|What was once a great American brand is continuing a free fall into coffee oblivion. What was once a destination coffee house continues to flail away looking for a way to bring a reticent American public back into their stores.|
Starbucks will do themselves a disservice if they try and blame their current economic challenges on outside pressures rather than look deep within their corporate soul.
But this is what organizations typically do, because it is easier to place, rather than accept blame.
Starbucks has lost their way and it started long before the meltdown we are now facing.
It started when they decided they wanted a commodity, rather than an experience. When the big green decided to have a store on every corner, they lost the panache of going to a Starbucks.
Why? Because of overexposure. You see, when something is available everywhere, there is nothing special about it, so why bother?
Now to implement their strategy of coffee carpet bombing, Starbucks began to put stores in strip malls, grocery stores, and any other vacant retail space they could find. And the look of their units took a design beating.
This contributed to the killing of the special coffee experience.
Let me show you what I mean.
Here is a typical US based Starbucks.
Here is a typical Mexico based Starbucks.
You tell me which store looks more inviting to you. When you add this to a company now offering instant coffee, five hundred types of tea, breakfast cereal, sandwiches, and what not, you have a recipe for disaster.
If the company really wants recover their brand, get back to basics. Coffee. In a great atmosphere, at a fair price.
El Jarocho Cafe in Coyoacan, the eclectic neighborhood in Mexico City has done that for years and they are still going strong. Last Tuesday night, when I was there, the line was 10 deep for most of the evening. The atmosphere was alive and a dollar got you a great tasting cup of jose. It has been that way since they started over 50 years ago.
Maybe El Jarocho knows something Starbucks doesn't, or has forgot.