Saturday, March 31, 2012

Growing Up Starbucks

Starbucks' philosophy of maintaining an organic lifestyle has its origins in the coffee houses of Ancient Turkey.  

Pipe Artistory calls these ancient coffee houses "the location of choice to sip one's coffee and smoke a pipe."  

The patrons who frequented these coffee houses are not unlike the modern-day patrons of Starbucks, sans the smoking. The success of Starbucks' philosophy seems to have deep seated roots in our shared appreciation for nostalgia and for organic craftsmanship.  

The pipe above is a silver-plated copper pipe in the shape of a Turkish clay pipe. "This is an example of either the strong appeal of the culture of the Orient among the XIXth century elite of Europe or the actual demand from the elite of Constantinople for an occidental masterpiece in the ...shape of...Tophane pipe bowls." 

A "retrofitting" statement (lol) made by Arthur Asa Berger in Deconstructing Travel, describes nostalgia as a connection to an 'imaginary' past, "when life seemed to have been more interesting and exciting." 

Just as these coffee shops attracted writers, such as the famed Charles Dickens, so too does Starbucks attract many creative types - artists, musicians, students, and so on. 

It is for this reason that the success of Starbucks is not surprising. To go from one single coffee shop in 1971 to one of the most recognized and respected global brands has more to do with the experience of growing up than selling coffee. 

The feelings associated with nostalgia have long since provided coffee house patrons with "an uplifting and personal" experience. Connecting that relationship to a product can result in hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on having the experience. 

The cultural significance of our recollections manifest in the phenomenon known as nostalgia, an experience whereby our minds chronicle the universal journey of growing up during each respective Age of Innocence. 

Here, we embellish our lives, create our alter egos, and experience forever a wonderful, simpler time - our struggle for identity, first dates, friends, sweethearts, siblings, parents, school, cars, music, radio, television, and now, YouTube.

Stepping back and appreciating the objects and concepts that unite us is an experience universally valued.  Finding yourself in your memories is like growing up all over again. 

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