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Culture, Place and Store Location

July 20, 2007

This is a place where Starbucks truly understands what it is all about. When they go into a new place, a country or culture, they make sure that they understand the culture that they are entering. They then tailor the Starbucks experience for that culture.

So in one California town they entered instead of using artwork that was customary they brought in work from local artists. In a Jewish community they edited their music selection around Christmas and they invited a Rabbi in to identify kosher products.

You see Starbucks understands that they can be who you need to be in any culture and that how they present themselves won’t keep them from doing what they need to do. They can still follow all of the tenants of their core principles no matter the style of store, music and decor.

Not only that but they have discovered that when they take time to understand a culture and what they are accustom to that if they do that their values always ring true, that when people see their willingness to adapt and the type of values they have they are more likely to embrace the store.

Can you find anything more opposite then what Christianity, at least my brand of youth, has been all about? You mean you can keep your core values, love of God and neighbor no matter the culture and style and trappings? Surely not.

Isn’t it unfortunate that a coffee chain understands Paul’s admonishment (1 Corinthians 9.22) to become all things to all people better than the church today?

Instead believers have created issues and debated them and proved them in their own mind all the while not realizing that the real principles of Christ and those who follow him are always adaptable in any culture.

The book is The Starbucks Experience by Joseph Michelli

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2007 2:37 pm

    I think I need to buy that book! Excellent observations, Darin.

  2. July 23, 2007 3:26 pm

    I might get flamed if I said this anywhere else, but…

    All the photos I see of mission groups where these African preachers are taught to dress like Americans… etc. etc. has always struck me as extremely bizarre. Why are we exporting American styles and values?

    Starbucks does get it better than we usually do.


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