Voice of the Partner – What lessons can we learn from Starbucks?

April 10, 2009 at 9:30 am Leave a comment

Sandra Glaser Cheek

Sandra Glaser Cheek

Starbucks is celebrating its MyStarbucksIdea.com’s first birthday. On this site, Starbucks asked “What would make your Starbucks experience perfect? We know you’ve got ideas – big ideas, little ideas, maybe even totally revolutionary ideas – and we want to hear them all.”starbucks-2

Starbuck’s has a dedicated team of “Idea Partners” – Starbucks employees who are experts in their respective fields. They bubble up the most popular and innovative ideas that are the best fit for Starbucks and present them to key decision makers within the company to recommend how they can execute on the new ideas. The top ideas are posted to the “Popular Ideas” section of the website and Starbucks customers can help decide which ideas are best by voting.
In their most recent newsletter, Starbucks highlighted the event and have published a few of the results from the first year of the program. What I think is quite impressive is that since March of 2008, more than 70,000 ideas were submitted through the site. And amazingly, Starbucks was able to execute swiftly on the following ideas (all submitted by Starbucks customers) that are currently offered:

  • Splash sticks
  • Buy coffee beans, receive a free cup of coffee.
  • Free coffee for Gold Card members on their birthday
  • Starbucks VIP card

At Amazon Consulting, we are continually tasked with helping our clients better understand their partners and design programs and processes that help them be “easier to do business with”. Maybe we can all learn something from Starbucks – sometimes it CAN be as easy as just asking.
I’m still waiting to see if my Starbucks Sippy Cup for kids bubbles up to the top of the list.

To place your vote go to www.mystarbucksidea.com.


Entry filed under: Partnering Tips. Tags: , , , .

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