I went to the Starbucks yesterday, one housed in my local Ingles grocery store, and a nice young women in a non-descript polo shirt came to serve me. I was looking for an Ingles logo on the shirt, but didn’t see one. Within a minute another woman walked into the Starbucks retail space with a green apron on – she more befitting the brand experience.
I asked her if they were still called baristas. She said yes. Then I asked her when telling friends what she did for a living if she said “I’m a barista” or “I work at Starbucks,” she admitted the latter. Howard Schultz are you listening?
When Starbucks began, the barista was fundamental brand thing. They co-opted the word. Now people just work at Starbucks. When Starbucks first got rid of the hand-crated latte and espresso machines in favor of automated brewing, I thought it might be the beginning of brand stasis. Think I was right. The brand can advertise blonde coffee and all the new flavors it likes, but if it doesn’t tighten up the in-store brand experience, it will suffer.
Peace be upon you, children and parents of Parkland, FL.