Previous blockchain blogpost:
Bitcoin can address the cash flow problems that many marketing agencies face. One of the challenges every business face is cash flow, and marketing agencies are not immune to it. Bitcoin is the solution. It has some financial benefits and less tangible advantages. The company who accepts the payment can either use a third-party to convert the Bitcoins into cash or withdraw it in the form of Bitcoins. Getting started is super easy. There are plenty of companies help businesses that want to get Bitcoin set up as a payment option.
Blockchain technology applications in various industries
The novel technology called blockchain is making waves and is the new change on the horizon. Although it is already in the financial world, the uses of blockchain technology are far more wide-reaching. It is shaking up many sectors along with all industries including supply chain, corporate responsibility, fashion designing, and digital advertising.
Supply chain sector
WALMART IBM Source: Unlock blockchain
The problem that large food companies face is trust issue because their customers are skeptical of many things such as where their food comes from and the factory conditions. It is the job of the marketer to build trust to be able to sell the product successfully. And transparency about the product is the quickest and the surest way to gain that trust. For example, Walmart used a strategy to bring a certain level of transparency in their logistics and supply chain. They enabled their customers to track digitally from where the products came. The goal was to boost the trust of Walmart consumers in their products. This strategy of storing products through blockchain makes room for transparency and prevents tampering. Some services such as Metamask and Keybase already offer the user control of their transaction history and identity.
Earth with Tree between Hands – Ecology Concept
Corporate responsibility sector
Sustainable practice is something that customers used to take on the organization’s word. Regarding such initiatives as corporate social responsibility, there used to be no accountability. Blockchain can generate digitized agreements, wherein the company is then held accountable by making these promises public.
Fashion designing sector
VeChain-End of counterfeiting Source: The complete coin guide
Innovative ideas are coming through in the fashion industry using blockchain. Shanghai-based Vechain is authenticating fashion products and providing a background of the items using blockchain technology. At Shanghai Fashion Week, Babyghost provided a link between the fashion and digital worlds. The customers can verify if a particular fashion item is genuine or not by scanning the tag using blockchain, and even see where it came from as well as who had previously modeled it. Verification of the authenticity of the products can be traceable from the point of origin. This feel to each product allows the customer to create a unique connection with the item. Thus blockchain can tap into authentic advertising without being seen as marketing. The possibilities are endless for those marketers innovative enough to jump on the bandwagon.
Digital advertising sector
The advertising and marketing industry is not only dynamic but also susceptible to change. Intrinsically, it fluidly adapts to the shifting focus of consumers and new technologies. The blockchain comes into this arena by creating more value for ad campaigns. For advertisers and marketers, the future could be different on many fronts and applications. They include permanent contracts with consumers; verification of ad delivery; and handling consumer data transparently. This surge shows how much commotion is happening right now in the digital marketing industry. And it all boils down to an increase in the profit margin and a decrease in extra costs.
Intermediaries made redundant
The middle person plays a significant role in the world of digital advertising and marketing. However, the companies investing are hardly getting even half the value because of the intermediaries involved. The technology of blockchain solves this by proving that users are real, eliminating the need for a mediator for advertising. So, companies can now communicate directly with the site owners when they publish an ad.
New blockchain browser
The Brave browser built on blockchain has ad-blocking software that blocks intrusive ads and trackers. The blockchain browser allows screening of those ads that do not respect people’s privacy. It has introduced the Basic Attention Token, which brings the digital marketing model to a simple framework of users, publishers, and advertisers, without the intermediaries taking a cut. This software can anonymously track the sites that are of interest to a particular target market. Brave creates a win-win situation whereby the advertising agencies can target the ads directly to the end-consumers, and people can choose the level of exposure to these ads and also get paid for it.
Unified customer profile
In marketing, the process of gaining a customer profile comes in dribs from third parties such as Google and Facebook. But the novel way of doing things would provide marketers with an integrated profile of the customer. That way, marketers will have to prove their customer relationship value and find advanced ways to engage with them.
