What Starbucks Should Do Now

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As most of you heard, Starbucks is actually closing stores to avoid more losses. I have posted about Starbucks inner conflict as of late (not latte) and believe I have some answers as to how they can increase their revenue and get that store back in the Forbidden City in China.

  1. The first thing they should do is partner with FedEx/Kinko’s in specific locations (such as the location at I-25 and Belleview). There’s more business deals going on during the day then at an ACG meeting. They should have a doorway were suits (such as myself) can walk over and get copies made or fax a signed contract to the mothership. This of course does not work for every location and it would be pretty easy to determine which ones work and then select test stores.
  2. Create more drive-through only stores. I think the concept of creating a “third place” similar to what Italians have as a caffeine laced experience is a great idea and in the US, that third place, unfortunately is our cars. Sometimes when I go to Starbucks in the morning, I go inside just to avoid the long line at the drive through.
  3. Combine Starbucks with gas stations. I have timed it and it takes almost exactly the same amount of time to fill the tank as it does to order and pick up my iced latte. This would be an example of honoring our third place. Now if we could just get them to pay for gas. They could call these FUEL stations; for you and your car.
  4. I would recommend breaking away from the McDonalds factor and let the community collaborate on the design of the place. This could make it feel more like a local joint similar to Common Grounds in Highlands. Hell Walmart has done this to lessen the backlash of being the 800 pound gorilla.
  5. Go ahead and sell all legal stimulants, such as beer, wine, pastries, etc. I would try this out by opening new stores *gasp* and calling them VICE. I would have wine tasting parties and coffee tasting parties. I would also make these based on membership. (Taking a page out of The Experience Economy.) The membership would be free and the perception would be of belonging.
  6. Include notifications in all mapping searches. In other words, when I map something on Google Maps or Mapquest; tell me where I can pull over and grab an iced chai. (Of course I should also be able to text my order in prior to my arrival but let’s not get fancy.)
  7. The last thing I would do is open a Starbucks inside a Starbucks. I believe this was on a Simpson’s episode eons ago and I think it would be a good time to show a little sense of humor. I guess the worst thing that could happen is that they would need to close it. Now that I think of it . . . which one do you think they would close?
By Michael Myers

I'm an Associate Teaching Professor of Digital Marketing at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. I also consult with startups and established brands. I'm currently focused on artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience and culture. I am married to an amazing woman and have two incredible children. I was raised in Colorado and spend my free time with family, biking, snowboarding and going to the Pacific Ocean to SCUBA dive and/or surf. I'm passionate about architecture, design, street art, photography and the art that tattooing has evolved into.

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