TRIBAL KNOWLEDGE: Business Wisdom Brewed from the Groundsof Starbucks Corporate Culture
(Kaplan, 2006). Pgs. 139 - 141
Businesses operating like this treat their customers like cattle, doing whatever they can toattract attention. When companies are more focused on their own bottom line than their customers, both will eventually fall away. These programs lack soul and meaning to stand thetest of time.Starbucks seeks to captivate (not capture) and enrich (not entrap) the lives of its customersthrough rewarding everyday moments. The company understands a great coffee moment can provide customers with hope, inspiration, and connectivity. A Starbucks coffee moment offerscustomers a semblance of hope in their cluttered lives. Many of Starbucks’ most devotedcustomers seek refuge from their workplace, their home life, and the daily commute in-between.To these customers, Starbucks is a place where they can go to regroup, reconnect, recharge, andrest.Coffee has been the fuel for creativity and inspiration since the 16
century. And in the 21
century, Starbucks provides customers with a modern-day place where their souls can benurtured and inspired on a daily basis.But the real customer devotional magic of Starbucks resides in the magic of how coffeeconnects. Coffee connects like no other beverage. It connects the morning to the night as manycustomers begin their day with a cup of Starbucks and end their day with a cup of decaf from thesame store. Coffee connects people with people, as many friendships begin and are continuouslynurtured over coffee. And just as important, a cup coffee enjoyed in solitude can connect onewith oneself.Customer loyalty works both ways, and Starbucks knows that. Of course Starbucks wantsto maintain its profitability, but it does this by helping the folks who come into its stores, not byworking against them. If you want customers to stay loyal to you, stay loyal to your customers— treat them as people, help them as individuals, offer them something extra, and they’ll come back for more.