Future of marketing
The way forward is to balance advertising and marketing with consumer identity concerns. In the new era, marketers will have to earn the permission of the customer in a completely different way. So, in the future, the marketer will have to pay the user to see their advertising material. For example, when a company approaches a user to subscribe, the company will be asked to pay the customer a certain price for that info. It would be in crypto payments, which would then go through a cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin.
Bitcoin branded company
A brand that embraces cutting-edge technology is one that is innovative and edgy, one that other companies might want to copy. It is possible to create a whole strategy around this and gain coverage that will put the company in the middle of conversations and generate intrigue and curiosity around the brand. There is also the opportunity to become a go-to expert by producing informative content around this topic. The way it could work for a business is by first learning how to source Bitcoins, and then deciding whether this is the right fit for the company.
Receiving Bitcoin tokens
To accept Bitcoins, all that is needed is a Bitcoin button at the checkout and a digital wallet. It works like a cycle whereby the publishers and users receive tokens when they view the ads. From there, the users can opt to donate them using blockchain all the while making it reliable and private.
Coming up next:
We are experiencing a significant shift in the real estate industry, as more and more people are engaging in property transactions using Bitcoin. Many industry experts are excited about the potential for digital money and the blockchain technology when it comes to real estate. But although digital currency transaction is the future, industry insiders say that we are not quite there as yet. Digital money analysts are less convinced that the property market would more widely adopt the cryptocurrency.
Previous blockchain blogpost:
Blockchain transforms not only sectors such as security, health, and finance but also many basic tenets of marketing. However, not much discussion goes around as to how blockchain would upend the role of advertising. Nevertheless, advertising industry will be one among the first that blockchain technology would disrupt. It digitizes touch points, makes digital payments, creates meaningful value, builds trust, and decentralizes advertising concepts. Marketers who recognize this will have a lucrative opportunity in front of them and an edge over others. Hence for salespeople and marketers, it is worth spending some time to understand the changes happening in this arena.
Marketing agencies gain by accepting Bitcoin
One of the challenges every business face is cash flow, and marketing agencies are not immune to it. With most agencies getting paid on a monthly basis, shortening the payment cycle can improve cash flow. Different ways such as providing clients with a menu of payment options to changing terms can accomplish this. Most agencies opt for the former, choosing to offer the option of paying via credit card, direct bank transfer or cheque. Although these are all very convenient, there are risks and costs associated with each.
There are risks and costs associated with each payment type
Credit card transactions
For credit card transactions, merchant fees are typically around 3%, which can be high for clients on huge retainers. Moreover, credit card companies hold payments for up to three days before they transfer it.
Direct bank transfer
For direct bank transfer from one account to another using electronic methods, usually, there is a flat fee levied on each transaction, making them affordable for the sale sizes most agencies process. But while costs are less expensive, the time to process a bank-to-bank transfer is longer.
Payment using cheque
With cheques, although there is no cost to process them, there is a significant delay in getting paid. From the time it takes to mail it to the time the bank clears the payment, it can take a couple of weeks to see the amount hit the bank account.
Payment option challenges
Both direct bank transfer and credit card transactions sometimes incur disputes or chargebacks from customers. They may claim that the charge was unauthorized, false, or that the bank misappropriated the information of the account. When this happens, marketing agencies have no choice but to absorb the financial loss. Also, organizations that accept direct bank transfer or credit card payments are obligated to safeguard the payment information of the clients, and if they mishandle this, it can be a severe risk.
Bitcoin offers solutions
For marketing agencies struggling to increase cash flow and reduce risks, Bitcoin is the solution. There is no risk in accepting Bitcoins but an advantage regarding improving the cash flow. Since the emergence of Bitcoin in 2009, it has grown to become the most extensively used cryptocurrency in the world. Vendors including Amazon, Overstock.com, Dish Network, Target, Dell Computers, PayPal, eBay, Expedia, the Sacramento Kings, Home Depot, Kmart and Sears now accept it. Bitcoin payment solution also has some financial benefits and less tangible advantages.
Great financial benefits
Marketing agencies that get paid via Bitcoin can either accept actual Bitcoins or merely turn them into cash using a third-party payment processor, much like credit cards do. From a risk standpoint, the former approach is much safer because there is virtually no exchange risk when using a third-party processor. There are no processing fees unless the transactions exceed a high amount. There are no chargebacks either because Bitcoins are push transactions, meaning the buyer initiates them.
