It doesn’t matter if it’s media attention for which you are paying (a.k.a. advertising) or media attention for which your company has not paid for but rather “earned” (a.k.a. Public Relations or PR)…. WORDS ARE NOTHING WITHOUT ACTION.
Take for example, the recent 4-hour shut down instituted by Starbucks in the name of “nationwide company training.” Starbucks garnered some nice press coverage as a result of the move and customers might have been lulled into thinking that Starbucks recognized a problem and was intent on fixing said problem.
Customers Are Always blog in their post The Starbucks Event of the Year writes:
You have to show your customers that you are going to back up what you say. If you’re promising them quality service, then you have to show them you mean business. If anything else, it’s more than what other corporations out there are doing! I’m going to stay hopeful…
Hope is an opiate of the consumer… not the savvy stock investor. 24/7 Wall Street.com calls Starbucks on the obvious “words not backed by action” quality of the “stunt”.
The nationwide program was designed to make the people working in the stores do a better job of serving customers that way that founder Howard Schultz thinks they should be served.
Investors would think that the action of closing so many stores and putting so much effort into improving service would show results immediately. These results might not last, but they would be a sign that management and employees both want to help the company’s results through better customer service.
Ok Starbucks… you’ve made a national announcement and subjected your loyal throngs to a day without Starbucks. You’ve acknowledged that “Starbucks” no longer means a pristine coffee experience and you’re stepping up to the challenge. BRAVO! Here’s to the hope that springs eternal in those addicted to your liquid offerings.
I peronally hate Starbucks coffee and think the coffee tastes like it came from my dog’s favorite body part to lick! The only reason I can fathom to visit the prolific chain is the obvious ambiance of the stores. A visit to Starbucks used to be a guaranteed pleasant experience. The “Starbucks experience” was so good that people would suck down the vile liquid served within to enjoy the experience. They did this to the point where they damaged their taste buds to the point where they think that is what coffee SHOULD taste like!
Obviously, the ambiance of Starbucks is fading quickly…. the 24/7 blog continues….
A visit to a Starbucks in Mt. Kisco, New York indicates that no one was paying attention during the training day. The store was dirty. A cigarette butt at one door. A snow shovel against the new coffee makers on sale. Floors that had not been swept recently. The service area for getting milk and napkins in disarray.
Words mean something only when they’re followed by action.
Small Biz Mentor calls it s”avvy, creative marketing at its best” and I agree… but only if the WORDS are backed up by ACTION. It can only be classified as brilliant marketing if you aren’t greeted with the Starbucks experience of Mt. Kisco, New York when you enter your local favorite Stargbucks.
Web 2.0 makes it SO HARD to manufacture “spin”. In the world Web 2.0… not backing your words with actions can provide witty, articulate people with much needed blog fodder, as is evidenced by the blog post by Gawker, Mandatory Job Training Was ‘AWESOME,’ Say Starbucks Robots.
If your business is not willing to back marketing style words with action… well, then I recommend that if you aren’t wearing your flame retardant undies… then suit up ladies and gentlemen. The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune are often tipped with flames!