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January 07, 2008



Hi Tom,
Terrific post. I live in Seattle and am frequently in Starbucks perhaps 50% of the time that i'm in a cafe. As you know, Seattle is a coffee town and there are tons of indie choices where you can go get a fine, fine cuppa. I'm a fan of the consistency and experience that Starbucks offers, but you point out some good things they can probably fix with Howard back at the helm.

tom richards

HI Tom,

Thanks for responding to my blog.

Starbucks was first, so they have the inroad. But branding is a tentative thing and you have to wake up every morning saying, "What can I do today to make my brand even better." I don't think Starbucks is doing that. The employees pay attention to their friends and not to anyone else. I have been going to the same Starbucks for over a year now and nobody knows my name or cares about who I am. It's going to cost them eventually.

Tom Richards


Couldn't agree more. I have been a loyal follower and customer of the Starbucks "experience" for 10 years. It is so watered down now that going to another "brand" is not as painful as once feared. Airport, grocery store "Starbucks" are just not the same and as a result, the brand is hurt overall.

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