Less tangible benefits
Marketing agencies should consider accepting Bitcoins because there are non-financial benefits. Agencies get paid faster because payments are processed immediately without any delay. Also, the agencies do not need to safeguard or hold sensitive customer payment information such as bank account or credit card numbers because of the push nature of the business. Therefore, the marketing agencies are not at risk of confidential information being leaked, stolen or hacked if it experiences a data breach. And converting them into cash eliminates the risk of fraudsters taking the Bitcoins through a cyber attack.
Easy payment form
Chief amongst the reasons to accept Bitcoin, as one of the accepted forms of payment, is customer satisfaction. Marketing agencies can allow their clients to pay for the services in the way that is most convenient and easiest for them thereby offering them more options.
Capture lucrative customers
While people have not widely adopted Bitcoin the way they have done with credit cards it is prevalent amongst high-tech and dot-com firms, which can be very profitable customers for the agencies. There is a growing but small cadre of advertising and marketing agencies that are accepting Bitcoins such as Quintain Marketing, 5ivecanons in Jacksonville, Florida, and DiMassimo Goldstein in New York. Because there are so few of marketing agencies that are taking Bitcoin, those that do are enjoying a significant amount of press coverage.
Processing Bitcoin payment
Blockchain has various uses, but it becomes technical when it comes to how it works and what it is. When someone wants to pay using Bitcoins, they must initiate it using a private key. The company or person who accepts the payment can either use a third-party to convert the Bitcoins into cash or withdraw it in the form of Bitcoins. Once Bitcoin has been initiated and processed, it cannot be refunded or taken back.
Get set go
Getting started is easy and fast as there are plenty of companies helping businesses that want to get Bitcoin set up as a payment option. These companies help businesses to navigate the unfamiliar process of establishing a Bitcoin account. They will then connect the company with a third-party processor that will convert the Bitcoins into cash, which then gets deposited into the bank account. Among the most popular payment processors include Bitpay, Coinbase, and GoCoin. To help simplify the process, take some time to check out their sites, and if possible, work with a local agency. That way, there will be someone to turn to for help for quick answers to questions in this unchartered territory.
Mass adoption challenges
The most significant problem with the mass adoption of Bitcoin is that people do not have a clear understanding of how it works. They cannot even comprehend what it is. Furthermore, Bitcoins have been used to facilitate black market or illegal transactions because they are non-refundable, difficult to trace and are not regulated by any central authority. As a result, the news in the mainstream media channels surrounding Bitcoin has been negative. This bad publicity has led to the hesitation on the part of many companies to accept it as a payment form.
Coming up next
Blockchain is the new change on the horizon. It is already in the financial world. But the uses of blockchain are far more wide reaching. It is shaking digital advertising firms. It is also becoming prevalent in many other sectors in all industries including supply chain, corporate responsibility, and fashion designing. To accept Bitcoins, all the marketing firm needs is a Bitcoin button at the checkout and a digital wallet. It works like a cycle whereby the publishers and users receive tokens when they view the ads.
One thing that the most proficient salespeople instinctively and intuitively do on a consistent basis is to focus on the right deals. They seem to have their own built‐in or hard‐wired qualification system for accurately and effectively assessing their sales opportunities. They clearly don’t chase every deal that’s placed in front of them. It’s like they have a sixth sense about working on the right deals…the deals they have the best chances of winning. They can quickly examine 10 deals and determine which ones they should focus on immediately and which ones can be placed on the back burner.
Every salesperson believes that her deal is one she can win, provided she has access to the right resources. But how can a salesperson consistently evaluate all of the deals they are currently pursuing? Using a common language and a structured, repeatable process for analyzing each sales opportunity makes it easier for the salesperson, as well as the entire sales organization to answer that question!
There are three compelling questions that should be asked in each sales campaign to qualify the opportunity. These questions, and the corresponding underlying criteria, should be examined at multiple times during a sales campaign. They should certainly be asked near the beginning of a campaign to determine if a real sales opportunity exists and should be pursued by the salesperson. They should be asked again if there’s a significant change to the customer’s business profile or to the competitive landscape during a sales campaign. It might also be appropriate to pose the questions yet again if there is a major change to the profile of the sales organization (i.e., the introduction of new solutions).
