• About Tom Dougherty

    Tom Dougherty CEO, Stealing Share

    Tom Dougherty is the President and CEO of Stealing Share, Inc., and has helped national and global brands such as Lexus, IKEA and Tide steal market share over his 25-year career.

    An often-quoted source on business and brands, he has been featured recently by the New York Times and CNN, discussing topics ranging from television to Apple to airlines.

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Starbucks delivery extends the brand

The Starbucks brand has morphed over the years from being a trend-setting hipster brand to being a brand about experience and customer satisfaction.

At its core, Starbucks has always been about the experience and customer satisfaction. But as the company has matured, that core has been presented in novel ways and Starbucks starting a delivery service in the Empire State Building is just another example of this.

The lucky folks in the Empire State Building will get this delivered.
The lucky folks in the Empire State Building will get this delivered.

On Tuesday, the Starbucks delivery pilot began to deliver food and beverages to the 12,000 people who work in the building. The minimal $2 fee per delivery covers up to 15 items and, for the intern who is schlepping coffee all day, this must come as a welcome development.

The reality is much broader, however. Starbucks wants to make it possible to bring the Starbucks experience out of the coffee shop and directly to the consumer. You can argue if a Starbucks delivery is any kind of substitute for the Starbucks in-store experience, but it has already gone down this path by selling coffee in the aisles of grocery stores with bags and K-cups.

How delivery is part of the Starbucks brand.

Bringing the barista-created caffeine creations directly to consumers is yet another extension of wanting to fulfill the promise of experience and customer satisfaction. (By the way, Starbucks is also partnering with Postmates for an on-demand delivery service in the Seattle market.) Sure it’s now a $10 for cup of coffee with the delivery fee, but Starbucks has already made customers very comfortable in paying for very expensive coffee. And now, they don’t even have to leave their cubicle to enjoy the Starbucks experience.

It is really sad that there are only a precious few brands that actually get it right. Starbucks is not without missteps but, by and large, it does a really good job of staying focused and consistent while always trying to push the boundaries of what it means to be a coffee shop. This step into Starbucks delivery seems to be right on brand and I believe it will be successful.

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