Communicating Professionally

Competitive UO Senior Planner

(6) A Third Place – Starbucks Style October 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen J. Ashley @ 10:48 pm

While I was listening to Scott Bedbury’s lecture he showed an image of what looked like a mind melt. There were circles with arrows and words written everywhere. It was for a project Scott worked on with Starbucks. Through all of chaos there was one over-arching connection through it all, the third place.

Scott explained that Starbucks was more than over priced coffee. It became an escape, a ritual, and a third place to all. A third place is somewhere where you become relaxed and unwind from the world. It is somewhere that doesn’t expect anything out of you; not your time, energy or even brainpower. It is a place that everybody needs.

The fact that a brand created this atmosphere is frankly, outstanding.  Being the go-to place for reaching a Zen-mind is a fantastic space to occupy. I can’t imagine another company competing in this market. Starbucks took brand experience to a whole new level. Becoming the third place to someone is almost a sacred act.

It took me awhile to figure out where my third place was. (No, it is not Starbucks.) With being a senior, double majoring and getting a minor, volunteering, working, being in a sorority, having a love life and a social life, I feel like I have not created enough time for my ideal third place. Then it hit me where it is, (in my third place actually) the shower. Where else do any of us have the time to let our mind race, wander, or even just become blank? My third place is a very private, one-person, orientated specifically to myself place. The idea that Scott Bedbury, his team, and Starbucks assembled an atmosphere of a private, person-focused location with thousands of locations around the world is well, brilliant.


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