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Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul

Key insights from Joanne Gordon and Howard Schultz's

Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul


Key insights from Joanne Gordon and Howard Schultz's

Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul

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Length:
9 minutes

Why the quest for growth almost destroyed Starbucks, and how focusing on people over profits saved it.

Between 2006 and 2007, Starbucks suffered an existential crisis, marked by a commoditization of its services, a decline in customer satisfaction, and plunging profits. In “Onward,” former CEO Howard Schultz recounts how Starbucks found itself in this crisis and what he and his team did to save it. In this Snapshot, you’ll learn how Schultz and his colleagues rediscovered Starbucks’ roots as the world’s coffee authority.

Read this Snapshot if you:

  • Enjoy coffee and want to understand Starbucks’ rise to fame
  • Wonder how a CEO puts a plan in place to pull a company back from the brink
  • Are interested in the role of team-building and customer engagement in a company’s success
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Introduction

One Tuesday afternoon in 2008, Starbucks closed all 7,100 of its US stores to retrain its 135,000 baristas. Doing so resulted in the loss of $6 million dollars in sales and labor costs, as well as a host of criticism and negative publicity on CNN, ABC, and other mainstream media outlets. On top of that, one of Starbucks’ competitors tried to poach their customers by promoting 99-cent cups of espresso-based beverages on that day.

But these setbacks were nothing compared to the years of decline that Starbucks had been experiencing leading up to this moment. Shutting down...

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