Over the past couple of weeks we have looked at some of the great benefits that can be gained from the implementation of Enterprise 2.0 and some of the risks that need to be considered. After careful thinking and thorough research, together we have come to the conclusion that the benefits far outweigh the risks and if an organisation really wants to keep up with the Joneses (so to speak) they need to get in amongst it and make and effort to make use of some of the wonderful tools that Enterprise 2.0 has to offer. So that begs the question, (in the words of Miss Lara Bingle) “where the bloody hell are they?”. In this day and age, any company that isn’t making use of some sort of Web 2.0 tool needs to wake up and smell the coffee, and I mean that literally.
Did you know that since 2008 when Starbucks was suffering from declining sales for the first time since it stared, they have become one of the most highly engaged companies in social media and are once again back in favor with consumers announcing record profits for the 2012 3rd quarter (Starbucks Investor Relations, 2012)? It’s true! In 2008 Starbucks had lost itself and was as a result losing customers. They were looking for a way to re-connect with their customers and one of their barristers (Mr Brad Nelson) had the ingenious idea that they should engage with their customers via Twitter. This idea was originally dismissed by management, but Mr Nelson was persistent, he put together a presentation about the benefits of Twitter and how it could be used to connect with customers. His idea was eventually given the green light and the rest as they say, is history.
In addition to this, Starbucks have also implemented their very own social networking site called My Starbucks Idea where customers can make suggestions about what they would like to see from Starbucks. They also have a blog called Ideas In Action which is written by Starbucks staff about what Starbucks is doing with the ideas that have been made by customers on My Starbucks Idea.
It took Starbucks a good four years to cement their digital branding, and with the recent appointment of a Chief Digital Officer, it seems that they have finally realised that Enterprise 2.0 is the way of the future, and really, resistance is futile.
Starbucks have adopted social media tools not only as a way of connecting with their customers, but as a way of harvesting ideas and collecting data. When Starbucks entered the social media scene, it was done with complete conviction. Facebook, Twitter, the Starbucks blog, and their own social network all launched at once, showing commitment by management and confidence in what they were doing. In 2009 as a way of encouraging staff to participate, they ran a competition where employees could submit ideas for future ads. This reward scheme was the perfect way of engaging staff. My Starbucks Idea and Ideas in Action also used this method of encouraging consumers to contribute because each idea that was submitted was reviewed and had the potential to be actually implemented. This encouraged customers to make use of the social media tools provided and gave Starbucks the perfect platform for gathering data that they could then analyse to determine what their customers really wanted in order to improve the service that they deliver. The main thing that Starbucks did with the adoption of Enterprise 2.0 that made it such a success, was switch their focus from the company to the consumer. This push came from management and filtered down to staff level.
So why aren’t more organisations following suit?
Well there are a number of things that can hinder the adoption of Enterprise 2.0 by an organisation, such as concerns about security, concerns about the risks to core business practices etc, but personally the one that I’ve witnessed most within my organisation is simply that people are creatures of habit and that they are scared of change. If there is no immediate need to change, most people are happy to continue on doing what they are already doing. Most middle to high level managers (who are the people who would be responsible for approving the introduction of these sorts of tools) are still within the age group where Enterprise 2.0 is still sort of foreign and just a little bit intimidating. Until it can be proven to them how beneficial something new can be, whether that be via a ROI report or they see that their competitors are doing it and doing to well, chances are they are going to remain skeptical on the issue. Employees are the same, unless they are forced to, or they can see some huge advantage in changing the way they work, they are just going to stick with what they know. As the next generation starts to rise through the ranks, I think that is when Enterprise 2.0 will really start to gain momentum within organisations. Once again, this is just my opinion, what’s yours?
Starbucks Investor Relations
New York Times: Starbucks Corporation
New Your Times: Starbucks Announces It Will Close 600 Stores
The Next Web: The Starbucks Formula for Social Media Success
Venturebeat: Starbucks Digital Strategy
Starbucks Newsroom: Chief Digital Officer
Branding Personality: How Starbucks Built an Engaging Brand on Social Media
Advertising Age: Starbucks Gets it’s Business Brewing Again with Social Media
ZDNet: Top 10 Issues in Adopting Enterprise Social Computing
GSC: Starbucks Use of Social Media Keeps Customers Coming Back
Mashable: Starbucks Takes its Social Media Marketing Offline