Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Fifth Gretzky

My apologies, I am a little late in awarding SMARTKETING’s fifth Gretzky award to the company or individual skating to where the puck is going.  It was close, thus I was wavering in my final decision – Mondelēz or Starbucks.  Congratulations Starbucks!
Read On:

A quick review of the previous four winners:

1.    Nestlé
2.    Yuri Milner
3.    Wang Jianlin
4.    Zaha Hadid

Why Starbucks?  It is real simple.  Despite their recent financial achievement (fourth quarter fiscal 2014 profits of $587.9 million from a net loss of $1.23 billion the fourth quarter fiscal 2013); they do not plan to settle on their current laurels.  Starbucks just announced their five-year strategic plan.  Three primary growth drivers were as follows:

·         Technology – They are ramping up their mobile ordering initiative so customers can order in advance and pick up their orders at their preferred location.  This use of technology, along with their current payment app will also open the door for utilization of iBeacon technology.  The technology I am most excited about is they are testing high-tech Duracell Powermat equipped tables.  If proven successful, in theory, consumers will just place their wireless devices on tables to recharge while enjoying a cup of coffee, some food or even when conducting a meeting.

·         New Brick & Mortar – They announced they will be entering the high-end specialty coffee market with new flagship stores complete with Reserve Roastery and Tasting Rooms.  FYI: Beacons will be utilized to drive information and traffic to their new retail concept.

·         Food – Starbucks announced they will enhance their product offerings complete with “Starbucks Evenings.”  Their goal is to double their U.S. food revenue to over $4 billion in the next five years.

Bill Gates said it best.  “Success is a lousy teacher.  It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”  Kudos to Starbucks and its entire leadership team.  You are definitely skating to where the puck is going to be.


  1. I didn't know a youngster such as yourself Jimmie, enjoys a fresh Starbucks now and then!

  2. I'd love to know more how they went from such a deficit in profits to such a nice increase!

  3. Jimmy,

    Maybe. McDonald's is struggling because of an aging demographic, i.e., I don't want to go where I went with my parents as a child. Hence the appeal of Panera.

    More expensive tasting rooms and easily copied charging tables won't make up for something new and different from current or new competitors.

    I would be more impressed with their 5 year strategy if they made an acquisition, a la Berger King, outside their comfort zone