The three compelling questions are:
- Should We Pursue this Opportunity? Is there a project or application associated with this opportunity, a corresponding budget and has the budget been approved? Do we understand the customer’s business drivers, business initiatives and compelling reasons for the customer to implement a decision or is the customer simply gathering information? Developing an in‐depth understanding of the customer’s business, their key customers and competitors are important components of this compelling question. Since time and resources are limited, it’s important to determine that the opportunity being pursued is a genuine opportunity ‐ worthwhile of our investment in both time and resources.
- Can We Effectively Compete for this Opportunity? Solution fit is but one component of whether you can be competitive in a sales campaign. Are there enough internal or external resources available to compete successfully for the business? Are there existing business relationships established with this customer? Do we understand the formal and informal decision‐making processes and can we impact those processes? Does our solution offer specific business value that enables us to differentiate ourselves from our competitor(s)?
Knowing how our company, as well as our solution, relates to the specific sales opportunity can be key ingredients to winning the deal. Being able to realistically contrast that information with that of our competitor(s) is another important factor of assessing this compelling question.
- Can We Reasonably Expect to Win this Opportunity? This compelling question is the most important one and also the one most overlooked in sales campaigns. Many opportunities are lost even if the salesperson has the best solution, the best delivery and even the best terms and conditions. This question deals with how well the salesperson understands the customer’s organizational structure that reveals the inside support necessary to win the deal.
Do the most powerful people in the customer’s organization want us to win? Do we have credibility with the customer’s key players? Most importantly, is there political alignment with the key players in the customer organization who either affect or are affected by the buying decision? Finally, what facts support these assessments of our customer relationships?
Contrasting these factors with that of our competitor(s) can have a significant impact on our decision to continue to pursue a sales opportunity.
Examining each of these three compelling questions at multiple times during a sales campaign can be compared to an airline pilot examining their pre‐flight checklist. No matter how many times a pilot has flown a certain plane, they meticulously examines that checklist prior to each and every flight, probing each question, using a structured and methodical approach. They clearly don’t want to be surprised in the midst of a flight and does not want to leave anything to chance.
Although it may only take a few minutes for a salesperson to examine those three compelling questions and some of their underlying criteria, you will find that it is time well spent and by doing so you’ll increase your chances of winning those key deals!
Dr. Steve Bistritz is the founder of SellXL and has more than 40 years of high-tech sales, sales management and training management experience. He just released the 2nd edition of his best-selling sales book, Selling to the C-Suite. Visit his website at www.sellxl.com.
Photo by Didier Weemaels on Unsplash
For the next few months, expect a series of 13 blog posts about blockchain technology and its impact in sales and marketing. Below is a synopsis of what to expect in each blog post in the order given.
- Blockchain transforms not only sectors such as security, health, and finance but also many basic tenets of marketing. It digitizes touch points, makes digital payments, creates meaningful value, builds trust, and decentralizes advertising concepts. Marketers who recognize this will have a lucrative opportunity in front of them and an edge over others. Hence for salespeople and marketers, it is worth spending some time to understand the changes happening in this arena. Already companies based on blockchain are growing exponentially.
- One of the challenges every business face is cash flow, and marketing agencies are not immune to it. Bitcoin is the solution. It has some financial benefits and less tangible advantages. The company who accepts the payment can either use a third-party to convert the Bitcoins into cash or withdraw it in the form of Bitcoins. Getting started is super easy. There are plenty of companies help businesses that want to get Bitcoin set up as a payment option.
- Blockchain is the new change on the horizon. Although it is already in the financial world, the uses of blockchain are far more wide reaching. It is shaking up many sectors along with all industries including supply chain, corporate responsibility, fashion designing, and digital advertising. To accept Bitcoins, all the company needs is a Bitcoin button at the checkout and a digital wallet. It works like a cycle whereby the publishers and users receive tokens when they view the ads.
