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Showing 1-3 of 3 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on January 1, 2007
The keys to how Starbucks got from one site in Seattle to 11,000(with 5 new ones opening a day) is set out in 46 Tribal Knowledge chapters--- each of which is short, to the point, and with a take home point: don't create brand and work backword, just work hard and the brand will come; eschew advertising and embrace a passion that breds the ever elusive but very real buzz; don't stint on quality and don't underprice if you have quaility. Some of the advice may not be transferable to others but the story is interesting and, unlike a lot of business books, Moore writes clearly and packs it into just 238 pages.
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John Moore compiles the lessons he learned in his marketing career, including eight years with Starbucks, into this little book. Each of its 47 very brief, breezy chapters provides a single, useful concept. Maybe all that caffeine triggered Moore's laser-like focus and brevity. The central idea is that your marketing works best when it is people-based and authentic. Your employees will pitch in with promotional efforts, too, if they see you and the company as genuine. If you show them that the company meets its commitments in everything it does, that will give them confidence that the company will fulfill its promises to them. Your customers will absorb that assurance and solidity from your employees, and everyone will benefit. This isn't rocket science; some of the points seem a bit puffed up to make a book of more than 200 small pages. However, we find the book's core lessons worthwhile - like a latte, this small cupful is short and light, with a shot of energy.
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on November 9, 2006
Overall, I thought the book was marginally above average. The author has difficulty maintaining objectivity as he was previously employed by Starbucks.

Moore clearly and effectively communicates the goal and vision of Starbucks 'business wisdon' - the Starbucks party line. In this day and age of Enron, disgusting executive greed, and questionable corporate policies it is refreshing to see a corporation with goals beyond a solid bottom line. Starbucks deserves kudos for their progressive social policies, and enlightened goals.

At the same time, Moore makes no attempt to distinguish between corporate theory and the on-the-ground reality. While the theory is a beautiful thing, not all of the theory trickles down to each and every shop in the manner articulated in the book. The reality is that most Starbucks coffeehouses are not the fertile social meeting grounds that Schultz likes to promulgate. They are not the 'local coffeehouse' that Moore articulates. They are big business with faceless robots reciting a meaningless "have a nice day" script to a customer base that just wants their caffeine fix without the acidic ulcer that comes with diner coffee.

Starbucks coffee is a well designed, quickly delivered, generally good quality product on a production conveyor belt. By no means do I denigrate Starbucks for what it does - Starbucks has single handedly converted the population to better quality coffee. As much as they TRY to maintain that 'local coffeehouse' feel, at the end of the day, they are big corporate coffee. No amount of self promotion will change that fact.
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