This week’s book review is Onward by Howard Schultz.
Schultz artfully weaves the story of Starbucks from its humble beginnings, through it’s astronomic growth, it’s desperate decline, and it’s eventual reinvention and re-invigoration. The main focus of the book is the process he led to turn Starbucks back into the customer focused, coffee centered, culture forming icon that it is today. The book is packed with great stories and profound business wisdom.
By most accounts, Starbucks is an amazingly successful company. Over the years, they have had some periods of tremendous growth and profitability!
Although there are many factors that contribute to their success, there are three things that are absolutely critical;
As technology advances and more and more products and services become commoditized, the only thing that separates one business from another is the customer experience.
Poor customer experience can easily destroy a business . . . If you don’t believe this, just ask United or American Airlines. One ugly incident can destroy the customer loyalty that has taken years to build!
Conversely, exceptional customer service can accelerate a business and its profitability to new heights!
What Experience Does Your Business Provide?
I recently switched things up and gave up my BMW car for the iconic F150 short box 4X4 pickup truck. Aside from the obvious complete change in driving performance and utility, I was taken back by the lack of customer experience offered by Ford in comparison to BMW. For example:
The book review for this week is Strategy That Works by Paul Leinward and Cesare R. Mainardi
This is a detail oriented, fact rich, research based book that establishes a model for successfully translating business strategy to execution. They have done detailed studies on many companies like Starbucks, CEMEX and Danaher and put them into their “Identity Profile” system. This system defines the company’s value proposition, capabilities system and portfolio of products and services.