Starbucks, as part of its mission to advance social and racial equity, is aiming for 30% of corporate level employees and 40% of retail and manufacturing roles to be filled by Black, indigenous or people of color (BIPOC) by the year 2025. In tandem, the company will publicly share data on the diversity of its...
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But while we might be able to delete our tone-deaf tweets or cringeworthy emails without much backlash, the stakes are infinitely higher for brands trying to do damage control online.“They’ve definitely caught on that if they really want to resonate with younger generations, they need to do good for the wider society—not just investors and shareholders.”As Monks pointed out, even if brand snafus don’t start on social media, that’s where they end up spreading.This past summer, for example, the hashtag DumpStarbucks trended across Twitter after a group of police officers was asked to leave an Arizona shop because a customer said they felt “unsafe.”In 2018, the coffee giant faced another viral mess after a Philadelphia store manager called police to escort out two African-American customers who were waiting to meet a friend at the shop.The 2 gentlemen whose civil rights were violated were released and not charged with any crime.
The police are seemingly well on the way to cracking the case when it comes to cloud adoption – with findings from a Freedom of Information request conducted by SoftwareONE showing two thirds of police forces are now using public cloud, writes Kevin Johnson, key account manager at SoftwareONEMigrating to the cloud unlocks many benefits for the police; fragmented by nature, the police is made up of 48 forces that all employ different technology platforms and processes.Adopting the cloud and creating a standardised, force-wide IT platform will improve data sharing and enable police in different locations to navigate the modern crime-scape together.Recent government programmes like the Policing Vision 2025 and the National Enabling Programme (NEP) also aim to roll out digital transformation programmes nationwide, to help forces overcome today’s new and evolving crime challenge.Adoption of cloud is only half the story; forces need to think carefully both about how cloud services and infrastructure will be managed post-migration, and how to ensure maximum ROI is achieved.However, the initial cost of adopting cloud can be a significant investment – police forces need to employ effective cloud management processes and real-time monitoring to ensure ROI.
Starbucks’ China rival Luckin seeks to raise up to $586.5 million in IPO – ReutersWhat happened: Chinese coffee chain Luckin is planning to raise up to $586.5 million in its US IPO according to its latest filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday.The company expects to offer 34.5 million shares priced between $15 and $17 apiece, giving it a valuation of between $3.48 billion and $3.95 billion.It had set a placeholder amount of $100 million in a filing submitted last month.Why it’s important: Luckin Coffee is touted as a Starbucks competitor, but its business model differs from the coffee giant in many aspects, from user acquisition to marketing strategies.Adopting a growth path similar to many of China’s internet startups, Luckin’s strategy is to expand at a blinding pace, powered by a highly subsidized marketing model and a tech-forward purchasing experience.
A war of words in the coffee world is brewing after the CEO of Starbucks claimed Chinese upstart Luckin can’t last just days after it filed for a U.S IPO.Kevin Johnson, who leads the American coffee giant, told CNBC that competitors in China including Luckin have adopted a strategy of building market share using “heavy, heavy discounts” that he believes is not sustainable.“We’re deploying capital and building 600 new stores per year,” he said.We’re “generating the return on invested capital that we believe is sustainable to continue to build new stores at this rate for many years to come.”Starbucks claims 30,000 stores worldwide.It has been in China for 20 years and it is aiming to reach 6,000 stores in the country by 2022.
Starbucks is well-positioned for long-term growth in China, CEO says– BloombergWhat happened: In response to competition from China rival Luckin, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a recent interview with Bloomberg that the company is well-positioned for long-term growth in China, the second-largest and the fastest-growing market for the coffee chain.Over the company’s 48-year history, Starbucks has always had lots of competitors and China is no exception, Johnson said.“We really understand what makes a differentiated experience” especially after 20 years of operation in the country, he added.The combination of premium spaces, quality coffee, personalized service, and extensive digital reach through a partnership with Alibaba are the differentiators for Starbucks in China, Jones explained.Why it’s important: By giving out generous discounts and building expansive store networks across the country, Chinese coffee chain up-and-comer Luckin is aggressively challenging Starbucks in China, a country of increasing strategic importance.
Starbucks is serving up a steaming hot $100 million cash commitment to anchor a new food-focused fund in partnership with the consumer and tech-focused focused private equity firm Valor Equity Partners.The behemoth of burnt-coffee said that its commitment to the Valor Siren Ventures fund is an attempt to focus on “new ideas and technologies that are relevant to customers, inspiring to partners (employees), and meaningful to Starbucks business.”The Starbucks announcement was short on details, except for a general statement that it would focus on investments in companies developing technologies, products and solutions related to food or retail.As a company, Starbucks has been incredibly innovative — rolling out new tech-enabled services to customers.The company has one of the most popular mobile payment services, is dabbling with cryptocurrency payments, and has a robust on-demand delivery service through UberEats.Meanwhile, Valor has a long history of investing in both technology and consumer food businesses.
