No, no, no.

This is just bad. Bad, bad, bad.

You can’t be a coffee shop and a music label at the same time. Starbucks is going down two roads, and it will ultimately cost them. If Howard Schultz is serious about bringing the coffee shop experience back to Starbucks, it’s going to cost a lot of time, money, blood, sweat and tears. It is no time to try to be a whole other business.

It’s time for just the opposite. It’s time to dump everything that is not central to the Starbucks brand and focus. Managing prima donnas like Paul McCartney is not central to the Starbucks brand.

I like Hear Music. I think Hear Music is a nifty thing to sell at Starbucks, and music is a big part of the experience (or what used to be the experience). But it’s not a business to be building if you want to build the best coffee experience in the world.

Sell it, spin it off, partner with it…hell, give it away. But spending valuable resources on building this record label is only going to pull those resources away from taking Starbucks where Howard wants it to go.

Focus.

5 thoughts on “No, no, no.

  1. Isn’t it amazing the way so many people on the outside can see this so clearly? This, after all, isn’t rocket science. I’m pretty appalled. But then, I’m a $7.50/hr. “barista” and not in the ranks of the informed.

  2. My thoughts are that Howard Schultz is a great guy with great ideas who built a great company… On one hand he can do anything he wants with Starbucks… it’s his baby…

    On the other hand, you can’t complain about losing your core in one breath and in the next announce the launch of a record label!?

    What Starbucks should do is create an arm of the company that is separate from the stores… And if they want to do something in-store, they’ve got to persuade the Operations folks… Just the same if Pepsi approached Starbucks with an idea.

    Starbucks is brimming with ideas – passionate about all sorts of topics… The trick is finding the right venue/vehicle for those outlets…
    ===
    Thanks for linking to Idea Sandbox and the discussions we were having about Starbucks stuff! – Paul

  3. Starbucks is a brand, I’m afraid. It was made by coffee. Not great coffee, just good coffee, well marketed. Now it is a huge, a household name. Like Nike and Coca Cola, it is a brand that can be ported to pretty much anything hip. I don’t like brands, and prefer Caribou coffee for this reason. But even they are huge. Unfortunately the power of brands is such that it’s really hard for anyone else to make a good run at a coffee shop these days.

  4. Starbucks will “over spend ” to sign Paul McCartney and now Joni Mitchell. Paul used to sell some units but those days are long gone and Joni Mitchell while a critic’s darling for decades has never been a huge selling artist.

    We won’t even get into all the money Starbucks will pay “fat cat” former major label executive’s to run this thing.

    Just like every other company that had a business and a brand that thought it would be a good idea to get into the music business Starbucks will eventually show the figures to the shareholders and they will not add up. They will then see the mistakes they made, etc…etc..and quietly exit the record label business.

    good blog! I’m amazed at how few people have spoken up on this deal.

  5. Starbucks will “over spend ” to sign Paul McCartney and now Joni Mitchell. Paul used to sell some units but those days are long gone and Joni Mitchell while a critic’s darling for decades has never been a huge selling artist.

    We won’t even get into all the money Starbucks will pay “fat cat” former major label executive’s to run this thing.

    Just like every other company that had a business and a brand that thought it would be a good idea to get into the music business Starbucks will eventually show the figures to the shareholders and they will not add up. They will then see the mistakes they made, etc…etc..and quietly exit the record label business.

    good blog! I’m amazed at how few people have spoken up on this deal.

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