I found this blog entry at Church Marketing sucks great, because I ponder if the notion of Third Place is dead. If it is, then what does that mean for church strategy. I like Starbucks, because I like the staff that I have met over the last 18 months.
Quoted from http://www.churchmarketingsucks.com/archives/2009/02/another_lesson.html:
February 18, 2009
Another Lesson from Starbucks(Filed under: Brand & Identity)
Yes, I said "knew how to tell their story."
I've had numerous conversations with church leaders about Starbucks' concept of a "third place" and how the church could harness that feeling. We have work, we have home ... Starbucks was that third place, a getaway, a place to relax, etc. etc.
Then they installed a drive-thru. So much for a third place, it was just a stop on the way to either home or work. They've put another nail in the coffin now with instant coffee. Doesn't get any less third place than that.
Starbucks no longer has a story to tell. Their story is now the same as McDonald's and Folgers.
I've seen the same thing in the local church. They start off with a core calling, know who they are and what God has created them to do. Then they either get bored or see the church down the road try something new and they change their story.
Excellence as church marketers is all about being great storytellers. Know your story and stick with it. Don't let things--even seemingly good things--distract you from your unique story. When you start to change your story, often you don't end up with something new, you end up without a story to tell.
Let someone else sell instant coffee or add a drive thru. Put your efforts into creating a more excellent third place, whatever that unique component happens to be for your church.
Posted by Michael Buckingham
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