Summary of Leading the Starbucks Way

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Leading the Starbucks Way book summary


8 Overall

9 Applicability

6 Innovation

7 Style


Management consultant Joseph A. Michelli offers a fascinating analysis of the strategies Starbucks deployed to become one of the world’s most popular brands. With seemingly unrestricted access to everyone from baristas to CEO Howard Schultz, Michelli illuminates the big picture and the nitty-gritty – a discussion of the company’s expansion into India is only slightly longer than a lesson in mixing tea and lemonade. Michelli details the methods that Starbucks uses to energize its employees, its innovations in digital commerce and online marketing, its road map for global expansion, and its efforts to give back to communities. Michelli’s prose can be flat and sometimes jargonistic – and some of the techniques Starbucks uses are par for the course for “best companies” – but the stories and personalities remain compelling. getAbstract recommends Michelli’s portrait of thoughtful success to corporate managers stewarding their companies’ visions and to small-business owners aiming to build the next retail behemoth.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Starbucks built its brand by cultivating human connections;
  • How it maintains worker and customer enthusiasm and trust, as well as loyalty and passion; and
  • How Starbucks expands by constantly innovating products, processes and technology.

About the Author

Author and business consultant Joseph A. Michelli is the “chief experience officer” of the Michelli Experience consultancy and hosts the Michelli Experience podcast.



“Love, Humanity and Humility”
Starbucks has a foundation of customers who are passionate about its brand. More than 60 million people visit a Starbucks coffee shop each week. The company’s Facebook page has more than 54 million fans. When Starbucks launched a discussion-based website to...

Comment on this summary

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    Cheryl Harvey 4 years ago
    Starbucks success has everything to do with the human connection!
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    Patrick Brigger 5 years ago
    They do it so well, they can charge astronomical prices for their coffee and get away with it!
    • Avatar
      Carmen Hiers 5 years ago
      and 90% of the astronomical price of a cup of coffee is profit.

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    Pull up an armchair for a strong, hot cup of business savvy: how the desire for decent coffee and a place to hang out created an international marketing role model.

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