I guess I have Starbucks on the brain. Besides my soon to be post on what happens when you conduct the “$20 Starbucks Test,” I’ve also had the opportunity to interview Deb Trevino, the Director of Corporate Communications for the company.
In this position, Ms. Trevino covers a breadth of roles: she handles financial communication, business and brand communication, corporate social responsibility, and crisis communication.
Ms. Trevino was a pleasure to talk to and I really appreciated her insight. I only regret that I forgot to ask her what she thought about the “$20 Starbucks Test” I’ve been so interested in attempting.
Below is Part I of my interview with Ms. Trevino. Topics included in this post include branding, the new Starbucks logo design, and digital media.
Update: Part II is now posted. Click here to read about Starbucks in the global market and the coffee chain’s integration of corporate social responsibility within company policy.
The Path to Starbucks
Maurice Rahmey: How did you get to where you are at Starbucks?
Deb Trevino: I joined Starbucks about two and a half years ago and I came to this role from a similar one at a company called Getty Images, which is also based here in Seattle. Throughout my career, I’ve really worked in public relations, communications and marketing communications – some combination of those things. It’s really just a culmination of the experience that I dealt with throughout my career that got me hear.
The Starbucks Culture and Brand
MR: Before I get into my own questions, my professor (Prof. Steve Quigley) wanted to actually know how your internal communication within the company fosters a strong and consistent customer centric culture within the stores. Would you be able to help me out with that?
DT: One of the most important things we do is communicate to our employees (we call them “partners”). We really consider them our advocates and our evangelists and they need to be engaged in what the company is doing – everything as simple as the products we’re offering to the story behind those products and how they’re sourced. They need to understand what we do from an environmental standpoint. All of those things are really critical so that when they interact with a customer on a daily basis they’re really representing the best of what Starbucks is all about.