Friday, January 11, 2008

Rekindling the Old Magic:

An AP story on Starbucks “Starbucks replaces CEO” suggests that you can go home again.

Starbucks Corp. Chairman Howard Schultz is reclaiming the chief executive's chair as part of a major restructuring initiative to slow the company's U.S. growth, ramp up expansion overseas and improve offerings for its customers.”

Starbucks is probably the best example of creating customer advocacy. Here is an organization that created the “word of mouth” mantra. The explosive growth of the company was tied directly to creating customer advocates. Those customers then created other customers by evangelizing the benefits of the Starbucks experience.

That experience has become diluted of late. The results of that dilution is seen in decreased customer counts and stagnant growth.

Here’s hoping that Schultz can re-energize the brand and rekindle the Old Magic.