Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Starbucks aesthetic on the march

Alice remarks on the continuing Starbucks expansion into the entertainment/cultural landscape on It's All Good. Alice points to a terrific NYT article called The Starbucks Aesthetic. I won't repeat the post or my comment on it, but both Alice and the article raise some important points about marketing and authenticity. Personally, I am increasingly disenchanted with SBUX's presumptuousness, though I do appreciate many of the marketing lessons the company teaches by example. It's insulting to me that they expect to dictate to customers what aspects of culture are worth paying attention to and which are not. As Alice suggests, perhaps libraries' strength is that they are a refuge for authenticity. I agree that I think one of librarians' competitive advantages is our ability to understand and work collaboratively with the communities we're a part of, and that our transparency and lack of a profit motive makes us very strong in the authenticity arena. Granted, we have a ways to go in the cool arena, but we're getting there. :)

Categories: must_reads


Alice said...

Yep! And authenticity is a key driver for the Millennial/Gen Y generation, too.

And Starbucks does have some good things going on--grants and environmental awareness efforts. They're my favorite corporate example where even part-time employees get full-time health benefits. But their far-reaching pervasiveness into our cultural taste-making (literally and figuratively) does start to loom large when you stop to think about it.

Johnny Ong said...

great topics