Starbucks always has served up miracle liquids that wash away the various shades of morning grouchy, but now it's exploring taste in a completely different way via a major dress code shift. Effective immediately, the coffee giant's new policy pretty much lets baristas wear whatever they have in their closets. Workers even can rock dyed hair if they want. The only real stipulation is that the clothing and hair products have to meet current safety and sanitation guidelines.
The Connected Impact
Starbucks' decision to change their dress code might have a positive influence on the service and experience customers have at the chain's shops. The freedom to express their personality through outfits and hairstyles might have a positive influence on baristas moods. The better the baristas feel, the more productive they might be.
Second of all, in order to really reach customers, a business has to relate to them. With Starbucks' baristas selecting a wider range of styles, the company essentially sends the message that their shops are safe turf for many different groups of people. Customers can see someone who looks like them and psychologically feel accepted and understood, which can change the way the buyers and baristas interact. There's also even the possibility that, as more groups see Starbucks as being supportive, you might get enhanced mingling and, perhaps, a greater sense of community.
Lastly, taste, sight, smell, hearing, touch, emotion and memory are all connected in the brain. In fact, that's the main idea behind emotional branding. These links mean that the new visual palette customers get with the dress code could stimulate increased innovation and breakthroughs.
Starbucks seems to grasp that a great coffee shop experience extends beyond the cup, and the attitude of executives right now seems a bit like the moral from that movie Pleasantville. Even though a good cup of coffee can get you close, life doesn't need to be perfect. It just needs to be open to the color that comes with choice and possibility.