Coffee Jitters: Don’t Count on a $1 Cup of Starbucks Coffee Any Time Soon

UpdatedCroppedStarbucks.jpgThe news media—and blogs—were a abuzz today with a story that Starbucks is testing $1 cups of coffee, and unlimited refills, at its stores in Seattle.

The popular wisdom in today’s spooky economic environment: Starbucks is caving in to competitive pressures from McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and others, abandoning its premium strategy to compete on price.

I don’t buy it for a minute. Howard Schultz, who has just returned as Starbucks’ CEO, is a far smarter guy than that. The bottomless one-dollar cup of coffee is just one the reasons he’s retaken the reigns of the company, and I don’t believe it is an exemplar of the brand’s long-term strategies.

I’ll bet you a grande skinny cinnamon dolce latte on it.

By the way, I’m not a huge Starbucks’ fan. But Howard Schultz’s “Pour Your Heart Into It” is still one of the best books on branding and entrepreneurial leadership that I’ve ever read.

Photo by miskan on Flickr.com, (cc) some rights reserved.