Flowering, Ripening, Harvesting: the Starbucks way

Flowering, Ripening, Harvesting: the Starbucks way

​On the walls of Starbucks cafes right now you can see an interesting story of the process by which the wonderfully aromatic coffee bean is born from a flower and eventually arrives in your mug. The three key stages of flowering, ripening and harvesting may also describe how you should best consider the development of a sales and marketing relationship. This process should be so much more productive and engaging than simply making lots of noise and hoping that something sticks.

Flowering - The start of the process involves creating some awareness with your customer. Getting their initial attention with your marketing and sales messages and taking them through the psychological buying process of ‘hope to faith to trust’ by carefully introducing case studies, testimonials and value propositions.

Ripening - Through the conversion process, as they move from prospect to customer, the relationship ripens. It is vital here to plot out how you will keep the relationship ripe rather than let it wane. What will you say, how will you say it and when will you say it? It’s all about customer relationship management.

Harvesting - The longer term benefit of maximising the customer lifetime value means that on an ongoing basis you need to communicate effectively and efficiently to ensure the customer repeatedly purchases either again, or higher or wider value products and services. The harvesting of value also involves stimulating them to become advocates, recommending you to their peers who may in turn become customers too.

So the next time you are enjoying your coffee in Starbucks, take a moment out to read the signs and think about how well you let your customer relationships flower and ripen and vitally, how will you harvest them for long term mutual benefit.