Starbucks: How to Alienate Your Fans With Music!


Starbucks LogoThere is another one of my frequent haunts that I have not yet addressed in my Blog:

Starbucks, I spend a lot of time (and money) at Starbucks, I like to use it as my second office. For some reason, I tend to be able to get more done in its noisy environment, than the increasingly quiet office space I reside in.

While there are a lot of things I like about Starbucks (repeat after me: “for here grande non-fat no-whip mocha”), including their stellar approach to human resources and talent selection, they have been doing something lately that may drive this loyal customer away: playing crappy music!

As part of their attempt to increase their average revenue per customer visit, they play featured music that is for sale in the stores. They are also rolling out a super-cool system where you can buy featured music with your iPhone, but I digress…

As I already mentioned, Starbucks are typically pretty noisy places. You have the coffee machines going, people calling off drinks, and the buzz of the customers. To get the music out over the din, they play the music LOUD! Today I was using a pair of sound isolating earphones, and I still couldn’t keep the cursed music out of my head!

While some people may like the music selection, I think they stand to alienate more customers than attract based on this marketing approach! Now that Howard Schultz has retaken the CEO position in an attempt to get Starbucks back on the right track, I have some hope that this practice will get the axe!

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One Response

  1. I’m not a Starbucks regular, but I have seen their featured CDs in the past, and that music is so BLAND…so calculatingly non-offensive that it’s BOUND to offend.

    The fact that you could still hear the music while wearing your sound-isolating earphones — designed to neutralize AIRPLANE ENGINES — says something about the piercing quality of American Idol winners and jazz standards by Frank Sinatra.

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