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Fred Jacobs is President of Jacobs Media, a media research and consulting firm. Jacobs Media clients have included CBS Radio, Premiere Radio Networks, Citadel, Greater Media, MTV Networks, Playboy, Amazon, Electronic Arts, NPR, Sylvan Learning Centers, and Taubman Malls. Learn more about the company here.


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August 2011

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« Where's The Outrage? | Main | Staying Current »



Hi Fred.

Thanks for the Starbucks post. Howard Schultz did a pretty good job of articulating the DNA (the mission, vision, core values and bedrock beleifs) for Starbucks in his book, "Poor Your Heart Into It" some years ago. Since, they've strayed so far from the DNA. For a while, their expansion was fractal-style, i.e., every new store contained the original DNA. A core "DNA" component was their "Third Place" position they aimed to occupy in peoples' minds. I believe they killed their "Third Place" position in three key ways: building drive thrus; adding hot breakfast sandwiches (it slowed down the barristas waaaay too much); and expansion (it did the same thing it did to major league pitching -- not enough passionate talent to fill the ranks). Result: They sent a message contrary to their "Third Place" core value; and combination of over-extended barristas and untalented, uncommitted barristas made the line wait too long and the experience of waiting unsatisfactory. No time or desire left over to sit down and make use of the "Third Place."

The lessons seem directly transportable to what we do or don't do on the air.

Bruce Carson, WQBW/WRIT/WOKY on-air guy in Milwaukee

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