- We are experiencing a significant shift in the real estate industry, as more and more people are engaging in property transactions using Bitcoin. Many industry experts are excited about the potential for digital money and the blockchain technology when it comes to real estate. But although digital currency transaction is the future, industry insiders say that we are not quite there as yet. Digital money analysts are less convinced that the property market would more widely adopt the cryptocurrency.
- In the real estate blockchain enables to store authentic online documents, draw digital smart contracts, and keeps the identities of the parties anonymous. While all sounds great, for everything to work seamlessly, it still needs a lot of things. As traders and investors have bid up Bitcoin’s price higher and higher, the Securities and Exchange Commission has suspended trading of some firms. Investors need to be cautious and not chase small companies that are trying to ride the wave.
- The blockchain is the system behind cryptocurrencies. A basic grasp of how it works will prove to be sufficient for now. But in the future, this knowledge would hardly be enough. The question is how to start, and the answer is first to have an understanding of the fundamentals of blockchain. With the growth of the industry, it is possible to reach mass adoption. Even if it fails, Blockchain is here to stay and is a big game changer.
- Cryptocurrency is a digital payment maintained by a network of computers that uses cryptography to authenticate transactions. Depending on how investors expect to make money and how they are structured, some cryptocurrencies may count as securities. If traders of these currencies prop up the price and go online to spread gossips, that might count as fraud. It can be hard to determine if a bubble exists. The only way to ensure that they avoid a burst is mass adoption.
- A war is over the future of Bitcoin, the first digital currency, and is already showing strain. Two of the biggest among the competitors of Bitcoin is Darkcoin and Ethereum. Many of the currencies younger then Bitcoin can be used for much more versatile purposes. Hence Bitcoin faces a threat from more nimble competitors. Digital currencies will drive new company model innovation at unprecedented levels. This revolution could be either a bubble or the onset of a financial realignment.
- Blockchain technology represents a seismic shift like that of email and web in the 90s and Facebook and Twitter a decade later. This innovative technology also makes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies possible without centralized authority. But cryptocurrencies are just the tip of the iceberg, much bigger and more essential things lie below the surface. Blockchain technology has the potential to create countless opportunities everywhere. 21.co, a blockchain startup founded by Dr. Balaji Srinivasan, is a compelling case in point
- Some businesses and companies prefer to stick to their past, but this is not a good marketing strategy. Instead, it is essential to take a progressive approach and look out for the next big thing. That is what happens when companies begin to accept Bitcoin payment that put them in a position for greater success. Embracing the power of this new blockchain technology shows the customers and prospects of a business that it is well ahead of the curve.
- Charlie Shrem was among the pioneer public faces of cryptocurrency. He co-founded a startup company in 2011 called BitInstant that was one of the earliest cryptocurrency companies processing a third of all Bitcoin transactions. In 2015, Shrem went to prison for two years for aiding an unlicensed money transmitter acquire Bitcoins to trade in the underground marketplace, where it was used to buy drugs. It was a felony that is the first of its kind in the crypto world.
- Charlie Shrem the first Bitcoin felon went to federal prison in 2015 for 2 years. Upon his release he went about strengthening the ecosystem of blockchain. A real breakthrough came when he created a prepaid Dash debit card. He then joined Intellisys Capital and decided to raise funds in the form of initial coin offering but was mired with doubts, as he feared the intense scrutiny from the authorities and eventually backed off.
- Today, many of the blockchain assets are tokens that are distributed as initial coin offerings. It constitutes the Internet’s second business model. Associated jobs have soared as its value has risen. Candidates who understand initial coin offerings, know how to write smart contracts, and have a good understanding of Ethereum would have an extra competitive edge. Interested applicants should read up the online literature on how blockchain works and be aware of the basics before applying in the field.
Bitcoin is the earliest cryptocurrency
The topics of the series are broadly categorized as follows:
- Blockchain is defined as a distributed peer-to-peer database that is based on an open and public ledger coded by cryptography. It is intermediated, decentralized and unalterable. Blockchain is a technology to be reckoned with as it can be applied in various industries. It will disrupt many businesses including the advertising world.
- Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies or, in technological parlance, alternative coins, also known as altcoins. Although Bitcoin is the most commonly used cryptocurrency, there are many limitations to it. Its flaws and weakness have given rise to many other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Ripple, and Dash.
