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As I was taking a break from my work and perusing Twitter, I came across a tweet from Scott Bauman: “Starbucks to offer wine and cheese?? http://bit.ly/aKHiD6 Is this the precursor to jumping the shark?”

At first I thought “wow, that’d be a great idea”…as I imagined myself having a glass of cabernet sauvignon while working on a paper or composing a blog post or reading a case. Then Scott, pointed out, “If you really want what Starbucks is “creating,” why not patronize local restaurants, not mega chains?” That got me thinking a bit more.

Is this extension of Starbucks going to harm the brand? Will the loyal coffee consumers and patrons of the comfy couches be dismayed? I like the idea of having the choice of coffee or a glass of wine while doing some work or reading a good book. However, it might be more suitable for a mom n’ pop cafe to offer such in a small neighborhood than the large chain.

As a fellow Starbucks consumer, I am torn about which way they should go with this idea and am definitely interested to see how the Seattle idea turns out.

What do you think this would do for the Starbucks brand? Will this keep you more loyal or turn you towards a different coffee shop?

Customer service is key to a brand having loyalty by a consumer — at least for me, that’s the case. For example, recently an item I purchased via Amazon was not delivered. My online status said “delivered” but said package was not on my doorstep. I immediately thought “crap! Someone took it!” — “now what?” Well I phoned Amazon and asked if they knew what happened, and they realized it was accidentally delivered to the wrong address. I was dismayed because I was really hoping to have the item that day. What did Amazon do? They promised to have the item delivered by end of business the next day. I was relieved and the matter was squared away within less than 5 minutes. Unbelievable — I got a person on the phone, she was polite, she answered my questions, and fixed the problem! Is it sad, that I was surprised this actually happened? Sad, indeed. An even bigger surprise was that my package came within 12 hours – I had it the next morning! All I can say is, Amazon – you rock! I am a loyal consumer, and will not falter (unless you fail me – but please don’t!)

Customer Service – the bedrock of customer brand loyalty.