Starbucks LogoEvery once in a while I see something and it just makes complete sense to me. These are always great moments and I know we’ve all had them – that moment where it just clicks.

I often look at other businesses, both large and small, and I wonder “how do they do it?” How do they get up in the morning? What processes do they use to run their business? How do they determine pricing? And yes how do they view themselves? I know I’m not alone here. We all do it.

The goal is of course to learn and the stakes are high. No sense beating around the bush on this – we all have mouths to feed even if they are only our own. And the truth is for better or worse we all tend to be hyper focused on the successes rather than the failures. When a business is super successful that business automatically has our attention. Suddenly those same questions take on an added sense of urgency.

Here I was reading this interview (the entire article is indeed very interesting) given by the CEO of a company that I use on a regular basis, so this is a product that I can say I’m familiar with. This is also a super successful company – one of those companies that so many people think they could in fact run – it’s just a bunch of coffee shops after all. The truth is most people could not run Starbucks. Perhaps there is only one person in the entire universe who could run and that person happens to actually be the person running it.

And here he is, throwing out this very bland statement that to a large extent defines the amazing success of this multi-billion dollar company.

We understand how to elevate and romanticize an experience built around a beverage.

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks in an interview in Fast Company

Wow. That statement alone says so much. First, I’m guessing that it took the internal team at Starbucks years before they even recognized this statement and it’s power. Being able to articulate how and why your business is a success in so few words is a real talent. Some of us might be born with such talents, but for most of us, just like our businesses themselves, this type of talent evolves over time. It takes time to define a business. It takes time to polish your operation. And it takes time to be able to speak effectively about your business. Lesson 1.

This statement also really motivated me because here is their CEO talking about an ordinary product – a beverage, blah, how boring – he doesn’t even say coffee, instead preferring to fall back on the most generic description he can,  and yet he also in the course of a single sentence goes on to explain in very simple terms exactly what it is that has allowed Starbucks to flourish. This company was able to deliver emotion to something that so many of us took for granted. And by doing so Starbucks is a huge winner.  Human experiences will always win. Lesson 2.

There is also a supreme amount of confidence in this statement. I mean after all, who does this guy think he is? Are we stupid? Does he think we can simply be conned in to paying $2.10 for a medium black coffee just because this coffee shop has clean windows? Of course not. And no, I do not think Howard Schultz thinks he customers are stupid. But I also think that as CEO Howard Schultz possesses an immense amount of confidence in his ability to deliver. After all the sheer absurdity of the statement is brilliant. It’s brilliant in a way that most Starbucks patrons can attest too. Follow through on your convictions.  It’s was will separate you from the rest. Lesson 3.

Actually to build on the point above, not only do I believe Howard Schultz does not believe his customers are stupid. Actually I think he loves them. Why else would he deliver such passion and introduce such rich emotion when talking about one of the keys to the massive success of Starbucks. Love your customers. It really does show and they really do reward you. Lesson 4.

So the big question for you is have you brought enough romance into your own business? When customers interact with you, can they feel your passion? When you and your team are making sales calls is the romance there? When people are taking a passive look at you, have you really thought through the details and made sure they are all adding value?

Romance is not a one way street. You can’t simply walk in a say “I love you.” You have to prove it. You have to show it. You have to live it. And yes, you have to work for it.

We understand how to elevate and romanticize an experience built around a (Your Business Premise Here).