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Starbucks finally figured out
that there are lots of people who don’t like their “dark roasted” coffee,
but instead, prefer a milder blend.  So now Starbucks has finally
introduced “Blonde” roast to satisfy those who prefer a non Starbucks
taste. (Bold, bitter and burnt!!)

I’m no super genius, but I have hated Starbucks coffee for years because
it was TOO strong and TOO bitter. And I know I wasn't the only one out
there.  Lots of people told me the same thing

But if you wanted more quantitative data, all you had to do was go to
several airports around he country and see the number of people in line
for a Starbucks coffee vs. those people in line for a Dunkin Donuts'
coffee.  DD had almost  twice as many people in line as Starbucks.

So why did it take them so long to figure this out? Several answers are

       1.   They simply didn't have their ear to the ground
       and didn't speak to non Starbucks customers. “Who Knew?”

       2.  They knew but didn't think the market was big enough for this
       new product to scale. “We didn't think we could make money at this!”

       3.  We didn't want to corrupt our brand which stood for dark, bold,
       strong coffee. “We were protecting our brand, maybe?”

       4.  Our sales have fallen because of Dunkin Donuts and MacDonald’s
       selling breakfast coffee and our share was eroded so we had to do
       something. It seems like Blonde Roast is a good idea to try and get
       more market share.” “We were losing money, what could we do?”

You know why they didn't introduce this product earlier?

The answer, I believe, is “pure arrogance.”

“Starbucks products are the best,” management probably thought, “why do we
have to change?  Let the customer learn to like our existing products.”

Take note that you are not treating your customer the same way nor
ignoring his wishes for new products. They have been telling us about
“wanting 6 to 8 week leagues”, and we have been telling you for a couple
of years now!!

Are you listening to your customer?

What do you think?

Fred Kaplowitz can be reached @ 516 359 4874 or

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