Summary: The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary by Joseph Michelli
Summary: The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary by Joseph Michelli

Summary: The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary by Joseph Michelli

In the Starbucks Experience, Joseph Michelli, shares five principles that drive Starbucks’s phenomenal success. Based on his 18-month exploration into the world of Starbucks, listening to what senior leaders say and observing their actions, Joseph reflects tents that are simple, yet not simplistic. The five principles are:

  1. Make it your own
  2. Everything matters
  3. Surprise and delight
  4. Embrace resistance
  5. Leave your mark


Principle #1 Make it your own

Companies benefit when all employees are on the same page about the business objectives and look for ways to execute those objectives. By being welcoming, Starbucks not only forged a bond with their employees, they attracted their customers back to visit again and again. For Starbucks, the definition of ‘genuine’ means to connect, discover and respond.

Listening is important for Starbucks. But it’s just one part of the equation. Starbucks discover each person’s needs and then find ways to meet those needs, by being as mindful as they can.

“In a knowledge and service economy, we add value by enhancing the customer’s experience.”

Be involved, in your store or office or company at large, and in your community. Knowing isn’t enough. You need to love what you do and share what you know with others.


Principle #2 Everything matters

Not just retail, every business is about getting the details right. Dissatisfied customers are the results of missed details.

“A small detail is sometimes the difference between success and failure. Something as simple as a 7-cent valve helped Starbucks become a publicly traded company.”

Details are not always in the plain sight. Sometimes, details go unseen by both you and the customer. Overlooked details affect the emotional connection that your customers have with you. Acknowledge, celebrate and play with the details. Not only does everything matter, everyone matters as well.


Principle #3 Surprise and delight

“Delight is the caramelized popcorn. Surprise is the prize!”

Nowadays, people carry certain expectations that they’ll be dazzled, even in the most mundane situations. The most effective events are ones that flow naturally. Look first for need and then BAM, step in and fill it. Most of the time, surprising people can be as simple as getting out of the way to bring people.

Both surprise and predictability give birth to customer delight. When things break down (which they inevitably will at some point), you can still delight customers by recovering fast. In either case, delight is the result of an unwavering commitment to create a comfortable, trusted relationship.


Principle #4 Embrace resistance

“Nothing in nature grows without facing limiting forces.”

Embracing resistance is what differentiates good businesses from great businesses. The most effective way to deal with resistance is by distinguishing people who simply like to resolve their problems from people who just like to complain.

While it’s natural to avoid contact with detractors, much can be gained by welcoming them into the early stages of problem-focused discussions. When the concerns of critics are addressed, those critics can turn into your biggest supporters.

“Embrace resistance. Unless, of course, there are elephants involved.”


Principle #5 Leave your mark

Hoping that it will favorably impact their business, many executives initially decide to be good corporate citizens. However, almost all who sustain that type of commitment do so because it’s the only right way. The reason is simple. People want and love to do business with socially conscious individuals and companies.

If that’s not enough, employee engagement is almost three times higher in organizations that focus on community development. By participating in community-based activities, employees are given a chance to develop as humans and teams.

“Corporate social responsibility isn’t a fad. It’s the way global businesses get done.”

So, do CSR for the sake of change the world needs. Better still, be the change you wish to see in the world.

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