Starbucks 2.0

This weeks blog post will focus on how businesses and corporations are using blogs within the enterprise to reach out to there employees, customers and stakeholders
As covered previously in a blog post, Starbucks is one of the worlds leaders in using Web 2.0 to build an online brand, one aspect of this large marketing scheme that wasn’t covered in great detail was there use of a corporate blog. According to Starbucks the reason for the creation of the site is:
What would make your Starbucks experience perfect? We know you’ve got ideas – big ideas, little ideas, maybe even totally revolutionary ideas – and we want to hear them all. That’s why we created My Starbucks Idea. So you can share the ideas that matter to you and you can find out how we’re putting those ideas to work. Together, we will shape the future of Starbucks.
“My Starbucks Idea” which acts a depository for customer suggestions and as a corporate blog for the brand themselves was launched in 2008 and has since generated nearly 100 ideas that have been implemented throughout the business.

My Idea

The Advantages:

The advantages of corporate blogging are highly evident in the Starbucks case-study: Starbucks has had a huge success with social media and in 2009 was ranked #1 most engaged brand online (Altimeter Report, 2009), #1 brand on Facebook and the most tweeted brand on Twitter. The addition of the online blog has helped generate nearly 100 ideas that cost the company nothing (‘open innovation’) has kept them at the forefront of the growing coffee industry. This creation of a corporate blog has also helped continue the relationship between the brand and the customer and gives the idea poster a sense of importance in the brand. It also gives the customers the interpretation that Starbucks cares about them and would like to listen to them in order to create a better business. Starbucks has also used the website as another method of sharing what the company does behind the scenes via its Idea Partners (bloggers) which share company information and answer the users questions. This method of online presence is also provided on there Twitter, Facebook and Flickr pages. Some of the ideas in action are:

Ideas Launched....

The Disadvantages:

As with anything in life if you look hard enough there are always pitfalls and corporate blogs are not immune to these issues… some of the issues Starbucks have faced with there blog site are:

  1. Rival coffee brand using the site to improve there business and ‘steal’ ideas before Starbucks implements them.
  2. Alot of the ideas are duplicates and over time the site could become full with similar ideas that make the site become a worthless tool for Starbucks, monitoring is therefore important.
  3. All ideas/blogs are checked prior to there posting this is to reduce the chance of bad advertising and spam being posted on the site. Comments are also moderated.
  4. Blog posting for the right reason not just for the sake of it.  A post should be something that adds to the community and not just for the sake of keeping the blog ongoing and up to date.

As shown Starbucks works hard to build its online presence and according to Razorfish 2009, there is a reason why brands should do this:

97% said that a digital brand experience influenced whether or not they purchased

More on the Razorfish’s report on digital brand experience can be viewed here:

That quote alone in my opinion makes it worth while for brands to use there social media tools out there to grow and build a relationship with there customers; Starbucks are a great example of this and are used throughout the world as a an example of how to succeed in this digital environment.

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