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Starbucks instant coffee: breakthrough innovation or brand suicide?

Barely two years ago, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz admitted in a leaked memo that the chain had lost its passion for coffee, admitting that its ambitious growth had seriously damaged the brand experience. Last week he announced that Starbucks is moving into instant coffee.

Creating a genuinely superior instant coffee offers Starbucks a platform for huge growth, particularly among those consumers who do not currently visit its stores. However, there is inherent risk in Starbucks associating its core brand with the instant coffee category. truly social media

The Victorian bushfires have made headlines in Australia and internationally, the tragedy compounded by the fact that some of the fires were allegedly started intentionally.

While many large corporations have been flashing big bucks in support of the victims, a Melbourne-based interactive marketing agency has instead used its own expertise to launch an innovative website giving practical help to those in need of emergency accommodation.

Wiki FC comes of age

While Abramovich’s autocratic style might dominate top tier football, down in the Blue Square Premier, the last year has seen a quiet revolution in the way clubs are owned and managed.

February 2009 marks a year under new ownership for Ebbsfleet United. This fact becomes more significant when you consider that Ebbsfleet is the first club in the world to be 100% owned and managed by an online fan community, MyFootballClub.

Google’s Magical Mystery Tour

Ever-committed to preserving the work-life balance, Google has let some of its employees off Softball practise for a few weeks and instead packed them off on a bus tour of Northern India.

The bus set off from Chennai on 3rd Feb, with the hope that it will end up in Tiruvannamalai [yes, I had to paste that one] on 13 March. Along the way, it will be spreading the gospel of the web and how it can be used for information, education and entertainment, with services in both English and Tamil.

Check out the videos on Google’s official Internet Bus site – looks like they’re having fun. 

You may also be interested in my post about LifeTools – Nokia’s latest initiative to engage communities in rural India.