Alibaba’s enterprise chat app DingTalk has what, for some, would be a conversation-stopping emoji: a dark-toned face with a squint of confusion and exaggerated, cartoonish lips.The expression, which resembles racial caricatures of African Americans in the early 20th century, can be found at the bottom of DingTalk’s built-in emoji list.It’s unclear when it was added; although DingTalk notes the addition of new emojis in updates over the last two years, it doesn’t list this specific one.TechNode reporters first noted its appearance on Friday, Feb. 1.The emoji’s expression and question marks are similar to the “Confused Nick Young” meme, which began gaining traction in 2014 after the American basketball player appeared in a YouTube web series.The image became popular not only on English-language social media but also in China, where the NBA has an avid following.
), let’s take a moment to examine a few of the biggest brand blunders of the year to figure out what went wrong—and what other companies can learn from their mistakes.A sign announces Starbucks' chain-wide, one-day closure for anti-bias training.It’s odd for a brand to end up on both our good-deed list and brand blunders list, but that’s the case for Starbucks (which, on the positive side, announced a plan to ditch plastic straws).In response to the arrests, Starbucks announced it would shut 8,000 stores in the U.S. to conduct racial-bias training for employees.You can’t control everything that your brand does or says, especially when so many people work for you across the globe.In Starbucks’ case, the brand saw a 4 percent increase in U.S. sales for Q4 from the previous quarter.
Starbucks will look to improve its services in the US after experimenting with new innovations in China.Among those innovations are delivery services designed to closely resemble the experience customers enjoy inside Starbucks retail stores.The coffee chain says it has developed methods for delivering coffee products that have the same quality customers would normally get at a Starbucks store, by utilizing tools like heat-retaining packaging and spill-proof lids.China is Starbucks' second-largest market after the US.Starbucks' president and chief executive Kevin Johnson said on Monday that the company would look to improve its delivery services in the US after experimenting with new delivery technologies in China, CNBC reported.When customers receive their orders, "the beverage is the same temperature as if the barista just prepared it and handed it to them," Johnson told CNBC.
If you walked into your office tomorrow and found that all the logos had been removed, would you still be able to see your brand there?Would customers still know the store was yours?In an age of radical transparency, when brands are called upon to show their true colors, companies can no longer afford to spend millions on their brand image and let the culture take care of itself.Each is half of a larger ecosystem, all of which requires alignment and upkeep.In these now common moments, you can’t be caught flat-footed trying to locate your values.He also announced that more than 8,000 Starbucks stores in the U.S. would close on the afternoon of May 29 so nearly 175,000 employees could get training in unconscious bias, along with announcing new store policies to reinforce that value.
Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz has announced his intention to stand down from the coffee juggernaut he helped create, fueling speculation that he could be poised to announce a 2020 US presidential bid on a Democratic ticket.Schultz has helmed the coffee chain for almost four decades but will now hand over the reigns to chief executive Kevin Johnson, who faces an onerous to-do list dominated by slower growth in a saturated US market and fierce competition from direct rivals such as Costa Coffee and Lavazza as well as fast-food outlets.Addressing his own future in a New York Times piece, Schultz said: “I intend to think about a range of options, and that could include public service.But I’m a long way from making any decisions about the future.”Schultz is credited with growing Starbucks from an 11-outlet minnow to a 28,000 café colossus spanning 77 countries after spotting a gap in the market for lattes and espresso drinks.Starbucks has confirmed that Schultz will resign from its board and be named chairman emeritus on 26 June.
It’s capable of creating breakout brands, huge valuations and inciting societal change.In recent times, we’ve seen the rise of brand boycott campaigns.But steps can be taken to prevent them, minimize their impact and turn them into positives.It’s amazing how many brands lack a clear purpose, and that’s bad business.They’re outspoken yet consistent, focused and decidedly not for everyone.Some level of negative sentiment is expected.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and his entourage are likely the reason one of Silicon Valley’s highest-tier hotels is closed to the public this week, Recode reported, as the prince continues to make the rounds in a marathon spree of meetings with some of the United States’ most powerful people.According to Axios, after swinging through Seattle to meet with Bill Gates, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and possibly Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, the crown prince will meet with Apple chief Tim Cook, top Google executives, and venture capitalists in the San Francisco Bay Area this month.Recode reports that the Four Seasons Silicon Valley is being shut down from April 2nd to April 7th, with memos showing some guests are being relocated at the behest of the State Department due to the presence of a “large VIP delegation” with “high security needs.”The Recode report noted that the timeline more or less matches with bin Salman’s Silicon Valley tour dates, though they couldn’t officially get confirmation the crown prince would be staying there:A press rep for the State Department and the spokesperson for the Saudi Arabian Embassy did not respond to requests for comment when asked if the Saudi Crown Prince and his entourage were staying at the hotel.Four Seasons PR rep Malia O’Connor said the hotel wouldn’t disclose the names of individual guests.
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