A Humble Plan to Fix Starbucks and Their Financial Woes

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Austin Texas Homes, LLC 453249

Before I begin, let me express that I am not necessarily a Starbucks fan, nor do I avoid their coffee.  It's kinda pricey, but it tastes okay.  If I were to boycott Starbucks altogether, they would earn approximately $4.00 less each month, which is hardly "make or break" material.

I have read recently that Starbucks is experiencing some measure of difficulty, and they've closed a lot of stores across the country.  I have a plan which just might help to turn the tide.

1. Taking a page from the McDonald's playbook, why not create a "Happy Funtime Coffee" for kiddos?  From what I gathered in my marketing classes in college, if a company makes kids happy, the family will surely follow.  You want kids begging to go to your stores.  There's no harm in providing a $2.50 mini cappuccino for toddlers, right?

2. Next, give some thought to adding a character to your lineup, a la Burger King, Jack in the Box, Ronald McDonald, etc.  How about these suggestions?

The Starbuckaroo - friendly, caffeine-addled cowboy who lives on a dude ranch and grows coffee beans

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Starbucks - clearly, this campaign could be aimed at capturing the burgeoning toddler coffee market segment

When You Wish Upon a Starbucks - for older kids - inspires them to chase their dreams, fueled by a grande iced mocha

3. Lastly, IT'S JUST A CUP OF COFFEE, people!  Based on friends of mine who are coffee aficianados, Dunkin Donuts' coffee is probably as good as yours - they probably charge a fraction of the price.  Maybe you should even consider adding some donuts to your menu if you haven't already?  You could supplement your ridiculously high profit margins.

I hope you will take these suggestions seriously.  I think any one of them could save some jobs.  :)

 

P.S. On another note, could someone explain to me what the heck happened to the McDonald's crew of characters that was so popular in my youth?  I have seen Ronald pop up from time to time, but what of the Gremlin, Hamburglar, and Mayor McCheese?  That epic tale of good vs. evil played out across the ages on commercials when I was growing up.  I don't even understand the relationships of the various characters, frankly, but I do know that the Hamburglar is likely in jail by now.  Maybe that's why the storyline fizzled out?

 

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If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at www.austintexashomes.com.  Thanks!

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Rainmaker
631,202
Don Rogers
Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield - O'Fallon, MO
Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes

Jason,

I think I am seeing a theme starting here......Yesterday it was all about a 2 pound donut and today it is all about coffee...........HMMMM I think I will head off to Krispy Kreme for a dozen donuts and come home for coffee.

BTW, don't forget to take the wife somewhere special today.

May 10, 2009 01:53 AM #14
Ambassador
490,156
Kristin Moran
Owner - RE/MAX Access - KristinMoran@Remax.net - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio,TX - Real Estate - 210-313-7397

The Starbuckaroo - now that is some brilliant marketing Jason.  If they decide to go with it, I hope you get some proceeds from it :D.

May 10, 2009 06:33 AM #15
Rainmaker
638,444
Maria Morton
Platinum Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Jason, if Starbuck's wouldn't charge for their "free wi-fi", I might go back. But Latte Land is just as good, friendlier, and has truly free wi fi. Bye-bye starbuckaroo.

May 10, 2009 07:39 AM #16
Rainmaker
661,807
JL Boney, III
Coldwell Banker - Columbia, SC
Columbia, SC Real Estate

I never drink coffee, so I'm afraid my money helps them none. I think this is a great idea for marketing. I don't have children, but the only thing I can think is, if I did have children do I really want to deal with them while they are all hopped up on coffee?

May 10, 2009 09:43 AM #17
Ambassador
342,695
Paddy (Patricia) Pizappi
Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty - Pine Bush, NY
Real Estate Associate Broker Hudson Valley NY

I say cut the prices because it is over the top to pay that much for water and beans!

May 10, 2009 11:46 AM #18
Rainmaker
163,529
Jeannette Neerpat
CondoDomain.com - Coral Springs, FL
e-Pro Coral Springs/Parkland Real Estate

Jason I remembern those characters and wondered myself where they went. But hey things change right? As far as there coffee I think they charge to much and now McDonalds now has there Premium Coffee that taste just as good.

