If a successful PR campaign is measured by media exposure, Starbucks, the coffee chain many love to hate, is getting an A+ on it's "we're shutting down all 7100 company- owned Starbucks Tuesday night to retrain our 135,000 baristas."
Everyone is talking about the shutdown. That is exactly what Starbucks wanted -- a big bold idea that would quickly, swiftly, and unconditionally communicate that Starbucks is serious about cleaning up its act.
It kind of has to. Business is not so good at Starbucks. The stock has tanked and it has new, cheaper competition --- McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts now serve "premium coffees" at a lower price.
While Starbucks may be glowing in the success of the media coverage, the campaign will only be a success if on Wednesday morning more people line up for a Starbucks coffee.
Yes, closing every single store for three hours signals to consumers that Starbucks recognizes their is a chink in its chain.Yes, American consumers appreciate companies that say, "Mea Culpa," And,yes,American consumers definitely like companies that do better job of showing customers their business is appreciated.
But are snooty baristas and less than perfect lattees the reason that Starbuck's stock has sunk? Brandweek Magazine thinks it's more than that. From the Starbucks Gossip Blog
"Starbucks could easily become a hallmark of this decade, and that,
when the next one hits, will look as dated as the grunge look does
today," says its writer. "That's because Starbucks is more than a
chain, it's a fashion statement. Just look at the Hollywood stars
toting their Frappuccinos around in US Weekly's candid photo pages like
they were this year's trucker cap. But fashions have a way of changing.
That's why the coffee industry may soon have to wake up to the fact
that for many young people, coffee's just not cool."
Meanwhile, throughout the country, Starbucks competitors are also seeing a PR opportunity --they're offering consumers a free cup of coffee.
When it comes to purchasing eco-friendly products, I definitely need an education --that's why I've added the Big Green Purse Widget to FunnyBusiness. Check it out right underneath the ads for the Blogher Ad Network.
Each week it gives you a new shopping nugget of products you can purchase that are "green."
This week's topic focuses on ways to avoid Teflon cooking appliances. What I like about this widget is that its short, sweet and easy to understand.
The truth is when I think about Teflon I usually think about politicians, not cookware. In fact I was listening to a radio talk show just this weekend when the commentators described Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty as a Teflon Governor.
But Teflon is on a lot of cookware and with this widget you'll learn how to jump out of the frying pan without going into the fire.
Take Chapter 1 where she asks, "If it can happen to an alligator, can it happen to your son"?
The alligator has survived 80 million years and yet pesticides are
messing with his personal parts making mating "out of reach" per se.
This is happening because of pesticides in the alligator's water.
The same exposure is there for babies, she explains how babies can accumulate these dangerous chemicals quickly. "When corrected for body weight, it's as if an adult were to drink seven liters of water or thirty-five cans of soda daily." She then she lists off off the chemicals found in breast milk.The Mom's over at MomsRising, and BlogHer know that last issue well.
For all the people who have to listen to their friends and loved ones moan and groan about the antics of their clients---now there is a formula to help justify why you continue to work with people who are rude, crude and treat you like a second class citizen.
I remember the first time I heard about Twitter --it was at last year's BlogHer's Business Conference. When I heard people describe this thing where you simply answer the question What Are You Doing ? I couldn't imagine what its business applications could possibly be. More than that I couldn't imagine that I would send Tweets.
What a difference a few months make. From The L.A. Times a story how using Twitter is helping a laid off worker from Yahoo find a new job.
Kuder, one of the laid-off Yahoos, began the fateful Feb. 12 as just a regular tech guy with 87 people tracking his tweets.
Soon word spread of his brief but entertaining updates on meeting with
human resources in a conference room called Lucy, bidding friends
farewell and handing over his security badge ("Will I be able to get a
latte for the road. . . . ?") By the end of the next day, he had become
a minor celebrity, with a following of more than 400.
what is usually a private experience gave Kuder more than 15 minutes of
Internet fame. It gave him solace, and, more important, job leads. The
San Jose husband and father of two was flooded with "positive tweets"
offering support as well as connections via social networking services
such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
"I thought the reaction would be
a couple of 'Hey, good luck' messages, and 'Let me know if I can help'
from people already following me," Kuder said. "Instead, it got picked
up around the world. There were even blogs written in Chinese,
Japanese, Dutch and Spanish. It was fascinating to watch how things
spread like that. My wife keeps saying I planned this. I wish."
A shout out to BlogHer Contributing Editor Susan Mernit, who like Kuder was laid off from Yahoo on Februrary 12th. About an hour after she was laid off she decided to test the power of social media tools.
She posted the news on her blog, added a tweet to her Twitter stream
and updated her Facebook status. In five hours, her experiment
delivered immediate proof: 100 responses from friends, colleagues and
strangers who, as readers of her blog, felt connected to her.
had no idea that it would be communicated as broadly or quite as
publicly as it was," said Mernit, who lives in Palo Alto. "Social media
accelerated the reach and the speed with which I could communicate what
happened to me."
Stepping off the elevator yesterday in my San Diego mega-hotel I bumped into a group of folks from Frito Lay.I'm in town for another conference-- playing the role as a speech writer.
