Marketers, we want to hear from you! Take the Survey

Starbucks announced Wednesday that it is launching a new customer-suggestion site MyStarbucksIdea. The site will take customer ideas and let the community rate and vote on their favorites, similar to Dell's groundbreaking Ideastorm site. But the big question now becomes: Will Starbucks actually be willing to act on the ideas that the community supports?

Former Starbucks marketing exec John Moore has his doubts about the new foray:

"Time will tell if Starbucks customers are engaged by this online activity. Time will also tell if Starbucks corporate culture will adapt to social media and when (or if) Starbucks will implement customer ideas. Right now the most popular customer generated idea is for the company to implement a Buy 9 Drinks Get 1 Free punch card. That's a marketing activity the company abolished a long time ago. How will Starbucks respond now?"

Starbucks now has the site in place that encourages customer feedback, and so far they are getting a LOT of responses and ideas. Now comes the important part, actually going through and acting on the ideas that the community has proposed. If they don't that community will quickly turn on the company.
It's worth remembering that Dell had already been doing well with Direct2Dell, before launching Ideastorm. While I applaud Starbucks greatly for launching MyStarbucksIdea, I worry that Starbucks might have some resistance to openly embracing the ideas that the community suggests. A company's first social media steps are often stumbling points, it can take a while for them to find their way.

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Mack Collier is a social-media strategist based in Alabama. He helps companies build programs and initiatives that let them better connect with their customers and advocates. His podcast, The Fan-Damn-Tastic Marketing Show, discusses ways that brands can turn customers into fans. His first book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies That Turn Customers Into Fans, was published in April 2013 by McGraw-Hill.

Twitter: @MackCollier

LinkedIn: Mack Collier