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.