A post by Lewis Green on MPDailyfix and a comment from Cam Beck got me thinking about this question. To fully understand my thought patter on this, it might be helpful to read the post.
I think the Marines and Special Forces units brand themselves (tattoo themselves, buy special shirts, etc.) to show that they’re different from the rest of the armed forces. They want people to know that they are different from the rest of the crowd (of soldiers and civilians). Don’t get me wrong, pride in what they do is also a factor. But let’s apply this idea of setting yourself apart to Starbucks…
It’s obvious that employees and customers (me included) love Starbucks. But our culture is becoming inundated with Starbucks stores. One street in Memphis has five locations in a five mile stretch. Consequently, if it hasn’t begun already, Starbucks will become the norm. When that happens, customers and employees will begin to look for a cooler/more hip alternative. My friends and I have already begun to wish that a Caribou Coffee (or some other competitor) would move into the area to offer something different.
Could Starbucks be slowly killing its cool factor by over-expansion?