There's just something about Starbucks that keeps me coming back for more..and I'm not the only one. Seth Godin talks about the customer experience at Starbucks thusly:
Inside the Starbucks, the first thing I noticed, tucked deep in the corner, not for customer inspection, apparently, was a bulletin board. The bulletin board was jammed with pictures of the staff. The staff on a picnic. The staff at an amusement park. The staff kidding around.
That very same staff was working behind the counter. If it's possible to make an herbal tea with enthusiasm, they were doing it. If it's possible to make a $4 transaction feel joyful, they accomplished it.
Okay, the obvious thing here is that this is the Starbucks marketing effort, almost in its entirety. They don't advertise, they don't launch new products every day, but they are selling the way it makes you feel to purchase something there. And I have to tell you, it made me feel great.
When I explain "living your brand" I almost always reference Starbucks for the same reasons that Seth lists above. My store is Sioux Falls-41st & Louise and the picture on the cash register is of Jenna taking a nap on one of the tables. They always know what I want: a triple-shot venti latte. I feel as home there as I do in my office. In fact, posting this just inspired me to go so I emailed a friend and I'm off. If you ever want to go, just email me.