and more recently its been Microsoft. The company turns customers into evangelists who are more than happy to spread the word about the good fight, but how exactly does it work?


Starbucks Gets Its Business Brewing Again With Social Media ambassadors
Starbucks posted its first U.S. same-store sales gain in two years for the last quarter during a time when the company relied on digital and social-media promotions instead of what had become an annual TV blitz. The chain partnered with Pandora to sponsor holiday playlists, staged a Facebook sing-a-long and leveraged its partnership with Project RED to drive traffic to a dedicated microsite — and its stores, offering a free CD with a $15 purchase.

Photo Credit: Ivan Marquez

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Brands: Google ousts Coke, BK serves Starbucks, Coronation Street extensions

Google Ousts Coke as World’s Second-Most Valuable Brand
Google has become the world’s second-most valuable brand, just behind Wal-Mart, having ousted Coca-Cola from the No. 2 spot, according to analysts Brand Finance. Google jumped from No. 5 last year to No. 2 in this year’s Brand Finance evaluation.
Coca-Cola lost to Google, falling to the No. 3 spot, in part because the soft drink is not as powerful in developing countries as it used to be, writes Metro. “Coke is on a long term decline unless it can reinvent itself,” David Haigh, chief executive of Brand Finance, says.Wal-Mart has a brand value of $41.4 billion, followed by Google with $36.2 billion and Coca-Cola with $34.8 billion, writes MediaBuyerPlanner.

By September, Seattle’s Best coffee (owned by Starbucks) will be served at 7,250 Burger King restaurants in the US. (OK so not actually Starbucks, but I had a headline to think about. Well done for makimg it this far down the page). The 100% Arabica bean coffee will replace the current BK Joe offerings, and will range in price from $1 to $2.79 with the option to add vanilla, mocha flavors or whipped toppings. BK’s move recognizes the importance of coffee to restaurant menus of every kind, including fast food’s, particularly in light of McDonald’s McCafe concept. It also signals expansion of the Seattle’s Best brand as one part of Starbucks’ future growth strategy – in light of its advantageous mass appeal. Seattle’s Best also inked a deal this past September with Subway, serving its coffee at 9,000 Subway restaurants in the US and Canada.

Burger King To Partner With Starbucks’ (BKC, SBUX, MCD) (benzinga.com)
Burger King Revamps Coffee, Eyes Menu Rehab (abcnews.go.com)
Seattle’s Best Coffee Coming to Burger King (friendseat.com)
Burger King to team up with Seattle’s Best (money.cnn.com)
Starbucks’ Seattle’s Best Coffee brand partners with Burger King (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
Burger King to start offering Seattle’s Best Coffee drinks (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
Burger King revamps coffee, eyes menu rehab (sfgate.com)
New Burger King Menu Features Starbucks Coffee, More Breakfast Options (huffingtonpost.com)

Retailers will be stocking Cor onation Street-branded products to mark the 50th anniversary of the ITV soap. From next month, fans will be able to play a Nintendo Wii game featuring their favourite characters. They will also be able to tuck in to Corrie-branded food. Holland’s Pies is launching Betty’s Hot Pots, named after veteran barmaid character Betty Turpin‘s pies, which will be sold in supermarkets.
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