Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Starbucks Creates an Online Customer “Listening Channel”:

Starbucks unveiled a slew of changes today in order to reverse their stock slide from $32 to $17 in the past year. Outside of new espresso machines (why do so many people pronounce it EXpresso?), Starbucks unveiled their very own social networking website, The goal of the website is to capture customer ideas by creating a place for people to converse. One category on the website is "Other Experience Ideas" which resembles the comments section of a blog, sans-blog. I guess Starbucks is the overall blog topic and you are supposed to dump yours ideas there, and then others can comment on those ideas. Comments on comments?

I'd be very interested in seeing how Starbucks takes this initial milestone of the product lifecycle all the way through to the deployment of ideas they captured. How do they filter these ideas? Steve Jobs was recently interviewed by Fortune magazine (great article) and quoted Henry Ford:

"If I'd have asked my customers what they wanted, they would have told me 'A faster horse.'"

Let's see if Starbucks innovates with this tool or creates faster horses.


Anonymous said...

Earlier today, my wife and I attended the annual meeting and witnessed another feel good production. The hassle in attending the meeting has reached the point where we have decided to avoid future meetings. We would, however, like to view the action and we are suggesting that you broadcast the event online. We are sure that many others would like to view the meeting at home or at the office.

Sally said...

Who do you really think is going to use mystarbucksidea??

My thoughts...


Michael Grossman said...

Sally, Good question. I seem to use feedback loops like this when I have something to complain about. This seems to be a bit more about Starbucks trying to listen in on customer conversations. I'm not sure if this will work, but at least they are saying that they place value on uncovering the things they know they don't know.