Sunday, March 04, 2007

Customer Anti-Evangelists
I've been reading some of the fascinating stuff online about Starbuck's Coffee and CEO Howard Schultz's memo in which he states that the "cafes" he's spawned no longer offer the experience they once did.

Commentary on this that has floated to the top of my latte: that there's no place to sit nowadays at a Starbuck's since it's so crowded, and afficianados have to stand in line with soccer moms and teenagers hooked on frappucinos.

And I wonder: all this "Customer Evangelism" stuff, where we who love a product supposedly set out on missions to gain converts to the brand - what happens to the missionary when the company goes off without them?

Do we think twice about going gaga over the next cool thing? Do we emulate the once loyal parishioners who now hate the Catholic Church after they hid the pedophile priest problem and botched communications when the scandal broke?

Do I, as a loyal alumni of Atlantis cruises, cut way back on my influencing others to come along for the ride, for fear of the experience becoming too huge to handle, as the recent Freedom of the Seas cruise threatened to be? (although I did have a fantastic time this year and I've signed up for South America next year...)

Do we become Anti-Evangelists, like the Maestro:

KRAMER: Yeah, ya know you haven't been around for a while.
MAESTRO: Oh yeah, I've been at my house in Tuscany.
KRAMER: Oh Tuscany huh? Hear that Jerry? That's in Italy.
JERRY: I hear it's beautiful there.
MAESTRO: Well if you're thinking of getting a place there don't bother. There's really nothing available.

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