Written by Carl Da-Costa-Greaves
“Marketing is a foundation on which creativity flourishes. It requires marketers who are passionate about quality of information and guidance that is offered’’ Howard Schultz.
Having just read the new book ‘Onward’ by Starbucks current CEO, I wanted to thank the company and Howard Schultz for not being Apple Inc.
The Onward book written by Howard Schultz offers a candid insight into how one of the world’s biggest brands lost its way.
The first thing that struck me about this book is how inspirational Howard Schultz is. By the end of the book you grasp a total understanding for the concept of image, personality, identity and reputation, and how shareholder pressure on profits can sometimes threaten and detract from the core values of what a brand stands for.
So many academic case studies immediately point to the giant that Apple Inc, is, and all the success the company has enjoyed – I even completed a case study in my final Post Grad exam titled ‘Can the iPad save the print industry’.
Quite frankly, in my opinion it gets a bit boring studying a company whose only problems point to how many iPhones they can physically produce in order to keep up with demand. I am a great appreciator of technology and I love the apple products BUT, the company lacks depth and emotion – this does not make for a rounded story.
With marketing students learning the importance of a market orientated company very early on in their studies, and how businesses who do not have a sustainable market oriented model do not truly understand the concepts of marketing. Onward demonstrates this principal in a way that has not resonated with me before.
This book is the real deal – no fictional case study, but pure business. If you’re from the school of hard-knock business then you will probably cringe at some of the personal and emotional struggles Howard Shultz deals with. For the majority, it will strike a chord and leave you feeling that if you owned Starbucks, you would like to think that you too would make the same decisions he did.
Howard Schultz believes in his coffee experience and quite simply wants to create a company that rewards its employees and investors and delivers a superior product and experience. Don’t be fooled by thinking that this is just another bunch of CEO Clichés. Starbucks lives by its values and well done Howard Schultz for sticking to them, and thank you for not being Apple.