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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?

As I sat in my MBA Global Branding class last night, I couldn’t help but laugh. As the professor went on and on about how brands need that “one word” which consumers will recall at the drop of a hat — I thought back to my time at Holland-Mark (HM). HM coined the term “One Simple Thing” (OST), which is that one attribute that most well defines the brand. For example, as my professor asked in class “what do you think of when you hear Coca Cola?” Everyone should be thinking of the same word (unfortunately for some brands this does not always occur). Supposedly the “OST” for Coca Cola is “happiness” — did you think of that? Coke would hope so! And so would their marketers!

As I sat there in my seat, I started to realize that the concepts the professor was teaching were processes and terms that I had become well acquainted with during my time at HM. And with the hands-on learning and experience, I learned way more than reading cases and discussing them in a classroom. Now, I am not knocking my MBA education — it is definitely valuable and am happy to be a candidate for 2011 spring graduation — but learning these concepts in a work setting where you are automatically putting them to use is not only rewarding but helps one (or at least me) recall and understand things way more.

It was pretty awesome to be sitting in class and feeling that I had a firm grasp and knowledge of the topic (at least so far — it’s only been a few weeks into the semester). And I owe this knowledge and understanding to the exceptionally bright and talented folks at HM — especially Mike Troiano who if you haven’t heard speak — you should!

Now I ask you — where did your best knowledge and understanding come from?