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Marla Saunders

While I agree with your fundamental point, I'm not sure I agree with your assessment of Via (the instant coffee) and whether they should or shouldn't have used it. I think Via does strike at an aspect of Starbucks' core strategy: moving Starbucks into a point where it touches every phase of a coffee drinker's life. On a couple of recent travel expeditions into coffee wastelands, Via packets saved me from Maxwell House at aging Aunt Marilyn's house. So worth it. It extends my Starbucks identity, rather than diminishing it.

Not to stretch the analogy further than it can or should go, there are times that the church stops short in being relevant to ALL of life. There are times when a core mission has novel aspects and needs to be extended. Our faith is all-encompassing...it may be that we need creative venues to extend the brand that is our personal faith.

Enjoyed the conversation very much!

Michael Trent


This is why we currently have too many churches in Cafe Rehab. They didn't properly align their vision with the right concept before launching with a strategy. Too often I see this strategy at work: "If we brew it, they will come".


Michael Trent


I love this article, while it is pointing at the secular world, it is so applicable to our spiritual goals as a church. We just recently redefined our ministry, cut a ton of programming and were questioned incessantly about our motives for ending something "we have always done." Our strategy? Not to lessen our workload, rather streamline our ministry to reflect the core values of our church and congregation. If each and every program/activity wasn't emulating our mission and values, it was reevaluated and either cut or improved. Now, our program is run with excellence and focuses directly on what is needed rather than what is wanted.


I think that this newest foray will be damaging to their core.

This is reminiscent of the 'hedgehog' Jim Collins explores in his book Good To Great. Also on the following site: http://www.jimcollins.com/lab/hedgehog/
The basic premise is to stick with what falls in the intersection of 3 spheres labeled by Collins, respectively:

1. What you can be the best in the world at (and, equally important, what you cannot be the best in the world at).

2. What drives your economic engine.

3. What you are deeply passionate about.

Dave Baldwin

I see your point Dawn, but I don't know what I'd do without my sausage breakfast sandwich and venti Pike Place every morning!
Thanks for the post. It makes me think about some of the things we're considering @ LifePoint right now.

Jim Gray

Great post D! Love the whole splinter notion.

Dawn Nicole Baldwin

Excellent point, Daniel. Couldn't agree more.

Daniel Decker

I agree (mostly). Every time I stop in Starbucks now and see sandwiches I laugh.

However, on the contrary I do think about the idea of reinvention at the same time. What to do when "who you are" is losing market share, losing effectiveness, etc. I don’t believe, for the sake of focus, that someone should ride a dead horse into the ground for the sake of staying true to the brand. Brands evolve with changing consumer markets and needs. Same goes for churches. As society changes, so must the church. Doesn’t mean you have to compromise the integrity of the core but it does mean new things, innovations, have to occur in order to stay relevant.

Will selling instant coffee and sandwiches help Starbucks reclaim market share or damage their core? That’s to be determined. I’d sure love to see them making choices that stayed in their core brand versus venturing off into being a Wal-Mart of product offerings that also sells coffee.

Wait… maybe they should change their name to Star-Mart and all would be well. :)

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