Your company must make them FEEL something.

If  you’ve read my blog for any length of time you know that I have a huge Business Crush on Howard Schultz, founder of Starbucks.  Dino Dogan would tell you that ‘we all do,’ and he’s probably right.  What Howard, or more How do you create passion for your brand?correctly, what Starbucks does to illicit these emotions from customers is that they prompt them, continually.

I’ve written repeatedly that “It’s not about the coffee.”  I don’t even drink coffee; I’m a hard core tea addict.  Starbucks has decent tea and a great Chai, but even that’s not why I keep coming back.  It’s the entire customer experience that keeps me loyal.

In my past life when I supervised 18 Sales Reps. spread out across the Eastern half of the US, Starbucks-Everywhere was my office.  We could sit for hours in a pleasant environment , use the free wireless, and never ever feel rushed.  Not only did I spend thousands of dollars a year at the chain, I became a brand loyalist and incredibly grateful for their hospitality.

And they keep on doing things that make me feel passionately about the brand.  Last year it was the Indivisible campaign; I wear my bracelet and drink from my Indivisible mug every morning.

Recently, Starbucks began offering reusable $1 mugs to cut down on waste.  Of course I bought one, because I care about the environment and feel like I’m part of the Starbucks mission.  Now, my reusable cup )pictured here) already has my favorite drink permanently written on it.  Most of the time I don’t even need to tell my local Baristas what I want, because they know me … another customer service moment that connects me to the brand.

Perhaps you too have a major Starbucks connection, or perhaps you’re a contrarian who swears by Dunkin Donuts.  The point is, the brands that you are passionate about have done something to trigger that passion.  What is it that makes you want to evangelize for a brand?

The next, logical question is: What do you do to create that same loyalty and zeal in your own customers?  Because you know, it doesn’t happen by accident.

  • I just bought my reusable Starbucks cup the other day. I’m actually a diehard Tim Hortons coffee fan (Canadian eh:), but I do enjoy the Starbucks experience…and the chai tea latte:) Cheers! Kaarina P.S. I know I didn’t answer your question, but at the end of a long day, this is as good as I can give for now:)

    • Well thanks for stopping by…   there are a few brands that instill this kind of loyalty: John Deere, Harley Davidson, Snap-on….  it’s as much about the emotion of the brand as the product itself.

  • how right you are….it does not happen by accident. 

    Thnx for the mention and thnx for coming to my session. That was a blast 🙂

  • jimdougherty

    Great points, Amy!  Starbucks is a great example of a business that is far greater than the products that they sell.  It’s a fantastic challenge that you end with to understand how we create loyalty with our customers.  Really thoughtful and thought-provoking post – thank you!