Starbucks: Sticking to its Knitting?

Starbucks just announced it’s ditching sales of warm breakfast sandwiches which might have been getting in the way of the addictive aroma of its coffee. And, after opening storefronts faster than you can say half-caf, half-decaf latte, it’s closing 100 lackluster stores. Back to the sandwiches: what makes Starbucks such a strong brand? Surely not its sandwiches and certainly not the smell of them. Customers love walking into a Starbucks, the aroma of warm coffee, the din of the coffee machines, the feeling of doing something for one’s self, if only for a moment. This is the incredible brand and lifestyle that Starbucks created. And some would argue it has begun to lose touch with its customers (and Wall Street) , trying to become too much to too many people in too many places. Kudos to Starbucks for trashing the sandwiches, retrenching from every street corner, and focusing on what it does best – selling the experience.

– Diane Schwartz