Decided to treat myself for working late and stopped off at one of our many Waco locations of Starbucks and ordered my Christmas-time favorite: a tall, non-fat, no-whip, pumpkin-spice latte. The total was $4.28. That’s 35.7 cents per ounce. Starbucks is no longer worth it.
The same drink at my favorite local coffee house, Common Grounds, costs $3.72. And you get a better customer experience to boot. Check out my recent blog on Common Grounds: What Starbucks Wishes It Could Be Again.
Starbucks used to be worth it. They used to have a neat customer experience. Not any more. The store is cluttered with items for sale, especially the red bags of Christmas Blend (they’re going to have to sell a lot of those in the next 8 days). The employees, while nice, were busy with their personal conversations and exchanges behind the counter.
They used to have the best coffee. Not any more. Starbucks turned everyone on to the arabica bean and now you can get good quality coffee just about anywhere, even McDonald’s.
They used to be different. Not any more. Starbucks is now just another fast-food type joint that sells coffee instead of hamburgers. But instead of having fast-food prices, they’re charging a premium for an experience and product that used to be different. In effect, you are paying a premium for what Starbucks used to be.
Starbucks is spending a lot of money on their new TV advertising campaign to help boost flagging sales. Here’s just an idea. How about giving us a price break instead? How about spending that money on reviving the customer experience? How about coming up with a new product that will change the way we think about coffee again? Won’t happen, too many new stores to open.
No Hate, Just Apathy
Let me add a disclaimer here. I am not a Starbucks hater. In fact, I loved Starbucks…until tonight. Starbucks is one of my favorite brands of all time. They changed the way America drinks coffee. They have one of my favorite logos. Early on, they were marketing mavericks.
Not any more.
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