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October 3, 2011
Starbucks: The Way I See It Now
Starbucks brought back the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Here’s hoping they bring back “The Way I See It” cups next.

Do you remember them? You’d order Starbucks and the cup would have a thought-provoking message from an author, poet, pundit, or blogger, among others. There were hundreds of different messages on the cups. Each cup sparked thought, conversation, agreement, anger; all kinds of emotions.

What better fit with a brand that wants to be the third place in your life after home and work?

Or consider what Starbucks founder Howard Schultz was quoted as saying to the New York Times in 2006. He was talking about music, but it could apply to any unique content.

“With the assets Starbucks has in terms of number of stores, and the trust we have with the brand, and the profile of our customers, we're in a unique position to partner with creators of unique content to create an entertainment platform and an audience that's unparalleled.''

I think this blogger summed up it best in his collection of “The Way I See It” cups. He wrote, “There are days when the quote on the side of my Starbucks cup is almost as motivating as my coffee!”

There’s a lot going on in the world today. Our eminent thinkers help us make sense of the craziness and see the beauty around us.

For example, let’s say you’re at Starbucks and read about ethnic strife or the latest budget battle in Washington. Then you look at your cup and read this:

Imagine we are all the same. Imagine we all agree about politics, religion, and morality. Imagine we like the same types of music, food, and coffee. Sound boring? Differences need not divide us. Embrace diversity. Dignity is everyone's human right.” ~ Bill Brummel

Or let’s say you’re a Mom who just dropped off the kids and didn’t get a hug or kiss back. You’re questing your parenting while waiting in the Starbucks drive-thru lane. During the transaction with the barista, you read this on the cup.

Do not kiss your children so they will kiss you back but so they will kiss their children, and their children's children. ~ Noah benShea

What about the long-time unemployed worker who’s hanging out at Starbucks? He’s thinking back to his last interview and bracing for bad news. He looks down at his cup and reads:

The world bursts at the seams with people ready to tell you you're not good enough. On occasion, some may be correct. But do not do their work for them. Seek any job; ask anyone out; pursue any goal. Don't take it personally when they say "no" — they may not be smart enough to say "yes." ~ Keith Olbermann

Content meets context. What a concept. That’s why Starbucks needs to bring back “The Way I See It” cups. Now more than ever.

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Mike Ogden is a digital/senior writer based in Kansas City. Ad agency stops have enabled him to create for major brands like American Century, Capital One, Sprint, and USAA. Seasoned and sharp with a touch of gray, Ogden, aka Og, is known for creating and championing ideas. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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