Starbucks…what happened?

It’s very disappointing to look at where Starbucks has ended up.

For years they were one of THE stories of branding. Of running a business. Of marketing. Of customer experience, you name it.

And now, they’ve turned into “the Man,” shoving their weight around on smaller operators. Arrogant and demanding. It’s far from what I think Howard Schultz imagined when he started the company. It’s disappointing to see it happen to a company that truly revolutionized an industry and started as a smaller player. Apparently, there’s no room for anyone else in the specialty coffee industry. Incidentally, there are many other options with better coffee than Starbucks…or as it’s come to be known on some bulletin boards Star$, $bucks, CharF*@ks, *$ etc.

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Read this story about Doubleshot Coffee Company to see how Starbucks has changed their business practices.

One can only hope that Starbucks will come to their senses. It seems to be a bit like the whole O’Reilly Web 2.0 flak.

I fail to see how a term that is a commonly used term in all coffee circles can be trademarked. So, now if I go into a cafe and order a double shot of espresso, will Starbucks come after me?

Come on Starbucks, you’re better than this.

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Starbucks…what happened?

2 thoughts on “Starbucks…what happened?

  1. Big companies employ teams of lawyers who have to justify thier existence. When they take a break from trying to trademark eveything including the air you breathe, they look for other nonsense to keep themselves busy. This looks like one of those cases. Now they have to spend more money on PR to spin the story so the lawyers look like they are doing thier job.

    Get rid of the lawyers, let the PR guys tell a good athentic story and everyone can have a doubleshot or whatever. I like Starbucks, mailnly because of the brand that Scott Bedbury helped shape and build. But this kind of stuff leaves a bitter taste.

  2. Michael:

    I completely agree.

    Lawyers do tend to gum up the works. But, at the end of the day, it’s up to the executives at Starbucks who have chosen, rather than embrace a small company (like they used to be) and realize that the market is big enough for everyone, to play “big company.”

    It’s just disappointing that they have taken this route.

    Thanks for your comment!

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