Monthly Archives: October 2008

Highly Caffeinated Capitalism

The Starbucks Recession Indicator

Want to know how bad a country’s economic downturn will be? Add up the number of outlets serving grande lattes.

By Dan Gross,

Remember Thomas Friedman’s McDonald’s theory of international relations?

The thinking was that if two countries had evolved into prosperous, mass-consumer societies, with middle classes able to afford Big Macs, they would generally find peaceful means of adjudicating disputes. They’d sit down over a Happy Meal to resolve issues rather than use mortars.

In the same spirit, I propose the Starbucks theory of international economics. The higher the concentration of expensive, nautically themed, faux-Italian-branded Frappuccino joints in a country’s financial capital, the more likely the country is to have suffered catastrophic financial losses.

It may sound doppio, but work with me.

The current crisis has its roots in the unhappy coupling of a frenzied nationwide real-estate market centered in California, Las Vegas and Florida, plus a nationwide credit mania centered in New York. If you could pick one brand name to personify these twin bubbles, it’s Starbucks.

The Seattle coffee chain followed new housing developments into the suburbs and exurbs, where its outlets became pit stops for real-estate brokers and their clients. It also carpet-bombed the business districts of large cities, especially the financial centers, with nearly 200 in Manhattan alone.

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Skinny Lattes…Nothing New to Me

As you all know, I love coffee…all kinds of coffee.  My favorite drink at Starbucks now has a new name and a new commercial push – they are calling it the Skinny Latte.  Excuse me, there are lots of us who have been drinking this Latte for a long time before this new name- we asked for it as a non-fat latte.  Actually, what I ask for is a “Venti – Quad – Non-Fat Latte”…yeah, you read right…a quad – I love my espresso!!!

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Thanks a Latte

As a real estate instructor and trainer I am often in front of some of the best and brightest in our industry.  I also am in the position to hear some of the best and most innovative marketing that today’s REALTORs are using to stand out from the crowd.   I am often the receipient of many of the “samples” of these marketing pieces and I have to share with you that some of them are truly in the memorable category.

Through this blog vehicle, I have received some of your marketing ideas that share our obession with coffee and most specifically, Starbucks.  Your customers also have an addiction for Starbucks and many of you have shared that when you receive referrals from your previous or current customers that you show your appreciation with a Starbucks Gift Card or Coffee Bean Gift Pack….I call that “Thanks a Latte”.  I heard a twist on that in one of my classes last week.  This REALTOR sent a Starbucks Coffee Gift Pack to his small but fervent group of stark raving fans, reminding them that he and his marketing techiniques are “Not the Same Old Grind”.  This was a gentle reminder that he was available for them and their family and friends, no matter what their real estate needs might be.  Every day, as they make and then drink the coffee, they are reminded of him.

Do any of you utilize marketing techiniques that capitalize on our love of caffeine?  Or any other unique marketing techniques that you don’t mind sharing with our reading audience?  I’m off for another cup…have a great day.

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The Shocking News!

Have you seen, heard or even better yet, tasted Shock Coffee?  It is high-energy, hyper-caffeinated coffee.  Yes, you heard right, hyper-caffeinated coffee.  50% more caffeine than your average cup ‘o joe. 

You’re gonna love their website: – it’s too cute!  Enjoy.

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