Starbucks Watch Out, Chocolate’s a Comin’

Posted on by in Branding/Differentiation, Business, Creativity/Innovation, Leadership, Remarkability

This week, Business Week has an article entitled, "Chocolate: Belly Up to the Bar, which talks about how a number of companies are starting new chains of chocolate stores, similar to the Starbucks experience—chains like  "Ethel’s" in Chicago,  "Bittersweet" in San Fransisco and "Moonstruck" in Oregon and Illinois. Instead of just getting a latte though, at a chocolate bar you can get a "Dark Chocolate Creamy Carmel" or "Pina Colada Truffle" or a "Red Fire Truffle" (with ancho chili powder and Ceylon cinnamon). You can also sit on one of their leather couches drinking "expresso-fueled hot cocoa" or dipping "pound cake in milk chocolate fondue."

What makes this story so remarkable, to me at least, is that the authors’ voices come through. It’s hard to read this article and not think, "These authors really like this idea." So the authors, though the vehicle of a magazine, are doing what every business, organization, church and non-profit wants their people to do—remark to someone else, "You’ve got to try this!" I’m not a chocolate lover, but after reading this article, if there was an Ethel’s in DC, I would’ve taken my lap top with me and spent a few hours over there (and then blogged about it!).

But at it’s core, what did these choco lounges do?  They simply took a model from one product line (the coffee line) and imported it over to another (the chocolate line) and that so impressed these writers (and the Business Week editors) that they gave over two pages of a national magazine to it.

So as you’re thinking about making whatever you do more remarkable, maybe one idea might be to import an idea from another kind of business and use that in yours. In other words, don’t just compare what you’re doing to others in your field, look outside your field—which will make you different—which will probably help you create something more remarkable.

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