Innovating Coffee

Recently Howard Schultz was brought back as CEO to revitalize foundering Starbucks. Schultz intends to use Ideas to change his company—to instill what he calls “a seeing culture.” In an effort to execute Schultz’s intentions, Starbucks launched Here customers can make suggestions, other customers can vote on and discuss them. Seemingly as a result of this effort on Apr. 8, about twelve weeks after Schultz’s return, ‘Pike Place Roast’ was launched amidst much media hype.

As BusinessWeek noted, Starbucks ‘Everyday Coffee’ is an effort to Dunkinize the brand a bit. Perhaps, this was one way of demonstrating that Starbucks was listening to its customers but Starbucks so far hasn’t reinvented coffee, or pastries, or the experience.

Following the bandwagon is not the same as innovating. Shultz in an interview about his new effort said “this is hard”. Yes innovation is hard and it takes patience and speaking to your customers, customers you don’t have as well as your existing customers.


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