Starbucks “Stealth” Stores, McCafe Halo…

Starbucks has ditched its branding on three trial stores and redesigned them to resemble independent local cafes. The trial, which is running in the coffee giant’s home city of Seattle, uses the address of the cafe in its branding. For example one is called 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea. In addition the products sold are also non-branded. Starbucks senior vice president Tim Pfeiffer said the new stores aimed to reflect the local community more than the chain’s regular stores currently did. One of the trial outlets will feature poetry readings and live music.
starbucks escher
Photo Credit: Bean Activist

Starbucks Credits McD’s, Cost Savings for Sales Improvement
Starbucks Coffee Co. appears to be coming out of freefall — thanks, in part, to marketing by McDonald’s. In a third-quarter-earnings call this afternoon, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz credited margin improvements, cost savings and attention brought to the category by its rival’s big-budget McCafe launch with helping to improve Starbucks’ same-store sales. The chain’s same-store sales fell 6% during its fiscal third quarter in the U.S., but that still bests the prior quarter, when same-store sales were down 8%.

mccafe

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Social Media linked to Financial Success … but not every CEO needs to be a Social Media Star

Social Media Engagement Directly Linked to Financial Success
Starbucks is the world’s #1 most socially engaged brand and is reaping financial rewards as a result of its intense participation in social media, according to an analysis of the engagement levels of the top 100 global brands. The ENGAGEMENT db study claims to be the first to show a measurable correlation between higher levels of social engagement and superior financial performance.

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Laurel Papworth

Good point well made by Judy Shapiro: “Not every communications challenge is a nail to be whacked by the social-media hammer. Its cool but its not for everyone”
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Amazon v Zappos, Kindle v 1984, B&N v Kindle

Amazon.com today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Zappos.com. a leader in online apparel and footwear sales that strives to provide shoppers with the best possible service and selection. The acquisition brings together two companies who share a passion for serving customers and whose customers benefit from cultures of innovation and long term thinking.
Sneakers
This incident is indicative of what kinds of trouble can emerge when we reframe “content” as “service.” As numerous pundits have noted, the physical book analogy would be Amazon breaking into your home and taking away a book you’d purchased (leaving you a refund on your desk, of course). But a Kindle book isn’t a physical book–it’s a service, one that (as the Kindle license makes clear) you don’t really own.
Barnes and Noble just revealed that it’s upcoming e-reader is the one from Plastic Logic that we’ve long heard about. Which means the Kindle may have a decent competitor on the scene. After all, Plastic Logic’s e-reader is the most interesting-looking and sounding one yet–it’s design is super-minimalist thanks to its touchscreen, it’s supposedly a very slender device indeed, and it has a whopping 8.5 by 11-inch electronic ink display that rivals the Kindle DX’s. Its built to support the EPub format, also used by Sony, which is how B&N plans on releasing the texts from its e-bookstore.
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Starbucks Quatily

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That’s So Obama, Twitter Brands, Duffel Coat, PI&C, Starbucks v Oprah, Obama v Atari, Shiner, Audi

New Slang
Each year ushers in a bevy of new words you might hear and may even want to use (though you may choose to do so sparingly). 2009 ushers in a vocabulary inspired by pop culture and technology, and here are a few of the favorites heard from the streets, our bloggers, and Gen Ys who know…

My top vote?

Obama/Not Obama
adj. London street reporters proclaim that our new President has become synonymous with “cool”
“Yeah, that is so Obama!”

obama-shark-oops-too-cool

40 of the Best Twitter Brands and the People Behind Them
Mashable highlights the 40 best brand accounts on Twitter — including Ford, Jet Blue, Hertz and Home Depot — and the people behind them. Well, behind 38 of them. The only two identities Mashable doesn’t get to the bottom of are of the people behind the Burger King and Popeyes Chicken accounts. That is, if the Popeyes Twitterer is indeed a person. The BK Twitterer goes by “King,” but as Popeyes VP-Communications and PR Alicia Thompson told Mashable’s Jennifer Van Grove, “The author of the Twitter character is too chicken to share his real identity.” She added that he or she (or it) sees Twitter, “as a way to stay abreast of what our consumers are up to, and to get a leg up on the competition.” Groan.

The Duffel Coat Crosses The Atlantic
Say it ain’t so! If you wore a duffel coat in my day complete strangers would come up and take the piss!

