Editor's Blog

A Small Change Can Make a Huge Change in Perception

December 18, 2008
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Those that know me know that I am an avid Starbucks customer. I am in excellent company of others in our industry: Bill Yeadon, Howard Partridge and Lisa Wagner to name a few, but I digress; I go to Starbucks, not only near my home or other Denver-area locations, but all around the country…it’s a priority to find a Starbucks. Don’t believe me? Ask those that I mentioned.

So, earlier this week I am in a Starbucks that is not my usual and I order my Venti Soy Latte and I am given this without a sleeve….not even double-cupped. Did I mention that I like my drink almost as hot as the water from the steamiest truckmount? I ask for a sleeve and the Barista tells me that they are “right there” (in the fancy new sleeve holder/dispenser)

"Hmmm," I say "I’ve never seen this before." She replies, "We are one of the few stores that have it."

My guess is they are test-marketing the concept of having the customer take a sleeve if they want one…maybe to save the pennies these cost for each or perhaps more magnanimously to save trees.  I don’t know about you, but for me it doesn’t feel like a Starbucks cup of coffee without the sleeve…I would think the liability issue alone  would be enough to stop them from proceeding down this road.

The point is, this is a “small” change…isn’t it? But the change in my perception is HUGE

What small changes are you making that may be creating a larger negative perception?

The little things do matter.
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You're right!

Dominick Cassano
December 19, 2008
Part of the Starbucks experience is the customer service, and the above and beyond attitude that is supposed to come with it. You wanted to be pampered at that Starbucks like you usually are at others, but you weren't. Instead, you felt rightfully dissapointed by having to accept the cup without the sleeve, and "Do it yourself" if you wanted it. Thats not the Starbucks experience they used to portray. It's sad that they're trying to cut corners by cutting the experience instead of stepping up their marketing attempts to silence their competition.

gimme a break

December 20, 2008
Wah wah. Something ISN'T handed to people on a silver platter?!?! I'm shocked, shocked I say. I can offer several suggestions to this affront to your sensibilities: 1) If you can afford to pay $4.25 for a bunch of boiled beans, hire someone to pick up the drink sleeve from the two inches next to your hand. 2) Go to the next Starbucks three doors down, where they aren't yet testing the 'do-it-yourself' model. 3) Check out an independent coffee shop and see if the price, taste and service aren't better.

You Mised The Point...

December 20, 2008
Sorry if my BLOG was perceived by anyone meant to be a complaint about Starbucks...if so...you missed the point. Respectfully, -Ev-

You Mised The Point...

December 20, 2008
Sorry if my BLOG was perceived by anyone meant to be a complaint about Starbucks...if so...you missed the point. Respectfully, -Ev-

Waaahhhh...I have to Exert Effort

December 20, 2008
I see your point, you wouldn't want to exert the effort to put in yourself, yet you clearly put the doughnut in your mouth (probably whole). Ever hear of green initiative, companies being socially responsible? It is all about the environment. They are not taking away the sleeve, but rather saying...hey you want one, taken one. If not enjoy your $7 beverage. Just because you like your drink pipping hot, and requires a sleeve doesn't mean that all of us are as bitches, and need the sleeve. Man up and grow a pair. If we missed the point, then you are a poor writer, because your blog reads as a complaint. Enjoy the doughnut.

gimme a break

Thomas Klenner
December 21, 2008
I think everyone is missing the point made by Evan. It is not really a bashing against Starbucks. He used an experience he had to give an example. He is pointing out that small changes we make in our own business can create negative perceptions to our loyal clients. You didn't even have to read between the lines on this one as he stated his conclusion.



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