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Clued In: How To Keep Customers Coming Back Again and Again by Lewis P. Carbone

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Chapter 2. Experience as a Value Proposition

Starbucks didn't start out as a purveyor of experience. From its initial roots as a product retailer over time, the organization shifted its value proposition to customer experience. When Starbucks' first location opened on the Seattle waterfront in 1971, it was a bean shop in the literal sense: It sold whole or ground, gourmet roasted coffee beans right off the boat (hence the siren-of-the-sea logo that 30 years later still puzzles some customers).

Back in those early days, the only brewing involved at Starbucks was for product tastings, or, as they're appropriately referred to in the business, "cuppings." The original theme tried to evoke the feelings of the seafaring tradition of coffee traders ...

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