Source:The Daily Review
I’m not interested in Howard Schultz’s so-called potential independent presidential run at least for this piece, but more interested in what he created not just with Starbucks, but the broader pop culture in America. Starbucks, really since the late 1990s or so is not just just a coffee house, but it’s a fashion statement and status update. Americans, especially yuppies and hipsters not just like Starbucks coffee, but feel the need to be seen liking that coffee and feel the need to have everyone know that they like that coffee and go to if not Starbucks on a regular basis, perhaps some other popular coffee house in their community.
Starbucks cups are not just coffee cups, but their fashion statements. Hipsters and yuppies feel the need to not just walk down the street holding their Starbucks cup or another coffee house cup, even if their cup is empty, but feel the need to be seen either on their phone or looking at their phone, even if they’re not actually speaking to anyone or don’t have any latest texts or voice mails that they haven’t seen or listen to yet, while holding their coffee house cup at the same time.
Coffee house coffee whether it’s Starbucks or any other coffee, is to America and American pop culture, what tobacco was in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s before Americans figured out how addicting and how bad tobacco was for you. Except coffee house coffee and coffee you get at your local bakery or on the street, is a helluva lot better for you than tobacco and alcohol even. So you have a lot of hipsters and yuppies in America who know it’s not only cool to drink and be seen with coffee house coffee, but it’s not nearly as bad for you as tobacco or alcohol.
Starbucks, is not just a coffee house, but like with new technology especially smart phones they’re ways of living. It’s a way of life for them and way for people to be popular. “Look at Joe and Mary, they not only have the latest smartphone that just came out an hour ago, but they’re in touch with the latest celebrity news stories and scandals, addicted to reality TV, and are addicted to Starbucks coffee and coffee houses as much as we are. Even know every single Starbucks drink by heart. They must be as awesome as we are.” Which is how Starbucks customers, hipsters, and yuppies want to be seen. And Howard Schultz, is a big reason for this coffee house culture that we’ve been living with in America for the last 20 years or so. Whether he deserves credit or blame for that, I’ll let be the judge.