Global Village Nagoya
ワシントン・ポスト紙にスターバックスの人気の秘密について興味深い記事がありましたので、内容を要約して英語多読記事にしました。 原文はこちら。The Washington Post "Why Starbucks chief Howard Schultz put himself at the center of America’s race debate"(スターバックス社長ハワード・シュルツはどうして人種論争の真っ只中に身を置くのか）
Starbucks cafes are always so crowded that I haven’t seen unoccupied Starbucks. Reading in The Washington Post, I found out a reason why young people gather at Starbucks. Young people do not only drink coffee there, but they are also attracted to the atmosphere and image that Starbucks has. That’s why Starbucks cafes are always overcrowded in Japan thanks to the secrets of Starbucks.
I think the atmosphere of Starbuck looks like hippies, not bound by others, and I don’t feel ordered to behave in a certain way. It looks like a lounge in a youth hostel, where people around the world gather and talk cheerfully. This may derive from the philosophy of the coffee shop.
As Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Computer, once mentioned about the law of attraction by saying people do not buy products but they buy images, we know how important corporate philosophy and image strategy are.
In the advent of a race straggle between the white and the minority, Howard Schultz, founder and CEO of Starbucks Coffee, embarked on an interesting campaign in which baristas write a message “Race Together” on the coffee cup that they serve and they talk with customers about racial tensions spread in the U.S. Howard Schultz has had his personal history that he picked out education, gay rights and gun control for Starbucks campaigns.
The gun control campaign made me surprised because Starbucks asked customers to leave guns when they enter Starbucks. This campaign reminds me of the scene of “Back to the Future 3” in which Strickland, sheriff, told cowboys to leave guns when they entered a festival venue. Contemporary America looks like a cowboy state
Schultz has some calculation behind these shrewd corporate campaigns. He willingly steps into controversial issues so that he tries to make Starbucks Coffee look more humane to understand people. In fact, when Schultz came on stage in “60 Minutes”, a CBS News show, he said passionately, “We're not in the business of filling bellies. We're in the business of filling souls.” The philosophy of Starbucks looks like that of an evangelical pastor, which keeps distance from other corporations. This philosophy seems to attract many ‘religious” people who passionately support Starbucks.
In Japan it is very rare for corporations to pick up political issues for their image strategies. If celebrities who represent corporate advertisement mention about politics, they are forced to back out of the corporate advertisement. That’s why I am intrigued at Starbucks campaigns. In the U.S Howard Schultz of Starbucks and Tim Cook of Apple have shown their politics bravely. As they are game makers, businesses may be reshaped drastically from now.