My friends and peers understand that I am die hard about 2 major vendors in my life.. Apple and Starbucks. I was sitting here at a Starbucks today and realized I have never written about why I like Starbucks while my love for Apple products has been made clear over the years. So here is my rant on why Starbucks.
I have played multiple roles in life as far as my career/vocations have gone, but ministry has always been my top. Starbucks creates the perfect storm for someone like me, a slightly ADD, creative, technological, get it done, driver, seeker of knowledge, people lover, coffee snob with a mission. I think that sums me up! I can sit in Starbucks, accomplish my mission, allow interruptions if I choose them, get my favorite beverages, learn a ton about people, learn about things you never knew through others and get a broad idea of your community landscape. Starbucks is no respecter of person, race, gender, age or status... If you can buy a small coffee you are in, just like that.
The music pumps at just the right volume (sometimes too loud), the hum of voices can easily compartmentalized or you can use headphones, you can hold meetings, small groups, training for the price of coffee.
I have been a digital marketing specialist since 1999, sometimes full time, other times part time. I love to be around people and businesses that do IT right. I love out of the box thinking. The time I spend at Starbucks, the marketing rubs off on me, I am more creative because of it. At any good leadership seminar or conference you will be told to surround yourself with what you want to be, champions who are rocking it and willing to take risks. Whether I am drafting a sermon, small group study, marketing plan for the church, work for my web marketing business, I am more creative here.
For instance, being here has caused me to blog about Starbucks, creating the photo of me and 3 of my kids with me at a Starbucks, and allowed me to realize I do not have a proper photo of me and my daughter Aliyah at Starbucks causing me great anxiety to get it done. Starbucks has helped me see the area of relationship that is missing for me. So sorry Aliyah! I love you dearly! All kidding aside, creative atmosphere breads creativity.
Pull out my laptop and I am set to work for hours at Starbucks. Certain locations around the country are now offering Google as the ISP of WiFi in the store. For instance the location here (remaining unnamed for the sake of being able to get a seat in the future) in the southern suburbs of Chicago has Google internet that tops out at over 50 mbps download and 11 Mbps upload. WHERE can you get that fast of public internet? While the Wifi is labeled Google, the rumor is that Comcast is really providing the service but honestly I could care less, it is fast.
Starbucks is smart! They have a simple yet rich loyalty program, and I have had the Gold Card since the first year it was released. Every purchase I make builds and once i reach 12, I can get a free drink of any size. While I have been tempted to break the record for most costly free drink, I have refrained. Now most people hear about my Starbucks fascination and they assume I am getting the fancy drinks that they get each time and think of the budget I must have. Nope, I buy a tall coffee, drink it and because I have the Gold card, I get free refills. The cost is $2 plus change to work with fast internet for hours. I constantly get emails with a new deal, ways to double my rewards and free stuff to try. They make you feel like a special envoy to Starbucks.
I am a bit of a coffee snob, I like good quality coffee and teas. Now that Starbucks owns Teavana, my beverage options have combined for the ideal combo. Much like my fascination with Apple, the product just works. You know what you are going to get each time you order and if you do not like it, hand it back and they will make what you want. You cannot beat that guarantee either.
There you have it, my Starbucks rant is now over. Also, please note that I was not paid to write this in anyway including currency exchange, product bartering, etc. However, I would not turn down a simple Starbucks for Life reward if that happened to be offered.
Love Jesus, Love People!