May 10, 2009 12:51 PM #19
Rainmaker
2,557,980
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Starbucks coffee is overprices and TOOO strong for me.

May 10, 2009 02:02 PM #20
Rainmaker
595,531
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

LOL! I can't believe that YOU are suggesting that children be given caffeine! Aside from that, I personally think caffeine is harmful to the human body. I have to take a lot of medication for Fibromyalgia, yet I can't have caffeine! I won't bother with details, but caffeine IS a drug, and I think more people should take that seriously.

May 10, 2009 02:54 PM #21
Rainmaker
3,985,513
William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Jason...I think you have a plan.  Someone with a level head should intervene!

May 10, 2009 03:09 PM #22
Rainmaker
3,917,135
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Jason,

You might have something but I doubt Starbucks will see it your way! I love the Starbuckaroo..you should get royalties on that one!

May 10, 2009 03:15 PM #23
Rainmaker
606,683
Brian Burke
Kenna Real Estate - Englewood, CO
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate

Jason - I don't drink coffee, but I recently talked to somebody that works at Starbucks and they said that all kinds of cutbacks are occurring. from cutting the part timers with full benefits and reducing managers etc. Yes I'd have to say they are feeling the crunch. (except you'd never know it at the nearby Starbucks - every time I drive by their drive through is packed full ~Rita

May 10, 2009 03:53 PM #24
Rainmaker
1,087,356
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

Jason,

I love coffee. When I do want the "good stuff" i'll pay 2 bucks  for a cup of Pikes Place coffee at Starbucks.

I don't see the promo of caffeine a hit with today's youth. But when you think about it, we are one fat around the belly of a a nation stuffed with cheese, sauce and beer.  So maybe your idea will work. Maybe they could squeeze some syrup, cream and carmel in the coffee while they're at it.

May 10, 2009 04:37 PM #25
Rainer
27,970
Randy Demming
Campbell Homes - Colorado Springs, CO

Oh how I miss the hamburgler! My fave marketing slogen had to be: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Starbucks

I think its a fantastic idea to market to children...everyone else is doing it right? ;)

May 11, 2009 09:55 AM #26
Rainmaker
400,678
John Cannata
214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

That is funny because I have not seen or heard about the McDonalds crew for a LONG time.  As for Starbucks... you may not go, but I spend enough there for you and me both.

May 11, 2009 05:43 PM #27
Rainmaker
284,916
Tere Rottink
CoastalVa Realty Inc - Virginia Beach, VA

Jason:  I love this post, how come you don't have all your buttons at the bottom?

You had me laughing with the "$2.50 mini cappuccino for toddlers"

A friend of mine who is in marketing came up with a junior version for Moe's, something very much like what you are describing it.  It has been so succesful, the company is taking it national.

Thanks for the laugh.   Tere

May 12, 2009 12:12 AM #28
Rainmaker
323,202
Cheryl Powell - The Powell Team
Southern Homes of The Carolinas - The Powell Team - Harrisburg, NC
Concord,Harrisburg & Charlotte NC Area Real Estate

It looks to me that Starbucks priced themselves out of the market. In these tough economic times, prople are using more discretion in their spending.

May 12, 2009 03:52 AM #29
Rainer
25,929
Casey Wright
WingWire - San Diego, CA

I think the best move for Starbucks is to downsize. It was never sustainable to have one on every corner. 

May 12, 2009 05:59 AM #30
Rainmaker
325,921
Esko Kiuru
Bethesda, MD

Jason,

Looks like Starbucks could use some of your ideas. Frankly, their prices are rather high and never really understood how they were able to sell this long their product for that.

May 12, 2009 06:21 AM #31
Rainer
70,299
The Rains Team
Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners - Hoschton, GA
A higher standard in real estate

Hi Jason...I absolutely love Starbucks and think they have the best coffee, but rarely go there because of their prices. I think making their prices more reasonable (especially considering the current economic times) would help them save their company.

Have a great day,

Anne Rains

May 13, 2009 08:09 AM #32
Rainmaker
272,109
Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

Jason - Don't forget the Fry Guys (a much later edition) and I believe the Gremlin you're referring to is actually Grimace, the purple blob monster thing that loved Shamrock Shakes.

May 16, 2009 06:11 AM #33
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