- The marketing industry will see phenomenal changes in the way products and services are advertised. In future, customers in the target market will have to be paid a fraction of a cent for their attention. Such micropayments is only possible with blockchain that is one of its greatest advantages. The blockchain technology called Brave will enable this.
- Big-ticket items such as mansions and real estate properties are purchased using Bitcoin. There are cases whereby houses with a Bitcoin price tag received overwhelming response and media publicity. However, the technology faces some obstacles in the real estate sector that prevents mass adoption.
- Lastly, using a real life case study we will warn you on how not to conduct business using this emerging trend. It is a case study based on the first felony committed in the crypto industry. It is also the story of a powerful transformation in the life of the felon who has now dedicated his life to help evolve the blockchain ecosystem.
After the case study, we will provide some information for those who would like to pursue a career in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. We will then wrap it up with the publication of the white paper written by an anonymous hacker who goes by the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin.
Stay tuned on www.blog.smei.org
Research shows that goals that are written are 80% more likely to be accomplished. Before we can set effective goals that are meaningful and motivating, we need to be in the proper mindset.
A peak performance mindset begins with changing your limiting beliefs into liberating beliefs. Research shows that 80% of our success comes from our mindset and 20% from our skills. Given that statistic, it is imperative that we understand some of the hurdles that stand in our way of that success. The National Science Foundation has found that we have 60,000 thoughts each day, with 48,000 of them being negative. So, the negative mindset is paralyzing our ability to reach our goals day in and day out.
The question is, how do we overcome these negative thoughts to break through and reach our goals? Author, Shawn Achor, outlines in his book, Before Happiness, that people with a happy mindset are 23% more energetic, 31% more productive, 300% more creative and sell 38% more! For those of us who are in sales, and we all are in some way, this is great news.
In addition to finding ways to get into a happy mindset, we need to get into a growth mindset. Dr. Carol Dweck, the leading authority on growth mindset, “the only thing that separates people who succeed from those who don’t is whether or not they have a growth mindset.” Therefore, you don’t want to get stuck in a rigid and repetitive mindset that keeps inhibiting your potential for success. Those with a growth mindset are typically open to learning, embrace challenges, see efforts as a way to success and persist in the face of adversity, all of which are essential to reaching peak performance goals.
Since “goals are the pathway to your destination,” there are four steps to goal achievement.
- Visualize your goals. When you can visualize your goals, with a wall of dreams or vision board, your ability to define and reach those goals becomes infinitely more achievable.
- Write down your goals! – Goals that are written are 97% more achievable!
- Reflect \ After Action Report – Reflection, especially with a coach or mentor, is key in setting effective goals. Reflecting on why you are achieving allows you to understand the steps taken to achieve, while also reflecting on the reasons why you failed to achieve is key in learning the why behind the actions that lead to coming up short. In the business setting, you can use After Action Reports to reflect on the successes and failures in your business goals.
- Define the purpose for your goals. “The bigger the why the bigger the try.” I usually recommend a personal brand statement, a family motto, or what you would want written on your tombstone. As a proud husband and father of three boys, my personal purpose statement is “thank you, you showed us how to have fun, live life, love unconditionally and be respectful.” For my business, G3 Development Group’s purpose is “planting seeds of emergence” in every customer interaction we have. Meaning, everything we work on together will continue to emerge and bring value in time.
Finally, in the goal setting worksheet that I can send to you (email@example.com), there is a space for you to list your talents (Gallup Strengthsfinder), so that you are always becoming the best version of yourself, there’s a place to paste your vision board, and there is a signature box. Since everything that has serious consequences in life requires a signature, your goals should also. This is your way of taking ownership to your goal!
So wake up tomorrow, smile, embrace the challenges ahead of you with enthusiasm and reap the benefits of success! You’ve got this!
For more information on how to achieve success visit our website.
Photo by Jungwoo Hong on Unsplash
Starbucks has almost become a synonym of coffee. Howard Schultz not only built an admirable company but also paved the ground for coffee culture inspired by timeless values. Each alphabet of the word STARBUCKS mean a great deal to Howard Schultz, the visionary entrepreneur, who built the organization from scratch. Through his Successful book “Onward” and in the Spirit of sharing Knowledge he tells us a Unique story of Coffee Brand in his own words involving Tenacity, Resilience, and Accomplishment.
