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November 13, 2012


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For the record, Seattle's Best is a subsidiary of Starbucks. I've always thought of the name as a wink of the eye to those in the know.

David Meerman Scott

Aaron - Really? Wow! Obviously I did not know that. The wikipedia entry says "Seattle's Best Coffee is generally cheaper than that of its parent, and is marketed as more of a working class coffee compared to the more upmarket Starbucks."

Raúl Colón

I always learn new things. Did not know that Seattle's best coffe is a subsidiary of Starbucks.

I see many like that always focused on their competition vs. Enhancing their customer's experience!


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For the record, I know this only because I'm hopelessly, mindlessly addicted to coffee. One of those dumb trivia things I filed in the back of my head.

And had I had more yesterday I would have prefaced my comment by telling you I love your work.


Maybe it's easier to focus on the competition than the customer. When you focus on the competition, the bar is a little lower and usually within reach. This can be okay, depending on your business goals. If you're just trying to gain market share, maybe focusing on your competition is the way to go (think Samsung's push vs. Apple).

Focusing on the customer is much harder and has to be more than just a marketing goal. It has to be a business goal because you often enter uncharted waters when you focus on the customer. That's why there's only ever one market leader.

Josh Hill

Seattle's Best was an independent firm before SBUX took it over. Inexplicably, they retained the brand and some of the stores. I think they were taking advantage of the coffee wave of the early 90s that started in Seattle.

More importantly, firms need to worry about their customers and often those who should have bought, but did not.

David Meerman Scott

Jeanne - Yes, I do think it is easier to focus on the other guys, but that's a lazy approach if that is the primary thing a company does and while it can give a temporary gain, it is not a good long term strategy.

Josh - I think it is odd to keep the brand. Interesting that they did so.

Rodney Goldston

Hi David, I believe when we are attempting to be thought leaders, and true innovators our main focus should be neither customers nor competition but rather our core beliefs.

I believe largely what made Apple the company we know today was Steve Jobs willingness to ignore the competition, and consumer demand (when considering the 1st MacIntosh there was no consumer demand they created it).

I also think this is what makes you awesome my friend...you're don't seem to be concerned with offering what's popular but instead what Seth Godin calls 'Your Best Version Of The Truth'. That's why your Tribe follows you, that's how Apple did it, and that's how we can all stand out from the crowd...Staying true to our Core Beliefs regardless of competition or customer demand.

David Meerman Scott

Rodney, I really appreciate your thoughts here. You've made my day. Yes, I do follow my passions and I have firm convictions of what marketing strategies work and I'll talk about them no matter what others are saying. Thank you.

Yes, I think we can learn from Apple in this regard. Go for it if you have a vision for the future.

But I also think that analyzing the problems that people have can yield tremendous insights that can lead to amazing products and services.

It's not either/or. A combination is a great way to go.

Facebook Developer

Agree, Scott. Our marketing strategies that focus on consumers rather than competitors.

Facebook Developer

I think sometime we need to analyze competitors also because if you totally ignore your rivals then how you determine where is working? Yes, consumers is also important for us.

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