I was recently re-reading the books by Howard Schultz about how he created the idea for Starbucks and how he came back to take the helm again. Pour Your Heart Into It and Onward. I think the main take away for me was his dedication and drive but also his focus on quality and customer experience.
He tells a story of how he was in Italy and saw that the experience of coffee was not just about the taste, but more about life. It was that people experienced community and connectedness when they came into the cafes for more than just the coffee. He talks of a third place, home, work and a public space where people could experience community. Sitting in a Starbucks you can see that much of that takes place. People get together after a long absence, coworkers on the road plan their next meeting, the college student plans their next trip. And the writer works on their novel. And it’s a place where your imagination can play. You can create and dream about something new. Maybe that idea or that dream is associated with Starbucks.
How can your business create a connection to that third place. How can you get your customers excited about something more than just your product? And how can you create a link between your customer’s imagination and your brand? I am going to Starbucks to think about it.