The People Business

Between a story on CBS’s 60 Minutes and an hour-long feature on CNBC’s American Made, a new program spotlighting homegrown entrepreneurs, Starbucks and its chairman Howard Schultz have been front and center in the media lately. I must admit I came away from both programs impressed by Schultz the man and his mission to brand Starbucks as what he calls a “third place,” which the church also could model, incidentally.

“We aren’t in the coffee business, serving people. We are in the people business, serving coffee. And the experience is defined by what we have characterized for a long time as Starbucks becoming this ‘third place’ between home and work,” said Shultz. “The environment and the experience is the brand. It’s a very important distinction that people use our stores all over the world as an extension of their daily lives, and sometimes the coffee is subordinate to that.”