Back in May 2009 I posted What We Can Learn From Starbucks. In that post I discussed how Starbucks was having growing pains. Many customers felt (including myself) they were moving away from what gave them the edge in the coffee market. Almost a year and a half later they are turning things around.
Starbucks got over their caffeine headache and are now going back to the roots of the business: “the experience”. People fell for Starbucks in the beginning because of the experience. We spent $5.00 for a latte and we didn’t care. We wanted to hear them call out the order with those made up words. We wanted to see the barista make our drinks in front of us. As they grew, they continued to raise the price of the drinks but pulled back on the experience and the quality. All of a sudden they were not special. McDonald’s now has “fancy” drinks at cheaper prices. Dunkin Donuts even started messing with their coffee drinks.
Starbucks is making policy changes. They are now back to requiring the barista to only make one drink at a time. This helps with quality and enhances the customer experience of seeing their drink get the personal attention we pay for. Yes, it will cause longer waits. But Starbucks is betting the customer will appreciate that while shelling out $5.00.
There is a lesson here for all of us in the event & entertainment business. Why don’t we get back to the core of our business? Give our customers an escape from the real world for a few hours. Think back to the days when you were the customer. Remember what made you want to spend all your money on concerts, sports teams, shows, and events. If we become the “experience” again our customers will buy.