Friday, March 20, 2015

Starbucks Epic Fail with #RaceTogether

I am sure most of you have heard about Starbucks’ social responsibility marketing campaign called “Race Together.”  If you haven’t, they are encouraging baristas to write (randomly) on some customers’ cups the hashtag #Racetogether.  Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s grand idea was that we need to have more conversations about race, demonstrated by Ferguson, Staten Island, Cleveland, etc.  He thought this might get customers asking the barista what the bleep it meant and that could start a conversation about race.  40% of Starbuck’s baristas are minorities. 

With all due respect to a good intention, if I wanted to have a conversation about race, the last person I would choose is my barista.  Random people using a Twitter hashtag they found at Starbucks is not far from the bottom either.  Perhaps they could encourage you to talk about race with whoever you came to Starbucks with, except for the fact that Starbucks seems to be filled with people who came to camp out alone at a table and work.  Or takeout. 

So good for Howard Schultz in trying to get us talking about race.  But as for the marketing team that came up with the implementation . . . . .  You really suck.

This Week in EID - Episode 46

If you have been following the EID articles this week (or read my preview in last week’s pre-cap), you may have noticed that these were all follow-ups on previous articles (Workplace Design, Driving Assistance, and Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies).  That was a strategic decision, to have a week of deep dives into specific topics.  We will continue some of them next week, but also start some new ones.

The exception was our One Year Anniversary post (wow, can you believe it has only been a year !!!).  We stole a chapter from Ta-Nehisi Coates and created an Open Forum.  Post anything you want, even if it is just remotely, tangentially related to the EID scope of human factors, ergonomics, user experience, persuasive design, cognitive science, human behavior, and innovation. If you noticed that this is just recap Episode 46 (instead of 52), it is because we didn't think of the recap idea for the first six weeks. But I am very impressed by your attention to detail for noticing!

I also want to introduce Boyi Hu as the newest member of the EID Team.  We will be posting his bio on the site in the very near future, but for now, just keep that name in mind.  He will be helping us out with our social media strategy.