Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Starbucks As Real Place

People often make a big deal about Starbuck's inflated prices. But to me, it's not surprising that people will pay $3-4 for a cup of coffee there; they're not paying for the coffee really -- they're paying for the Place. And Starbucks is smart enough to capitalize on our drive to find Place in this suburbanized world.

Their expressed mission on http://www.starbucks.com/ reveals this: To inspire and nurture the human spirit— one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.

And they go further to clarify how they see their customers, their stores, and their neighborhoods:

Our Customers
When we are fully engaged, we connect with, laugh with, and uplift the lives of our customers— even if just for a few moments. Sure, it starts with the promise of a perfectly made beverage, but our work goes far beyond that. It’s really about human connection.

Our Stores
When our customers feel this sense of belonging, our stores become a haven, a break from the worries outside, a place where you can meet with friends. It’s about enjoyment at the speed of life—sometimes slow and savored, sometimes faster. Always full of humanity.

Our Neighborhood
Every store is part of a community, and we take our responsibility to be good neighbors seriously. We want to be invited in wherever we do business. We can be a force for positive action— bringing together our partners, customers, and the community to contribute every day. Now we see that our responsibility—and our potential for good—is even larger. The world is looking to Starbucks to set the new standard, yet again. We will lead.

I'm not a fan of chain stores, but Starbucks seems to understand much of what other other chain stores have forgotten: it's all about connection to people and community.
Photo courtesy of rudelovers

No comments: