Starbucks don't do advertising. But they tell stories all the time.

Stanley Hainsworth, their former creative director (who also worked for iconic brands like Nike and Lego), shares a lot of insights about their commitment to storytelling.

"What I observed working at Starbucks and Nike is the rigor and unfailing attention to the product, and the unbelievable energy spent on creating the brand experience. I describe it as experience first and product second, because no one is going to pick up your product and try it if they don't want to buy into the experience."

Focus on your mission

Last week, Starbucks launched a #RaceTogether campaign, encouraging their baristas to engage customers in talking about the racial issue in America.

This PR failure (they rolled back the campaign after 3 days) is worth analyzing: it demonstrates the importance of being a credible mentor when you decide to tell a story that goes beyond your initial scope of business.

For users, it's probably more difficult to understand the connection between a Macchiato and racism, that it is to connect Facebook with equal access to the Internet all over the world. 

10-min readHow Starbucks transformed coffee from a commodity into a $4 splurge (article)

10-mn readWhat Starbucks can learn about race from Chipotle (article)