Ideas spread globally - they always have. Today they spread faster. Outstanding ideas spread exponentially as each person who passes the baton to the next, puts a little bit of themselves in the idea. Great brands are those who let us be ourselves. They are there to help us connect with something more meaningful and interesting about ourselves.
To do that, every action counts. Yet, when asked, we might be hard pressed to put our finger on what exactly a company and business needs to do to ensure its long term health.
We were having this discussion recently at the post-MIMA event dinner - how many of us consciously think about marketing opportunities because we are marketers vs. as customers? For example, you are in a store and observe certain dynamics from the professional point of view, you can't help it. Do other customers see the same marketing opportunities? I doubt it.
When asked about what they like, customers may give you an example from their immediate experience. Yet there are some situations that create tipping points for your business. Do you know what those are? The customer may walk away for good before you learn what it would take to retain his business. That's why it is increasingly important not to delay having that conversation with people while they are handing you the money, this moment.
Today at Fast Company expert blogs I talk about this very topic using Starbucks as an example. I suspect that the magic in the company's return to greatness may be embracing local communities, differentiating by city, block, clientèle. The most valuable brand experiences happen through customer conversations.
Other resources on the Starbucks Conversation:
- John Moore - ChangeThis Manifesto: What Must Starbucks Do?
- Fast Company - Thinking Outside the Cup
- Fortune - Starbucks Fix
- Business Week articles on Starbucks
- Starbucks press release - Letter to All Partners from Howard Schultz
- Becky Carroll - Re-Experiencing Starbucks
- Jay Ehret - A Letter to Howard Schultz at Starbucks; Re-Experiencing Starbucks: a Double Shot
- Paul Schwartz - What is the Starbucks Customer Experience?; The Customer Feedback Experience
- Maria Palma - The Starbucks Project
- Meikah Delid - Helping Starbucks Improve the Customer Experience - The First Step; The Second Step; The Third Step
- Skip Lineberg - Starbucks Collection
- Doug Meacham - Starbucks - the Way I see it - Part I
- John Johansen - Coffee and Conversation with Starbucks (update)
- Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba - Starbucks Embraces the 5th P (update)