At airtime, it came to our attention from a Wall Street Journal story that Starbucks was at it again. It was playing a race card to unite folks on the thorny topic of race relations in the U.S. In this episode, John Gregory Olson and I look at the Starbuck’s ‘Race Together’ campaign to see if there was an affect to its bottom line.
Familiar at all with the campaign? Starbucks asked its barristas to engage in the topic of race relations. The reaction was swift and heightened in two camps — should or should not.
The ‘burritos,’ as John called them in a tongue-twister delivery, were asked by CEO Howard Schultz to engage coffee buyers in the topic of race.
Would you want to do that at 7:30 a.m. when all you’re thinking about is the day ahead? Should companies explore and advocate sensitive topics like this with customers at the very grassiest roots levels?
We decided to face this topic head on and luckily it wasn’t 7:30 a.m.! Our ‘heart-y’ discussion about companies and causes, brands and customers provides perspective about the brand and the issues Starbucks likes to take on. It seems the company is a bit extravagant in its aggressive marketing tactics. What’s your view of that type of in-your-face marketing?
I did have to ask, “Was this a ploy?” John and I go back and forth with some excellent banter followed by tips in the third segment, the ‘heart of the matter.’
Show notes and resources
Starbucks Now Opening In Ferguson (we talk about this in this episode!)
Dumb Starbucks, Guerilla Marketing & Parody Law, by Jayme Soulati
$2.8 Billion, Ponder That, Starbucks, by Jayme Soulati
How This Non-Profit Is Stockpiling Content on a Shoestring, by John G. Olson