Achieving Business Excellence with John Spence

Starbucks on Brand Congruence

I am in the middle of reading a book on the history and key strategies of Starbucks and ran across two quotes that made me think immediately of the blog I wrote on Brand Congruence. These are both from Howard Schultz, the founder and current Chairman of the Board:

“The Starbucks sensation is driven not just by the quality of its products but by the entire atmosphere surrounding the purchase of coffee: the openness of its store space… interesting menu boards, the shape of its counter…the cleanliness of the floorboards… What Starbucks recognized long before its imitators was that the art of retailing coffee went way beyond product. The details of the total experience mattered. Every particular — from napkins to coffee bags, storefronts to window seats, annual reports to mail order catalogs, tabletops to thermal carafes — seems to reflect the authentic and organic roots of Starbucks”

The second quote is absolutely one of my favorites and I believe it is dead-on for almost any type of business:

“We are NOT in the coffee business serving people… we are in the people business serving coffee.”

Whether you are a fan of Starbucks or not, it is hard to argue with a philosophy that is at the heart of a company that (since 1992) has outpaced the S&P 500, the Dow and Nasdaq (yes all three) by more than 4,800% !!!!!!! And opens 5 brand new stores a day, every day, 365 days a year.