John Moore's new book is (actually written as a screenplay) about a coffee company called "Galaxy Coffee." It's not hard at all to identify it as Starbucks. It was a complete surprise to me, but John Moore sent me a preview copy of this new book. He knows me from twitter and this blog, and he's someone who at times has helped me understand the ideals of Starbucks, and their relationship with customers and partners. This is not to say I have a good grasp on these things. I often still feel like I have more questions than answers. John Moore is presently known as a marketing expert based out of Austin, Texas. He blogs at brandautopsy.com, frequently writing about Starbucks. He spent much of his early marketing career at Starbucks, and then left to go to Whole Foods, and then finally launching Brand Autopsy and a career as an independent marketing specialist and public speaker. I completely recommend this book. It is a very short easy read, but it is filled with words of marketing wisdom. I won't give away the ending, but the story is at least loosely based on the direction that Starbucks has take over the most recent decade. The characters intermix their conversations with marketing axioms that should not be forgotten by any corporation, regardless of its size. Here's a short snippet that displays what I mean by that:
JOHN COFFEY Galaxy used to live its motto of “Hire somebodies. Never warm bodies.” I can’t say that’s their M.O. these days. DENNY WILLIAMS There is nothing more important than attracting, hiring, and keeping great employees.
Howard Schultz's character is drawn as almost hero like - almost! He obviously has great passion for his company, and his heart is completely with Starbucks in the book, but at moments he's given a light wash over him of disconnect: He has moments of being aloof, and unaware of little people and lesser characters. A few other characters are extremely reminiscent of real Starbucks people, but none are so easy to identify as Howard's. One character definitely sounds like she has some Michelle Gass in her.
This book is available at brandautopsy.com, as an ebook, and selling for $10.00 (I think). Go buy it.
While you're stocking up on your Starbucks reading, my other suggestion would be to take a look at The Starbucks Experience by Joseph Michelli. For my previous blog entry reviewing his book, click here.
One more important thing! The site for the Galaxy Coffee book is here - www.ToughLoveScript.com