Friday, October 06, 2006

Starbucks Can Do No Wrong

Even though I resent paying ridiculously high prices for one of the cheapest commodities on the planet, I've solidified my belief that Starbucks is one of the coolest companies ever. How genius is their business model?
They have made it cool, mainstream, and upscale to drink coffee at any time of day and pay a premium for it. They also manage to sell a drink with approximately 20,000 calories (actually, the grande mocha frap has about 300 - but that's still a lot!) to diet-driven consumers. They offer for purchase delicious food, coffee mugs, travel cups, coffee makers, expresso machines, and the actual coffee itself in all their stores, as well as specially created music CDs of both well-known and unknown artists. Their coffeehouses are smartly outfitted with near-funky decor and appeal to pre-teens as well as their parents. Now they are getting involved with social networking site, to promote their book club.

I couldn't think of anything better for Starbucks than a book club! There have been plenty of times I've stopped in for a coffee - alone - but armed with a good book to keep me company. There are some things that are socially acceptable to do alone: grocery shop, drive, pick up some take-out. But then there are things like dining out and seeing a movie that ya just gotta have a tag-along.

Here's where the genius behind the book club comes into play. With a book in tow, there is nothing wrong with going into a Starbucks all by your lonesome to feed your caffeine addiction. Forget reading material? Hate reading the newspapers currently available in Starbucks? Well, if the books are offered for sale, then you've got something to hide behind and keep you entertained. Plus, book readers are typically higher educated (you have to be literate to read and enjoy it) and are viewed as more intelligent and/or wordly. It seems to be a good marriage of product and lifestyle. I don't know if this thought went into any of their planning, but I like to think the conversation was had. Props to Starbucks!


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