A crowd of motorcycles, from Triumphs to Harleys to Hondas, cool quietly in front of Starbucks in one of Connecticut's most upscale, suburban town centers....
West Hartford is not for the weak of wallet, and neither is Starbucks. But inside the cafe sit bearded, braided and bold men, proud of their colors and conversing passionately about girls and bikes while sipping espresso. What gives?
Explains one biker, there just aren't many places in communities anymore where people can get together and just talk. Another speaks the Starbucks mantra: It isn't work, it isn't home (and it isn't a bar).
Mind you, these words are not being read from a corporate brochure or being spoken by a Starbucks agent of marketing. They are words out of customers' mouths. These customers are brand evangelists spreading positive word of mouth (WOM).
This is a marketer's dream come true. Customers are quoting the Starbucks purpose, the Third Place Experience built around "One cup of coffee, one customer at a time."
I often write and talk about defining success as exceeding a customer's wants, needs and desires by creating great customer (and employee) experiences. I call it "The Happiness Quotient." Starbucks does it better than most. We should all aspire to create great people experiences. It's good for people and good for business.
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