In our 1600 room hotel there is plenty of room for two simultaneous large conferences. Maybe it was that in your face Frito-Lay moment that made me stop and linger on this headline on CNNMoney.com "The Woman Who's Making Pepsi Healthy"
The woman is PepsiCo's CEO PepsiCo president Indra Nooyi. The profile is in Fortune
Indra Nooyi is an entirely different kind of CEO, a product of her
native India as well as of PepsiCo's family-values approach to grooming
CEOs. She is not hung up on pay. She's not shy about asking for help
when she needs it. She's 52 years old and does not plan for this job to
be her last.
She has created a motto - "Performance With Purpose" - that puts a
positive spin on how she wants PepsiCo to do business both at home and
It essentially boils down to balancing the profit
motive with making healthier snacks, striving for a net-zero impact on
the environment, and taking care of your workforce. "If all you want is
to screw this company down tight and get double-digit earnings growth
and nothing else, then I'm the wrong person," she says. "Companies
today are bigger than many economies. We are little republics. We are
engines of efficiency. If companies don't do [responsible] things, who
is going to? Why not start making change now?"
There's this thing that happens in businesses --they create their own language. If you were to sit in on a meeting at Target you would never hear the word "customer", we are all guests. And as this video shows, if you Go to Starbucks a Tall is a Small.
A taxi ride gives marketers something they find increasingly elusive - a captive audience - at a time when consumers are bombarded with commercial messages and when digital technology gives them the power to skip TV ads.
The average London taxi ride lasts 16 minutes, said Asher Moses, managing director of Taxi Promotions. In a normal working day, a driver picks up 40 to 60 fares; multiply that by 10 drivers, for the 888 campaign, and the audience that can be reached in a campaign that lasts several months is sizable
Monetizing person-to-person conversations is simply another form of spam, lacking merit, value or ethics.
I am not at all bothered by these campaigns. While it would be great to talk to a cabbie to get their unbiased opinion about the city, does anyone actually think that cabbies didn't in the past promote their buddy's restaurant or their sister in laws boutique?
It's just human nature. Cabbies have always promoted friends and family. Did they get paid to do it? Who knows. It doesn't matter. Now, I do believe in transparency and if the cabbie is a paid spokesperson I think there should be some sign in the cab that indicates the relationship of the cab driver to the product.
If I don't want to be 'sold" I can talk on my cell phone.
Enough already! It's time for businesses to stop restricting the browser of choice of their users.
Consumers have spoken and we don't all want to be using IE--so instead of forcing us, how bout the companies figure out how to design sites so that the browser doesn't matter.
It is 2008 isn't it?
From The Consumerist:
Eric Stoller simply wanted to do some online banking. He has a MAC.He uses Safari or Firefox.
When he tried to log onto Wells Fargo Financial he got this message.
We support the following browsers. If your browser does not meet Wells Fargo’s security standards, please follow the download instructions below.
Note: We strongly recommend that your computer be running one of the operating systems listed below, and be connected to the Internet using one of the browser versions indicated.
*Netscape® 6.XX and 7.XX
* Netscape Navigator/Communicator Upgrade for Windows
* Netscape Upgrade for Macintosh
Microsoft® Internet Explorer (MSIE) 5.X - 6.XX
* MSIE Upgrade for Windows
* America Online® 4.0 - AOL 8.0 for Windows; use with MSIE 5.X - 6.0
America Online Browser Upgrade
Umm. Did I miss something? Isn’t it 2008? The redirect page for us non-Netscape, Firefox users lists a copyright of 2005.
Perhaps Wells Fargo is still relying on a stagecoach for their mail and browsers like Netscape and MSIE 5 for surfing the web? This is ridiculous!
The only way that I can access my account is to run Internet Explorer from within Parallels! Arggghhh! :(
Now, I have a regular checking account with Wells Fargo and have no problem accessing my checking account using Firefox.
Wells Fargo Financial is different than the regular bank services
. Not so long ago I did a trial run of Webex Meet Me Now service. I invited a colleague to a meeting. She couldn't access it. So when my trial period was over, I opted to not get the service. Mind you, I wanted to get the service. It wasn't even a browser issue, they are ignoring MAC users.
I also test drove Genesys for their meeting service. While attendees can supposedly access meetings via a MAC, if you are hosting the meeting, you better use IE.
For another client I have to access Microsoft's Sharepoint software behind the client's firewall. While I can access the software if I use Firefox, I cannot perform all the necessary tasks like opening a file.
In other words.. to actually use Sharepoint I have to be on IE.
A couple of weeks ago, TIME reported on the growth of Firefox in Europe
Firefox continues to make impressive gains among Europe's web surfers,
chipping away further at the once unassailable lead of Microsoft's
Internet Explorer. According to web measurement firm Xiti Monitor,
Firefox's pan-European share of the browser market was 28 per cent in
December, up from 23.1 per cent in the year earlier period. In some
countries -- namely, Finland, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary -- at least
40 per cent of web surfers use Firefox, impressive for a browser that
is a little over three years old.
In commenting about the current status of commercial websites only being fully functional in one particular browser, Neil said:
It would be like designing a shop door so narrow only very thin people could get inside. That would be crazy. IE only websites are equally ludicrous.