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What Is That Brown Mermaid Doing In My Drink?

Is Starbucks getting it’s mermaid on? Since I left the Pike Place Market bux a couple of years ago (photo in gallery of this site), I have seen neither hide nor fin of the original logo – the one with the full-monty mermaid, instead of the wavy-hair cameo version of the logo. In layman’s terms: green logo – typical; brown mermaid logo – retro. Ah … I just asked someone at the counter. Here’s the deal. The retro logo is to intro the new product – the Pike Place Roast, and will be used through June or so. Makes sense. Oh, those buxfolk! What will they think of next?

The Seattle brewers always amaze me with their marketing smarts. I marveled at the genius of their recent day-in-training promotion. Do you recall the day they closed shop and let everyone go through caffeine withdrawals for 24 hours. What better way to remind people how much we want – no need – no gotta have — our daily shot of starpower? … The most ingenious part of the plan was how the mom & pop shops played right into the hands of the green giant. Every independent coffee haus worth their beans ran a special promotion to give price breaks to Starbucks customers, hoping to woo their loyalties. It worked perfectly for the M&Ps … oh say … for about 24 hours. More likely the mom/pops just helped to create even more buzz for their nemesis.

I’ll guarantee you that if I’d owned a coffee shop, I would have put up a big sign that said “business as usual,” and I would have instructed employees to claim that not only did they know nothing about the Starbucks closure, I would have instructed them to say, “What? There is Starbucks in this town?” PR 101 – never restate the negative or deliver the competition’s message for them. I digress …

Which is all to say this: If Starbucks is all that – which they are. If they are so smart, why in the name of all things green and environmentally friendly can’t they put an adequate “twistee” on the top of their take-home coffee bags? I ask you!

Have you noticed it? Starbucks has a gazillions stores, each one perfect in customer service/satisfaction … each one staffed with baristas capable of replicating the exact same drink, anywhere in the country. Heck Starbucks is single-handedly saving the rainforest, if you read their Corporate Social Responsibility brochures … BUT, they can’t figure out how to cut the twistee on the coffee pouch one quarter of an inch longer, so that it actually wraps around the top of the back and locks in the freshness – not to mention the partial bushel of beans inside. C’mon bux, spend a few euros and fix this thang. Is it going to wipe out your net profits if you splurge a couple of pennies per thousand?

Every time I buy more coffee to take back to where I stay, it always amazes me. I have to carefully close the bag, coaxing every millimeter of potential out of the plastic and wire sealer (the PAWS) … just to seal the bag. It’s an exercise about as rewarding and interesting (frustrating) as rolling the end of the toothpaste tube to get the last morsel of fluoride.

Come on bux, you can do better than that! Hey, it’s an easy one. It’s not like I have asked you something difficult, like for instance, cleaning those nasty restrooms of yours.

But then again … that’s another kettle of fish, isn’t it. Or rather, a conundrum. If you think about it, the same peeps who make your coffee also have to clean the bathrooms. So, do you really want them to put their heart and soul into the polishing the porcelain? … Prolly not. So, for all you entrepreneurs out there – willing to do just about anything for a price – there’s a million dollar idea. Put Bux on a guilt trip about their nastybaths and drum up the obvious — the threat to barista hygiene … start a grassroots campaign among the customers … Note: DO NOT stage a sit in … and then swoop in with your own bathroom cleaning service. Grab the corporate contract. Proceed directly to “Go” and collect the loot. You could be the potty nouveau riche! And of course, don’t let your bathroom cleaning crew make coffee for anyone … no matter what – ’cause that ain’t right!