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You’re in the Experience Business

Starbucks from the Street

If the average broadcaster (and I mean the average one) ran Starbucks, what would that experience be like? Would it be even remotely like the one in your own neighborhood Starbucks?

I strongly suspect that the average broadcaster would be providing the same coffee varieties they offered when they first tasted success years ago.

They would be doing the same promotions, assuming they had the budget to do any promotions at all.

The decor inside the store would be unchanged.

They would furiously taste-test the coffees asking consumers how they could make this or that variety taste better, but they would be unlikely to create any new coffee varieties because doing so involves an unacceptable degree of risk.

They would never have experimented with music.  They would never have added food items.  They would never have opened new markets in the grocery store.  They would never have launched Frappacinos or Via.  They would never have built Wi-Fi digital platforms loaded with entertainment inside each of their stores.  They would never invite their consumers to share their ideas for improvement in an open forum.

They would have created a “Frequent Coffee Club,” but they would have done a poor job of attracting consumers to join it and a poor job of sustaining it.

At least they would have played a better mix of music for your in-store coffee consumption pleasure.

The average broadcaster would view the idea of a coffeehouse too narrowly.  He would see it as a transaction of dollars for coffee, not as an immersion into an experience of which coffee is only a part.

The essence of branding and being worth consuming is that experience, not the ingredients which make it up.

A radio brand, like any other, is in the experience business.

It’s important to do much more than serve up a good cup of coffee or the best mix of songs.

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