PI&C Collective Adds Wilmot
Senior creative Logan Wilmot has become a partner at Domenico Vitale’s new strategic and creative collective here known as People Ideas & Culture. Wilmot joins as co-founder and chief idea architect — the same titles that Vitale holds. He’ll be based in London and lead creative efforts at the new shop. “Logan’s unique experience, coupled with his leading our European presence, further proves our commitment to this new era in global communications,” said Vitale. PI&C will offer clients access to a pool of talent in advertising, fashion, music, content and Web creation, blogging, events and public relations. Some of it will be in-house, but PI&C will also tap outsiders when needed. PI&C will partner with New York design shop Bond to service clients. Bond, headed by director of design Joe Doucet, has taken a minority stake in PI&C and PI&C, led by chief idea architect Vitale, has taken a minority stake in Bond. The new operation opened this month.

Starbucks’ Volunteer Push Gets Boost From ‘Oprah Effect’
Starbucks’ campaign to promote volunteerism (and store traffic) got a huge bump today from no less than Oprah Winfrey — and by extension, Barack Obama. The talk-show host talked up the java giant’s “I’m In” campaign, which encourages consumers to pledge five hours of community service before the end of the year. Those who commit to doing so at Starbucks between now and Sunday will be rewarded with a free coffee.

Obama Staff Arrives to White House Stuck in Dark Ages of Technology
After running “the most technologically savvy presidential campaign in history,” President Obama’s staffers encountered “a jumble of disconnected phone lines, old computer software, and security regulations forbidding outside e-mail accounts” on their first day at their new jobs. “It is kind of like going from an Xbox to an Atari,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton.

Shiner Beats Heinie
The idea came from McGarrah Jessee, Shiner Bock’s agency, which is in Austin, (near Shiner, home of the annual three-day Austin City Limits festival). The festival is sponsored by Heineken, and for those three days only Heineken and a few other are sold. “We were trying to think of inexpensive and cool ways to get into that arena,” says McGarrah’s Beau Hanson. What they came up with were koozies, or can coolers, and they produced 10,000 of them. The koozies looked exactly like cans of Shiner. So when a koozie was slipped over a can of another brand it would look as though that person was drinking a Shiner Bock. As patrons entered the festival, people from the agency were there handing them koozies. “People love koozies, especially when they’re free. They were gone in like four minutes, giant boxes, thousands. ” Standing back, looking at the entire crowd, it looked to the whole world like a lot of people were drinking Shiner Bock.

Audi Pre-Roll Ad has 70 Million Views
Audi, as the exclusive sponsor of the live webcast of Obama Inauguration CBSNews.com, MSNBC.com, ABCNews.com and the WashingtonPost.com, had expected 30 million views of its pre-roll advertisement titled “Progress.” Beet.TV has been told by a spokesperson for Audi USA that the pre-roll has been watched nearly 70 million times. Here’s the breakdown of views of the ad on the various sites provided by Audi: ABCNews.com, 15.9 million, CBSNews.com, 11.4 million; MSNBC.com, 16.3 million;The WashingtonPost, 14 million; Slate, 9 million and the Atlantic.com, 1.7 million.

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Social Media: How To Use Twitter, Top 25 Free eBooks

eBooks are an essential part of internet marketing from a standpoint of providing solid information on a given subject matter. eBooks are normally sold throughout the internet marketing world along with free versions that are meant as an additional value to the visitor or potential customer.
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Unsnobbycoffee, Moss Art

  • While Starbucks has cut jobs and stores this year, McDonald’s has been launching regional marketing to roll out its new specialty coffee drinks. In Seattle, the chain zeros in on coffee aficionados with its website, unsnobbycoffee.com. There, users can stage an intervention for friends who are “addicted to snobby iced espresso.” As Ad Age food reporter Emily Bryson York explains, it might take more than savings for McDonald’s to convert Seattle’s java elite.
  • dirty mcdonalds

  • It’s Nice That points us to a lovely bit of public art that just went up yesterday in London: The Mossberger Project by Anna Garforth uses moss as a tactile typeface, a sort of eco-grafitti that can be placed on walls, floors and other public spaces. Mossberger illustrates a verse from an Eleanor Stevens poem on a brick wall near Clissold Park in London. The project is part of YCN LIVE, a two-week long public and participatory art initiative currently underway in London. From the artist’s website: “Being interested in public art and ecology, it led me to thinking about sustainable grafitti. I collected a common moss that grows well on brick walls and glued it to the wall using a mixture of natural (bio active) yoghurt and sugar.” Mossberger will be on view until September 5th and continues on throughout London until September 7th.
  • moss art