Tech, Small Business Can Learn Plenty from Starbucks
People scoff at me when I refer to Starbucks as a tech company, but, with more than a cursory glance, it's obvious that mobile, social, digital and a sense of what's hip drives the company's most recent -- and ongoing -- hyper-growth phase.
In this article, I take a slightly different approach from my others. Because most of the media doesn't pull the real nuggets from conference calls, I excerpt the quantitative and qualitative stuff I consider most important. I use this information to make the case for Starbucks as a tech company. I close by explaining how local retail, particularly coffeehouses, must stop playing victim to the corporate behemoth.
The free-form style meshes nicely with the gritty, rough-around-the-edges, yet freakishly refined vibe we're nurturing with our still-evolving videos from TheBeach in Southern California.
So, from Starbucks FY13 Q1 earnings conference call, some seemingly random, though chronological and complementary blurbs:
This season, and for the first time, a Starbucks card was perhaps the nation's single most frequently given holiday gift, with one in 10 U.S. adults receiving a Starbucks card and $2 million worth of our exclusive first-ever steel Starbucks card selling out on Internet luxury goods retailer Gilt.com in only, believe it or not, six minutes.
I got my hands on a steel Starbucks card shortly after Christmas. It's a symbolic item, but it shows that Starbucks is more than a place to buy coffee; it's a daily habit, bordering on obsession for quite a few people. Like Lululemon (LULU) and Apple (AAPL) , it's a lifestyle brand.