By now you’ve no doubt read about Howard Schultz’s memo to Starbucks’ management bemoaning the loss of the “Starbucks’ experience.”
It’s been in Forbes, BusinessWeek, on CNN and all over the blogesphere. It seems as if Schultz’s coffee memo is almost as popular as Britney Spears haircut or the search for the true father of Anna Nicole’s daughter Now the big question at every reporter’s fingertips is whether the article might actually be a hoax.
After all, while the note does talk about things Schultz feels Starbucks has lost, it also points out a number of the things Starbucks offers that consumers may not be aware of. And through very clever copywriting, Schultz reminds the reader of the quality and freshness of Starbucks’ coffee, the relationship between the customer and the barista and the quick, efficient service that Starbucks provides.
Perhaps what Schultz is really concerned with is not that the operation of his coffee shops has diminshed the Starbucks experience but that his consumers’ familiarity with the brand has renedered them numb. And perhaps his memo is a very clever viral promotional gimmick created to change customer perceptions at no cost.