S – Success
- If not checked, success has a way of covering up small failures, and when many of us at Starbucks became swept up in the company’s success, it had unintended effects. We ignored, or maybe we just failed to notice, shortcomings.
T – Tenacity
- I believed that Starbucks had an enormous potential to return to greatness, that the company had yet to be as good as it was going to be. I believed in the power of the brand, in our founding mission, and most of all, in our people.
A – Accomplishment
- I’ve come to think that I am at my best as a leader when Starbucks is being challenged or fighting for survival. I’m comfortable with, and in a way, enjoy the rugged, steep ascent. That is my nature. And while I would not want to constantly battle against the odds, the raw feeling of accomplishing something that others did not think possible, or leading people beyond where they thought they could go, is extremely gratifying.
R – Resilience
- One reason I believed that the Starbucks brand would be resilient was because our founding values still resonated, perhaps now more than ever as anxiety and distrust seeped into the popular zeitgeist, and not just in the United States. In addition to our values, Starbucks’ core product would also continue to be relevant. Coffee will never lose its romance. It will always bring people together and be part of conversations in every language, even as the conversations change. Coffee will forever connect.
B – Brand
- Our ongoing challenge is to creatively nurture coffee’s essence, keeping it personal despite our size. I do not want Starbucks to be defined solely by its thousands of stores or millions of customers. More than our scale, the brand can and should be defined by the quality of its coffee as well as its value. Community. Connection. Respect. Dignity. Humor. Humanity. Accountability. It is our mission to make sure the world sees us through those lenses.
U – Uniqueness
- Unlike other retailers that sold coffee, the equity of Starbucks’ brand was steeped in the unique experience customers have from the moment they walk into a store. The aroma. The sense of community. The familial relationships customers establish with their local baristas. And the pride they feel knowing that their purchases support our high standards and socially responsible partners. Reinvigorating the Starbucks Experience could provide the meaningful differentiation that would separate us from competitors.
C – Coffee
- Roasting coffee beans is a delicate process requiring a thoughtful, exacting balancing act of time and temperature. Any coffee producer that truly cares about quality has a toasting philosophy, and at Starbucks our philosophy is to roast every bean to its peak of flavor in a manner that extracts its maximum potential. This means Starbucks roasts beans for longer than most commercial roasters for a so-called Full City roasts that pulls out the beans’ honest richness, flavor, and acidity, or brightness. Our professional roasters are constantly refining our roasting process. Over the years, they have customized our machines and developed proprietary software to help control and replicate their techniques. We take tremendous pride in knowing that no one in the coffee business has more control over the roasting process than Starbucks. Like roasting, blending specialty coffee is also an art form, and our blenders’ culinary talents are akin to those of master chefs. Most coffee companies mix different types of beans together as a way to mask inferior coffee, but Starbucks has always used blending as an opportunity to elevate coffees from parts of the world. Sometimes, in order to capture each bean’s peak flavor, we won’t even roast different beans together; only after roasting do we combine them. And when beans from multiple regions are blended just right, they create a unique symphony of flavor that does not exist by itself.
K – Knowledge
- Entrepreneurs are builders, and the lens through which I view Starbucks and the marketplace is somewhat different from what it would be if I were a professionally schooled manager. Such a lens has, however, its strengths and weaknesses. On the plus side, founders know every brick in the foundation. We know what inspired the company and what was required to create it. That knowledge, that history brings with it a high level of passion to do whatever it takes to succeed, as well as intuition about what is right and what is wrong. But sometimes we are too close to a situation. Entrepreneurs can be blinded by emotion, by our love of what we have built, unable to see it fresh and with the eyes of a more objective outside.
S – Spirit
- If the barista only goes through the motions, if he or she does not care and produces an inferior espresso that is too weak or too bitter, then Starbucks has lost the essence of what we set out to do 40 years ago: inspire the human spirit.
To learn more about how SMEI can help you with marketing visit www.smei.org