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Posts Tagged ‘Howard Schultz’

Best Interview Ever: Starbucks’ CEO Schultz Talks About ASU College Partnership With Jon Stewart

starbucks cupIt’s not too often that The Daily Show invites a corporate leader to sit in the special guest chair opposite Jon Stewart. Usually it’s political activists and elected officials, authors and thinkers, or actors and directors. Last night, Howard Schultz, the CEO and chairman of Starbucksmade an appearance on the program. And he opened with the big news of the day (hey, it was on our Ticker!): Starbucks will be offering a free college education to its employees.

Through a partnership with the *Arizona State University, the company will give workers seeking a Bachelor’s degree the opportunity to pursue one, tuition-free, through online courses. He could barely get the words out and the audience was cheering.

“It is my job to hate everything. I’m having a really hard time with this one,” Stewart replied. “This sounds really lovely.” A talk show appearance – particularly one with Jon Stewart – doesn’t get much better than that.

Schultz said this is an opportunity for his company to tackle the issue of student indebtedness and help workers achieve something they wouldn’t otherwise be able to get on their own. And waiting on Washington is a waste of time.

“We’ve got to step up as we have in the past and show true leadership,” Schultz continued.

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Starbucks ‘DuffinGate’ Controversy Continues Unabated


However you may feel about Starbucks coffee, the brand and its CEO Howard Schultz are brilliant at identifying the latest cultural trend and turning it into a marketing opportunity. This week the chain sponsored a petition urging our government to “Open It Back Up” and included some sort of deal in which customers get a free coffee if they buy one for someone else (which doesn’t make too much sense but it’s brilliant all the same).

In the UK, however, one of the brand’s latest campaigns tastes a little bitter—much like its coffee.

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Starbucks Asks Customers to Leave Their Guns at Home

If your morning plans included sipping a mocha frappe at your local Starbucks while lovingly polishing your Colt 45, the coffee shop chain kindly requests that you reconsider, and leave the gun at home.

Many U.S. restaurants and shops don’t allow firearms on their properties as part of their company policies, but because Starbucks’ policy has been to default to local gun laws, including “open carry” regulations that allow people to bring firearms into stores in many U.S. states, the chain has been dragged into the heated debate over gun rights.

This past August, in order to thank the coffee shop chain for what they saw as a firearm-friendly policy, gun-rights advocates held a national “Starbucks Appreciation Day” at multiple Starbucks locations nationwide. One of these locations included Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were shot dead in an elementary school last December. Though Starbucks had the foresight to close that shop before the event was scheduled to begin, the Appreciation Day events pulled the company deeper into the contentious political debate.

In an effort to distance itself from the controversy, and to make it clear that Starbucks does not sponsor or advocate the carrying of loaded firearms in public, chief executive Howard Schultz said in an open letter late Tuesday that Starbucks Appreciation Day events “disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of ‘open carry.’ To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores.” He went on to say that:

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Move Over, Superman: Starbucks CEO Has His Own Comic Book

Starbucks CEO Howard SchultzIt’s a Bird! It’s a plane! It’s…Super CEO!

We’re pretty sure The Justice League didn’t advertise an open position, but no matter. Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, can stand on his own (and so, apparently, can his comic book).

From the same state that brought you the very first Starbucks comes the inaugural edition of  “Howard Schultz: The Man Behind Starbucks”, written by C.W. Cooke, drawn by Angel Bernuy with cover art by Conan Momchilov and released by Washington-based Bluewater Productions.

Don’t expect any high-flying hi-jinx or otherworldly bad guys in this comic. The ink-and-paper version of Schultz does much of what the flesh-and-blood version does–i.e. serving as the visionary ruler of a coffee empire.

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Starbucks’ Small Business Campaign Can Be Both Philanthropy and PR

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Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz appeared on the Today show yesterday to introduce  that company’s new philanthropic campaign, which seeks to raise money that will help small businesses in need of loans. Launched in collaboration with Create Jobs for USA and the Opportunity Finance Network, Starbucks is getting the ball rolling with a $5 million donation. And each $5 donation from consumers will get them a wristband that shows support.

During the Today show appearance, Matt Lauer played devil’s advocate, asking Schultz to address any “cynicism” out there about this being a PR project. “I can assure you, this is nothing about marketing,” Schultz replied. He continued, in response to another question, “This is not about PR.”

Lauer said at one point, “You say it’s not PR, but it sounds a lot like a PR campaign.” Why can’t it be both philanthropic and a PR campaign?

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Does Starbucks Have an Accessibility Issue?

In continuing coverage of the Starbucks 40th anniversary, The New York Times did a story this weekend that was a professional profile of CEO Howard Schultz, a history of the company, and a profile of the brand and it’s continuing comeback to coffee prominence. If you haven’t read the story, you should, if only to gather ideas for pitching a story like this on behalf of one of your own clients.

But the most interesting quotes in the story came from a Temple University professor, Bryant Simon, who’s written a book called Everything But the Coffee: Learning About America from Starbucks.

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Strange Brew Blending on ‘Morning Joe’

Wayne’s World has been making the cable rounds recently. At one point in the movie Wayne is forced to interview a major advertiser on his show. Wayne was happy to do it….NOT!

This morning, I see an Ad Age article that seems eerily familiar to that very subplot. MSNBC’s Morning Joe,which has quite the lucrative sponsorhsip deal with Starbucks, had the company’s CEO Howard Schultz on for seven minutes to talk about the coffee giant’s 40th anniversary. In TV terms, seven minutes is a lifetime. There were bags of brew on set and honestly, I was surprised they didn’t do the shoot “on location” at a Starbucks near 30 Rock to have Mika’s favorite barista in the background brewing a macchiato for her.

This is unethical. And as many of you know, I ain’t the first person to bring this up. But Ad Age vacillated with the issue in its article.

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The Latest Logo Redesign Is…

Starbucks.

The new logo is meant to celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary. “Throughout the last four decades, the Siren has been there through it all,” Howard Schultz, Starbucks‘ CEO, wrote on the company blog. “And now, we’ve given her a small but meaningful update to ensure that the Starbucks brand continues to embrace our heritage in ways that are true to our core values and that also ensure we remain relevant and poised for future growth.”

Some of the comments on the blog praise the new logo, some don’t (a “gold card user” called whoever took the Starbucks name out of the logo a “bonehead”), and some used the logo as a segue to complain about other things. Your thoughts?

After the jump, Schultz explains the new logo in a video. Read more

Starbucks’ Schultz: Brands Build Trust By ‘Integrating Social and Digital Media’

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, speaking yesterday at TheWrap‘s conference on media and the entertainment industry, TheGrill, discussed the coffee purveyor’s efforts in the digital space and how important it is to connect with customers through social media.

“If you give a customer an understanding of what your values are, and they share those values, and they believe it, they will pay a premium,” he said. Schultz also said the company was slow to get on their social media game. However, they’re now leaders in the space and just introduced a new contributor to its upcoming in-store digital network, documentary filmmakers SnagFilms.

“It has become paramount that brands understand that trust isn’t something you build through traditional marketing,” Schultz added. “You do that through integrating social and digital media. It is a science – as well as an art – to understand how to do this in a way that is authentic and genuine, and not just marketing.”

Starbucks VP of digital ventures Adam Brotman also spoke with Mediabistro about the new digital network, and will be speaking at the Think Mobile event in San Francisco tomorrow. Click here for more.