As part of Howard Schultz's return to Starbucks in effort to rejuvinate the flailing brand, the coffee giant is trying something it has long refused to take part in - a social media strategy. This week they launched My Starbucks Ideas
- a forum for customers, fans and critics of Starbucks to share their ideas on how to improve the Starbucks experience. Similar to Dell's IdeaStorm
, My Starbucks Idea marks their first foray into engaging in an online conversation with their customers. Earlier this year, Jesse Kornbluth had written in the Huffington Post
It's interesting that Schultz professes to love Starbucks customers but has no apparent interest in hearing from us. How's that, Howard? You're going to thrill us without getting our input? Do you really think focus groups, consumer research and executive offsites will tell you what you need to know? What, exactly, do you think the Starbucks website is for?
So perhaps Starbucks is finally waking up to the fact that there are millions of customers with great ideas for making Starbucks a better third place
. And while it's encouraging to see Starbucks taking steps in the right direction, My Starbucks Ideas will only succeed if customers see a genuine response and action from Starbucks.