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The Starbucks Experience, Joseph A. Michelli

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"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward." --Vernon Sanders Law.

When reading the title, The Starbucks Experience, a reader could take it one of two ways: a story about the experience of Starbucks as a company, or the story of the experience that Starbucks sells to its customers. I took it as the latter but in any case author Joseph A. Michelli presents valuable lessons for business.

These lessons can be distilled down to his five principles that he uses to describe Starbucks: Make It Your Own, Everything Matters, Surprise and Delight, Embrace Resistance, and Leave Your Mark.

Each of these principles is discussed in a chapter of its own. An “Introduction” and “Final Word” help to frame the discussion: understanding that while Starbucks is not perfect, it is clearly a huge success, and that what follows is an attempt to describe what Starbucks does well—being Starbucks—and how that translates into a strong connection to its customer base.

In roughly 180 pages, Michelli guides the reader through each of these principles, describing what it means with a rich tapestry of anecdotes. Using insets labeled “Create Your Own Experience” and “Ideas to Sip On,” Michelli encourages the reader to reflect upon the material and to make application.

Whether you're a fan of Starbucks is immaterial; this “skinny half-caf” book is an effective presentation of what has made Starbucks so successful at selling what has become an everyday luxury.

Created by cmcurtin
Last modified 2008-09-01 12:21 PM
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