Thursday, February 14, 2008

Smelling the coffee at Starbucks

Great CEOs understand their business and customers so well that even the most subtle changes jump out at them. Sometimes these changes are for the good, and sometimes, like with Starbucks, not so good. That’s why Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz is pulling the plug on the breakfast sandwich. In short, Schultz found that the egg-and-cheese smell interfered with the smell of coffee.

Last year, I wrote about Schultz’s concern at Starbucks’ increasingly efficient, hygienic, flavor-locked packaging. Again, people couldn’t smell the coffee. Now he’s shown that same sense of savvy. When people wonder at the success of Starbucks they need look no further than the CEO. This is a man with a great nose for what makes a Lovemark.


Anonymous said...

What if they made bacon sandwiches instead. How lovely would the smell of coffee and crispy red-sauce soaked bacon be?

Anonymous said...

The smell of egg-and-cheese certainly would interfere with the smell of coffee; however, reports show that food is not a profit-making poposition for Starbucks.

If the stinky little sandwiches were making a huge profit for them, belive you me, they certainly would keep whipping them up. Smell or no smell.

Tinka said...

I like to believe in the pure dedication Schultz has towards bringing the world fine coffee ...

Yesterday the NY Times posted an article about how on last Tuesday 7,100 Starbucks stores closed for a three hour retraining session for employees.

It was all about how Starbucks can improve the quality of it's products. After Schultz gave an inspiring speech through a videotaped message the employees worked together to come up with ideas for techniques to improve the taste and texture of drinks.

Some places the customers, who got turned away at the door were offered free samples.

I can only imagine how much profit Starbucks loses by closing 7,100 stores for three hours.
If for Schultz it was all about immediate profit he wouldn't do such a thing.

Kevin Roberts said...

Gets my vote!