Idle thought about Starbucks

Talking with Tony yesterday about Starbucks. And now I see that Jennifer is having a pop at them too prompted in part by my namesake .

Jen and John are fed up with premature Christmas music. And I’m asking myself a broader question: I was wondering if Starbucks has actually served its purpose. It has done an interesting job of introducing a different style of coffee shop on a grand scale. But now we all get the “third place” concept… do we really need Starbucks anymore?

I don’t mind Starbucks, I think they are making an effort on social responsibility and yes there’s something reliable about their offering. But I’m not sure that as a brand it’s really that useful anymore.

And I guess I’m wondering whether we could all do with being rather less interested in brands being timeless. Wall St, of course, is addicted to cancerous profit growth… but for the rest of us, I’m not so sure.

And the truth about brands is, there are a an awful lot that we really wouldn’t miss.

I could be wrong, but I thought I’d float the idea.

3 thoughts on “Idle thought about Starbucks

  1. Tony Goodson

    That’s a profound idea.

    Big Companies should only be allowed to last for 20 years, and after that their IP become open source.

    And we wouldn’t have any McDonalds arches across the landscape but something new. New stuff, fried in the same old way, or maybe the sugarless bun would have arrived quicker!

  2. Robert Paterson

    The end of Starbucks?

    Hi Johnnie -I am back in Toronto staying with my sister who has bought an expensive espresso machine. Her reasons? She and her daughter were buying 6 coffees a day from Starbucks. That works out at over $4,000 a year. No wonder they are doing well.

    Once they realized the extent of their “habit” they had to act. Now they buy the beans fro Starbucks and make their own.

    I wonder will this be what many of us do as we start to count the cost?

    The lasting experience is not the place but the change in palate to a stronger coffee.

    Is is a race to the bottom now?


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