Monthly Archives: September 2011

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Fan engagement at Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts

John's reflections, Key to communities, Marketing and branding, Storytelling, Storytelling and marketing Leave a comment

In the previous post, I wrote that Dunkin’ Donuts seems to do better than Starbucks at engaging their fan community.  Let’s look at why. As a regular visitor to Starbuck’s Facebook page, and a subscriber to their emails, I am often puzzled by the lack of storytelling in their communication.  If there is a company with some good stories to tell and an impressive following of loyal customers who could write about their in-store experiences, it would certainly be Starbucks.  So, I sometimes wonder: Are they still living mostly in the old world of marketing, the world of one-way messages to their fans? Much like IKEA, Starbucks seems to have … Continue reading

E-marketing at Starbucks: another missed opportunity?

John's reflections, Key to communities Leave a comment

Starbucks is a brand that, similarly to IKEA, enjoys a strong culture, a loyal customer following, and a compelling “founder and origin” story.  As Howard Schultz recounts in his memoirs, the beginning of Starbucks was characterized by a fierce commitment to bringing all the excitement, the passion and the quality of an Italian coffee house to America.  To me, it is a wonderful story of entrepreneurship and vision, of attention to detail and quality. As a marketing company, Starbucks has also proven its merit.  Today, they have locations in many countries around the world, and devoted groups of regular visitors at most of their stores.  In spite of all this, … Continue reading

IKEA and authentic storytelling: Are they missing a great opportunity?

authenticity, Key to communities, Marketing and branding, Uncategorized Leave a comment

After last week’s blog entry, I got a bit curious about IKEA and went looking for further information.  In particular, I wanted to see how good they are at storytelling. Much of the information I found is from, the gateway site to Sweden.  According to this site, IKEA’s catalog has become something of a style Bible for people all over the world.  And, the Bible analogy is perhaps a good one.  In 2008, the catalog had a print run of 175 million copies, in 27 languages and 35 countries, giving it the highest circulation of any publication worldwide—surpassing the Bible. The British design magazine Icon has called IKEA “the … Continue reading

Telling and embodying a brand’s authentic stories of identity

authenticity, John's events, Storytelling Leave a comment

Authenticity comes from finding a true and natural voice, and expressing our beliefs by telling our personal stories of identity.  But, telling our stories is not sufficient.  We must also make very sure we embody them. As we noted in the previous post, Margaret Thatcher used her personal stories of identity continuously during her election campaigns, stories that demonstrated who she is, where she comes from, and what her upbringing taught her.  As the daughter of middle-class shopkeepers from a small and traditional English town, Thatcher’s vision was that her own story and values could become a model to help Britain find its way again.  The virtues of self-reliance, initiative, … Continue reading

IKEA and authentic stories of identity

authenticity, John's reflections, leadership, Leadership in the news, Storytelling 1 Comment

In August, I had several speaking engagements in Buenos Aires, around the theme of using storytelling in branding and e-marketing.  As always, one of my central themes was that many of the principles I use in leadership coaching also apply directly to building and growing a brand.  In essence, both leaders and brands lead by autobiography; they inspire others with their authentic stories of identity. Our authentic stories of identity are the personal stories that express who we are, what we stand for, what we believe, and where our values come from.  Effective leaders use the experience of their past to teach those around them.  They have a clear sense … Continue reading

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