Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Brilliant scam or Starbucks sham?

As all ye readers know, I loves me some good Starbucks coffee. But I remain less than convinced by Starbucks' little publicity scam last week - closing all stores at 5:30 for barista training.

Really the only change I've noticed since the little training stunt is that the Starbucks closest to my work now has little headphone mics that the baristas wear so the cashiers can whisper your orders right in their ears. I have to say, it makes me trust that they're getting my drink right more than I did before. Whether or not it's actually more effective, who knows. Oh, and they now put names on cups. "Have a nice day, Lisa!"

This change might help with the quality of the drinks, but it doesn't help with what Starbucks was telling the press it wanted to change, just a short while ago - the lost ambiance of the place. See my post here: "Dear Barista..."

Regardless, you've gotta give it to Dunkin Donuts for taking advantage of Starbucks' closing up for a night. Now THAT'S a good marketing stunt. (Also, their new blueberry cream cheese is fantastic.)

Here's Advertising Age's opinion on the Starbucks debacle: "Who Benefits Most From Starbucks Closure?", but I want to hear yours. What say you, blog readers? Did it do anything for you?

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