In my soon to be released book, Leading the Starbucks Way, I list “seven bold moves” Starbucks leaders identified to revitalize their business. These “moves” focused on leveraging strengths, exploring relevant innovation opportunities, and targeting process improvements. These seven objectives were to:
1. Be the undisputed coffee authority.
2. Engage and inspire partners.
3. Ignite the emotional attachment with customers.
4. Expand global presence—while making each store the heart of the local neighborhood.
5. Be the leader in ethical sourcing and environmental impact.
6. Create innovative growth platforms worthy of Starbucks coffee quality.
7. Deliver a sustainable economic model.
As a result of moving their organization in the direction of these targets, leaders at Starbucks enjoy a resurgence in profit, industry respect, and a sizable turnaround story for their brand. In fact, as I noted last week Starbucks reported record-breaking profit numbers in the 3rd quarter of this year.
If you look carefully at bold moves number 2 and 3, you’ll likely notice a clear value proposition missed by many well-intentioned leaders – the importance of engaging human emotion. As you read on in this blog series and eventually the book, you will discover that Starbucks designs products and experiences anchored to engaging, uplifting, and inspiring emotional connections.
So why do so many leaders overlook the importance of human connection and emotion (tending to focus more on sheer product excellence or unique benefits and attributes of their offerings)? Part of it may be that “emotional value” is just beginning to be taught as an important concept in business schools globally and to date it has been eschewed since emotionality is often though of as “soft” or “non-monetizable?
While business textbooks lag well behind emerging research, we don’t have to wait to have someone else tell us that emotions matter in business. When we buy almost anything, whether it is a new blender or computer, most of us don’t have the time or proclivity to sit and examine every last detail? In my case, for example, most of the benefits or attributes of my smart phone are definitely wasted on me (I am just not “smart” enough for my phone).
If we honestly peel below our intellectual justifications and determine the factors that truly drive our purchase intent – emotions (pride, joy, belonging, etc.) honestly rise to the surface. In essence we buy because a product or the person selling that product or service sparks something inside of us and ignites a passion or emotional response. That is what each and every partner at Starbucks sets out to achieve: a connection with their customer that ensures emotional engagement and loyalty – they talk about it as “uplifting moments.”
In short, Passion drives purchase. What are you doing to build passion for your products people, and customers? What might you do to give your employees an uplifting moment or two this week?
Leading the Starbucks Way will be available beginning September 3rd 2013, but your pre-order can be taken now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and CEO-Read. If you want to learn more about the book, please check out our newly launched website at www.leadingthestarbucksway.com. See you next week with more tidbits from Leading the Starbucks Way.