So last Friday, an Open Letter entitled “How Can America Win This Election?” was posted on the Starbucks Responsibility page by “Howard S”, the Chairman, President, and CEO of Starbucks.  [Here’s the link: How-can-america-win-this-election]  Already two schools of thought have developed around this post.  

One is exemplified by a comment yesterday on Business Insider [sell-a-lot-of-brownies] which speculates that the letter will do little more than sell product for Starbucks.  While the comment offers faint praise, it generally dismisses the letter’s call to action as vague and therefore of little import.  Funny, I’d think that the advertising world might see the predicted outcome (brownie sales) as a good thing, and if Howard Schultz accomplishes nothing more, it seems to this writer that his shareholders should not only applaud but ask that he do the same thing again -- and soon!  Maybe advertisers are distressed because he’s (presumably) done this without paying them to ghostwrite?

The other is a sort of general relief and positive response, at least as witnessed at a few Starbucks stores since the letter appeared.  I suspect many of Starbucks’ customers (and a fair number of non-caffeinated as well) identify with, and appreciate, a few of the points the letter makes.  A few samples:

I am a product of that American Dream. As a kid who grew up in public housing, went on to get an education at a state university and build a business, I am grateful for what this country has made possible for me.

I love America, but we all know there is something wrong. The deficits this country must reconcile are much more than financial, and our inability to solve our own problems is sapping our national spirit.

... as citizens, let’s all get more involved. Please, don’t be a bystander. Understand that we have a shared responsibility in solving our nation’s problems.

Recall that some of the criticisms fault Mr Schultz for not recommending more specific policies/remedies/solutions.  I, for one, applaud him.  While Starbucks has an agenda, as do we all, Howard Schultz is trying as hard as possible NOT to foist his agenda on the citizenry/voters/consumers except to elevate the level of discussion and involvement.  At the heart of this letter, it seems to me, are two somewhat quaint notions, at least notions which seem quaint if one listens to too much cable news and talk radio: (1) none of us is as smart or strong as all of us, and (2) therefore we need to address the issues bedeviling all (and each) of us in order to get along.  The letter notes two key issues -- jobs and lack of veterans’ support; it could identify many more, but then it’d be a book.

Remarkably, and unlike a long list of talking heads, Howard Schultz is less interested in telling us how he’d solve the problems than in asking that we each play a role in the solution(s).  I, for one, appreciate his restraint -- so rare these days -- and echo his request.

Remember, one of the truisms of this world is that no one gets out alive, so we might as well make it as pleasant and functional as possible -- for everyone.  After all, we’re not so much independent beings as interdependent beings, so, to paraphrase an old Gene Roddenberry line, “we might as well get good at it.

Views: 48

Tags: interdependence, marketing, partisanship

Comment

You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Advertisments

 

DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Taco Bell takes on fast casual with U.S. Taco Co.

Taco Bell will test a new fast-casual concept called U.S. Taco Co.  -More

Avocados From Mexico: All New Recipe Brochure
Looking for the sweet spot between indulgence and fresh appeal? Say yes to fresh Avocados from Mexico, all year long. So rich and creamy, use them as a substitute for mayo to create a craveable crab salad sandwich that will make others green with envy. Discover more culinary inspirations and recipes here!

Ronald McDonald gets a makeover for social media debut

Ronald McDonald is giving off less of a clown vibe with a makeover that keeps the color scheme but adds a blazer, a yellow ve -More

Animal fats ramp up flavor

Chicago hot spots are serving up savory dishes flavored with animal fats such as Stephanie Izard's confit goat belly at Girl  -More

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Dunkin' Brands Reports First Quarter 2014 Results

Dunkin' Donuts U.S. comparable store sales growth of 1.2% - Added 96 net new restaurants worldwide including 69 net new Dunkin' Donuts in the U.S. - Revenue increased 6.2%

Hurricane Grill & Wings Signs Franchise And Multi-Unit Development Agreements For Additional 22 Units

Hurricane Grill & Wings, a restaurant franchise known for its never-frozen jumbo wings and more than 35 signature flavors, announced today the signing of five multi-unit development agreements, representing 22 new locations. The Florida-based brand opened two locations in early 2014, with plans for a total of 14 new units by the end of the year.

Dunkin' Donuts Announces Plans For 20 New Restaurants In South Orange County And The San Fernando Valley

Dunkin' Donuts announced today the signing of multi-unit store development agreements with two new franchise groups to develop 20 new restaurants in South Orange County and the San Fernando Valley area over the next several years.

Brinker International Reports Increases In Third Quarter Fiscal 2014 EPS And Comparable Restaurant Sales

Earnings per diluted share, excluding special items, increased 16.7 percent to $0.84 compared to $0.72 for the third quarter of fiscal 2013

Togo's Inks Deals In Idaho And Utah To Develop 13 New Restaurants

Togo's Eateries, Inc. announced it has signed franchise agreements to develop five restaurants in Eastern Idaho and eight locations in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 2014, the brand will also mark its entry into Colorado, Idaho, and Utah with restaurant openings planned over the next few months.

CROWD FUNDING

If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.

TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: James Patten: The best computer interface? Maybe ... your hands - James Patten (2013)

"The computer is an incredibly powerful means of creative expression," says designer and TED Fellow James Patten. But right now, we interact with computers, mainly, by typing and tapping. In this nifty talk and demo, Patten imagines a more visceral, physical way to bring your thoughts and ideas to life in the digital world, taking the computer interface off the screen and putting it into your hands.

TED: Hamish Jolly: A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think) - Hamish Jolly (2013)

Hamish Jolly, an ocean swimmer in Australia, wanted a wetsuit that would deter a curious shark from mistaking him for a potential source of nourishment. (Which, statistically, is rare, but certainly a fate worth avoiding.) Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach — not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek suit that taps our growing understanding of shark vision.

TED: Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion - Michel Laberge (2014)

Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. In this hopeful talk, he explains how nuclear fusion might be just around the corner.

TED: Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win - Sarah Lewis (2014)

At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service