Here's a superb interview with author and blogger John Moore on Starbucks and marketing.
1. Hi John - your Changethis.com manifesto "What Must Starbucks Do?" and your book "Tribal Knowledge" are garnering much buzz. Can you give a brief background on your role at Starbucks and from whence you came?
2. The idea of becoming a major brand and then letting that brand dissipate is not one that comes to mind when you think of Starbucks, yet Howard Schultz noted in a now public memo that, "Over the past ten years, in order to achieve growth, development and scale necessary to go from less than 1,000 to 13,000 stores and beyond, we've had to make a series of decisions that, in retrospect, have led to the watering down of the Starbucks experience, and, what some might call the commoditization of our brand." And to that end, isn't that a natural downside of profitable and expansionist growth - or is there a way to avoid it?
3. For the love of all of us chain-mocha latte drinkers, what are some immediate ways Starbucks can reclaim its uniqueness?
4. And beyond that, how can any company take Starbucks as an example and use the best insights from its journey and apply it to their own?
5. One of the things you note in your ChangeThis! Manifesto is "If Starbucks wants to return to its roots of being known and revered for the highest quality coffee in the world, then it needs to stop talking about the brand and start talking about the coffee." How does this apply to any company and what they are trying to brand?
6. In your book you talk about "practicing passionate followership" - Can you describe that and 3 things companies can do to empower that practice?
7. You also say, "a bigger business doesn't always equate to being a better business. At some point, big becomes bad." Can you give us some telltale symptoms to look for in regard to this?
8. Finally, if you had to give one actionable piece of branding advice across the board, what would it be?