Starbucks once had visions of turning its outlets into entertainment centers where customers sipped coffee and listened to the latest tunes. But that hasn't exactly worked out according to expectations. CNET News.com's Greg Sandoval explains.
Webware's Rafe Needleman spoke with the senior executive at Comcast charged with a new attempt to integrate television, the computer, and the phone.
And as one of the first software executives to battle Bill Gates, Lotus founder Mitch Kapor has seen many sides of Microsoft's co-founder. Take a listen to some of his recollections on the eve of Gates' final … Read more
UPDATE: To include Starbucks' response.
Turns out what people want from Starbucks is the caffeine jolt and maybe a morning bun. The country's largest coffee chain is giving up on much of its music offering, including iTunes gift cards.
According to Silicon Alley Insider, Starbucks is planning to carry only four CD titles at a time in it's stores by September.
"We're shifting how music is merchandised in the store," said Bridget Baker, a Starbucks spokeswoman. "There's going to be a concentrated selection as we refocus on our core business."
Seattle-based Starbucks … Read more
T-Mobile USA is suing Starbucks, accusing the coffee behemoth of a breach of contract by allowing AT&T to provide customers with free Wi-Fi access in its cafes.
In a complaint filed Thursday in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, T-Mobile says Starbucks "secretly" developed a plan with AT&T to provide Wi-Fi at its cafes, despite an exclusive partnership with T-Mobile. T-Mobile, which is seeking unspecified damages, alleges the companies broke an agreement over how Starbucks should transition the service from T-Mobile to AT&T, according to Reuters.
T-Mobile said that, under the … Read more
AT&T's free Wi-Fi access for Starbucks coffee shops is finally here.
Starting Tuesday, Starbucks coffee shops across the country are offering two hours of free Wi-Fi Internet service through AT&T. In order to get the free service, customers must buy a Starbucks Reward Card with a minimum of $5 credit on it. Customers also must sign up for the free Wi-Fi online at Starbucks.com. To keep the card active, customers must also use their Starbucks Card at least once a month.
The free service is only for two hours and must be used in … Read more
After describing a particularly exciting consulting opportunity, a friend called me "lucky." That got me thinking: Is he right? Is luck a component in business success, or is it all about knowledge and experience. And if luck does play a role, how important is it? Can it be influenced, or is that taboo by definition?
To answer those questions I first did a little research. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines luck as "a: a force that brings good fortune or adversity, or b: the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual."
Gee, "luck" sounds a lot like "competition" to me.… Read more
Crowdsourcing has entered the mainstream big-time. It has become daunting to find a brand these days that does NOT have some crowdsourcing program in place.
My Starbucks Idea is just the latest example: Starbucks asks its consumers for advice, and besides certainly receiving a lot of good ideas, the troubled coffee chain makes consumers feel part of the brand remake.
It's the same template as usual: engage your community, harness its creativity, and let it create the content for you.
It works, sure, but it's getting stale. For some reason, marketing trends take two to three years before … Read more
Starbucks pioneered the notion that coffee should be $3 a cup, and its been a great business model. However, the company has been late to the party on 2 areas: lower cost options and better tasting coffee, the confluence of which has caused the stock price to sag as the repeat visitors dipped.
Now the company is now trying crowdsourcing as its way to the future. (Note to self: get Starbucks to put my blog excerpts on its coffee cups)
You know social networking has jumped the shark when Starbucks gets into the act.
Starbucks has launched My Starbucks Idea, an electronic suggestion box where people can offer up their best ideas for making the already ubiquitous coffee retailer even more successful.
You could say the company is as aggressive with its Internet campaigns as it is with its prices. There is Wi-Fi in the stores, they let you log onto iTunes to see what song is playing in the store and download it, let you use text messaging to find the nearest store, and they gave away free digital … Read more
Yesterday's New York Times story about Starbucks losing credibility among music fans has attracted a lot of commentary. The gist of the story: Starbucks went too mainstream by stocking artists like Alicia Keys and James Blunt, so its customers figure they might as well shop at Wal-Mart, which stocks the same CDs at lower prices. The record industry, which once looked to Starbucks as a potential savior, is having second thoughts.
Why is anybody surprised? Look at their history in the coffee business. Espresso used to be a niche product that was hard to produce properly and varied widely … Read more