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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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By getting back to basics, is Starbucks really innovating? The coffee king's real issue is that it lost focus of what's most important -- damn good coffee made by people who are friendly. Like so many companies, once Starbucks hit its stride it decided to cut costs and branch out. It cut costs through its coffee making process and it branched out by becoming a record company, sandwich shop, and a few other silly things.

Only time will tell if the "innovation" of getting back to basics will put Starbucks back on track. What the old/new CEO needs to do is look at Steak 'n Shake. It makes burgers and shakes. Sometimes they 'shake' things up with a new shake flavor, but that's about it. What they get right time and time again is making great burgers and delicious frosty drinks.

"At the end of the day, Starbucks - like radio - is in the entertainment/experience business."

So true. Too bad too many managers come from non-radio backgrounds. You want to sell advertising, but don't have a background in radio? Why not try billboards? There's ZERO entertainment tied to that.

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