Posts Tagged ‘starbucks’

I received the following letter in my inbox today from Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. Immediately I am seeing responses both in favor and against the email on their Facebook Fan page and various Tweets (#Starbucks) Twitter. It will be interesting to see how they respond to the potential flood of fans or critics on their social media platforms.

What do you think? Should a brand like Starbucks voice their position on or about politics? What could the ramifications be for the brand?

The Email Letter…

September 2011

Dear Starbucks Friend and Fellow Citizen:

I love our country. And I am a beneficiary of the promise of America. But today, I am very concerned that at times I do not recognize the America that I love.

Like so many of you, I am deeply disappointed by the pervasive failure of leadership in Washington. And also like you, I am frustrated by our political leaders’ steadfast refusal to recognize that, for every day they perpetuate partisan conflict and put ideology over country, America and Americans suffer from the combined effects of paralysis and uncertainty. Americans can’t find jobs. Small businesses can’t get credit. And the fracturing of consumer confidence continues.

We are better than this.

Three weeks ago, I asked fellow business leaders to join me in urging the President and the Congress to put an end to partisan gridlock and, in its place, to set in motion an upward spiral of confidence. More than 100 business leaders representing American companies – large and small – joined me in signing a two-part pledge:

First, to withhold political campaign contributions until a transparent, comprehensive, bipartisan debt-and-deficit package is reached that honestly, and fairly, sets America on a path to long-term financial health and security. Second, to do all we can to break the cycle of economic uncertainty that grips our country by committing to accelerate investment in jobs and hiring.

In the weeks since then, I have been overwhelmed by the heartfelt stories of Americans from across the country, sharing their anguish over losing hope in the strongest and most galvanizing force of all – the American Dream. Some feel they have no voice. Others feel they no longer matter. And many feel they have been left behind.

We cannot let this stand.

Please join other concerned Americans and me on a national call-in conversation on Tuesday September 6th hosted by “No Labels,” a nonpartisan organization dedicated to fostering cooperative and more effective government. To learn more about the forum and the pledges, visit

America is at a fragile and critical moment in its history. We must restore hope in the American Dream. We must celebrate all that America stands for around the world. And while our Founding Fathers recognized the constructive value of political debate, we must send the message to today’s elected officials in a civil, respectful voice they hear and understand, that the time to put citizenship ahead of partisanship is now.

Yours is the voice that can help ignite the contagious upward spiral of confidence that our country desperately needs.

With great respect,

chief executive officer, Starbucks Coffee Company

Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlueDM, Inc., specializing in Social Media Solutions and Social Media Staffing Solutions for businesses to build their social media success.

I was thinking about Starbucks today. It being National Coffee day and all. . . I have a few theories about why Starbucks makes us feel so important and cool. Needless to say there are a lot of things Starbucks has done incredibly well. I will get to the social media aspect in a quick minute. When you walk in to Starbucks you know that..

• You don’t have to order a thing and can hang out there as long as you want
• When you order you are the boss, the head honcho, the big cheese…you get to place a wild order that only you can think up, create and command as only a boss can
• You may even feel superior to others that do not carry the Starbuck logo laiden cup with the hand insulation protector as they walk the streets on the way to their chosen cubicles
• Free wifi…which once again reinforces the need to linger longer

But you know all that….

Starbucks has done a fantastic job in extending the theme of community that they started in their stores to their Facebook Fan page. With 13,987,029 (as of this writing) people that Like what they are doing…I say they have the right formula here. Fans, say what they want and do what they want. For the most part what I see are compliments not complaints. Although today I see a lot of people that don’t like the pending price increase due to rising coffee bean prices. Or the fact that Starbucks didn’t seem to acknowledge National Coffee Day (Perhaps they feel every day should be national coffee day).

I thought this was very funny too. Charles Rocks!

A lot of businesses these days put up their Fan pages and then lock them down tightly. I would be interested to know what you think about the lock it down thought process. Is it good for business to LOCK it down tighter than a maximum security cell block? Or let the good times roll and see what community creates?

Let me know what Ü think?

Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is founder of ÜberBlueDM, LLC., specializing in educating, empowering, strategizing, implementing, managing, reporting and Social Media Staffing and Temps for businesses to build their social media success.