Sunday, October 22, 2006

Coolhunting through Starbucks

Today’s New York Times describes how Starbucks branches out from selling Mocha’s, Latte, and Espresso to becoming an arbiter and recommender of other items of good taste. It has successfully sold for quite some time compilations of music Cds. It is now extending this concept to movies and books. So far this seems to work quite well. People who are attracted to Starbuck’s atmosphere fall into a certain category, and branching out from premium-blend coffee to premium-blend entertainment seems to be a natural next step. Starbucks is trying to cater to a core group of customers with average age 42 and average income of $90,000.

Starbucks is now even considering publishing its own books and movies to cater to this audience – socially relevant, and with a human connection. For an artist, selling records at Starbucks can be a real booster. For example, since selling her album “Careless Love” at Starbucks, Madeleine Peyroux’s CD sales have tripled. According to customers, at Starbucks “some people of caring hearts and minds have looked at this and felt it was worthwhile and beneficial and would create a good vibe in the world.”
For Starbucks, it is all about finding those artists who are not yet mainstream, but about to make it, and convey an emotional connection - they are cool!


Starbucks just has to take care not to become premium bland!

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