I’ve heard the phrase “Starbucks Church” a number of times lately. As more and more churches begin to latch on to the importance of relevance, many are looking to Starbucks for inspiration. After all, Starbucks has experienced tremendous success in their industry due to their ability to create a desired brand and experience and not simply a great product.
However, churches must be careful and not rush into mimicking Starbucks or what has worked for other churches. First, a church must understand the people that they want to reach and how to relevantly reach them.
Brand Autopsy recently blogged about how Dunkin’ Donuts recently conducted research investigating the difference between their loyal customers and the loyal customers of Starbucks. What they discovered was the opinions and preferences of loyal Dunkin’ Donuts customers varied dramatically from the opinions and preferences of loyal Starbucks customers. They both adamantly dislike the culture of the other coffee shop. Wow! Some people hate Starbucks.
What can the church learn from this?
Every ministry is unique. They have a unique calling and vision to reach a unique group of people. There are no cure-all solutions. But everything must have a custom approach in order to best reach the people they are called to reach.