I agree with Mary Schmidt, who shares on her blog:

So, I was thrilled when Starbucks shops first started popping up all over – at LaGuardia…on seemingly every corner in Manhattan…even on the Jersey Turnpike. But, over the last few years, they’ve lost their charm. Too many choices, too much music, too many frou-frou goofy drinks (although I love a Frappucino).

I used to spend $4 on a Starbucks beverage (java chip frappucino over here, please!) because the guilty pleasure was augmented by the snobbish high the place gave off.
But now they’ve opened one in my local Target store. And while I love Target and choose it over Wal-Mart every time, I can’t stand that every yokel in town can schlep over for an iced coffee.
Now, I’ve always expected a line at Starbucks (no one really thinks the 15-year old behind the expresso machine can count past two, do they?) but it gets ridiculous when every soccer mom (don’t forget her three annoying children) and wizened senior citizen is clogging the line, trying to figure out what “venti” actually means.
Add to all the frustration the fact that “Becky” is wearing a Target nametag, and the whole “cool Seattle coffeehouse” vibe gets crushed under the steamroll of the mass market.
At least Dunkin Donuts sells really good (translation: fattening) donuts.

FUNERAL HOME PERSPECTIVE:  If you’re selling “memorialization” and “personalization”, you’ve got to be VERY aware of the way your potential customers see you. 

Are you “cool” and “hip” like Starbucks once was?  Or are you “mainstream” and “lame” like Starbucks is fast becoming?

If you’re selling on price, don’t worry, because no one will choose you for the “experience.”  If you’re pushing convenience, you only have to be sure you can accommodate whatever request your clients have.

But if you’re selling your reputation (the “buzz” about your business) or the unique experiences you can offer, you’d better be absolutely sure your message matches your public image.

Otherwise, you’ll be as appealing as a 17-year-old girl wearing a trendy black and green Starbucks shirt with a Target nametag pinned to it. 

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