Starbucks: The Public Opinion Matters

How does digital meet coffee? At mystarbucksidea.com, that’s how. With Starbuck’s recent reorganizing of their business model to regain their competitive advantage in the coffee industry, they have launched mystarbucksidea.com. The site allows Starbucks customers to post their ideas on how Starbucks can improve customer service, create new loyalty programs, or new product ideas. Each site user is also allowed to vote and comment on their favorite ideas. The ideas with the most votes obviously get the most attention from the Starbuck’s execs. The site also features a section called, “Ideas In Action.” These are blogs from the execs that have taken ideas from the sites and actually implemented them into real initiatives.

While some critics think there are too many repetitive ideas being mentioned, I believe Starbucks is utilizing digital technologies very well. Starbucks has lost a lot of loyalty in the recent years, hence the immediate change in strategy, and this initiative is going to regain some of the loyalty that has been lost. Customers are now buying back into Starbucks by seeing their own input being taken seriously. Also, Starbucks is positioning the site well by not allowing the conversation to be opened up beyond the scope of their objective. This keeps users on the right path, and not allowing a snowball effect of bad mouthing about the company like Starbucks Gossip.

How do you think this strategy would effect your firm? I bet your customers are dying to tell you about ideas they have to see you continue succeeding, but you won’t know until you ask them.

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