Thursday, March 20, 2008
Starbucks launches community-suggestion site
The name is different, but Starbucks has unveiled a new suggestion site that looks an awful lot like Dell's Ideastorm community. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
The site, MyStarbucksIdea, proposes to take suggestions from customers on what changes they would like to see Starbucks make. The community then votes on their favorites, and comments on them.
But John Moore points to a quote from Chris Bruzzo, Starbucks chief technology officer, made when the website was introduced on Weds: “I am not aware of another organization that is investing in making this kind of a commitment to integrate customers and their ideas and their insights into the products and experiences that they develop.”
I have serious doubts that no one at Starbucks has heard of Ideastorm, and will assume this is just corporate posturing. But the bigger point here is, as Moore alludes to, is Starbucks' culture ready to act on the feedback they will receive from MyStarbucksIdea? Because you better believe that feedback is coming.
Interestingly, this ties into a discussion several of us were having at the Conversation Starters event during SXSW. We were discussing whether or not large companies are more likely to stumble on their first social media attempts. Dell's initial slip-ups in the blogosphere helped get their culture to a point where they were willing to embrace blogging and a community-empowerment idea like Ideastorm.
Is Starbucks at that point now? We'll soon find out. But besides that, I think this is a great move by the company and I applaud Starbucks for taking such a bold step.
Which raises an even bigger question, is this the start of a trend? What if MyStarbucksIdea ends up being the runaway success that it could become? How many more Fortune 500 companies might adopt a similar customer-empowerment site in the next year?
Exciting times my friends, exciting times...
Tags:The Viral Garden, Marketing, Starbucks, Dell