Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Gradual Erosion

I'm still reading The Starbucks Experience and have come across some things that are very interesting. However, I also came across something that is troubling - even scary.

"One lesson I think we can all learn from this is that no brand is unassailable... And it usually not a single, dramatic event that weakens a brand. Most often, it's a gradual erosion that can be explained away as a temporary issue or maybe 'growing pains.' Too often, the 'exception' of lesser quality in time becomes the norm." (page 111)

This statement is in reference to quality and customer service issues at Starbucks. (The writer follows-up with Starbucks' response - embracing resistance. However, that is an entirely different topic.)

The reality, though, that the exception often becomes the norm left me more than a bit disconcerted. I would venture to say that this phenomenon is pretty widespread. Words like complacency and even apathy come to mind. Sometimes I inadvertenly tread down this path and it is pretty frustrating.

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