Sunday, August 23, 2015

Advertising Books Like Starbucks Is A Smart Idea

A full-page advertisement in The New York Times recently showed how a company can team up with books in a smart and productive way.  No, it wasn’t an ad from Amazon trying to clean up its negative workplace image, as depicted in a recently published story about such horrors of working for the online retail leader.  This was an ad from Starbucks, promoting a cause, a book, and a great company.

Starbucks is selling books at some of its stores.  Awesome.  The ad said it would donate 100% of the profits from the sale of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson, to the Equal Justice Initiative, which provides representation to Americans denied fair treatment in the legal system.  The ad encourages people to learn more at

How nice.  It seems like something that can be repeated by other companies.  They don’t have to donate 100% of the profits – or any amount at all – but they can hijack a quality book and adopt it, making it their own.  Why can’t McDonald’s, the Gap, or Toyota take out ads to align itself with books we can all believe in?  It’s a win-win-win. Books get sold, companies look good by association, and consumers learn about a good book.

Amazon, take note!

There’s a book about everything, so anyone can highlight a book that addresses a major problem or issue, including books on:

Free Speech.

The list goes on.  Corporations, seeking new ways to sell a positive image, could do what Starbucks did or go a different route.  Companies could:

·         Give books away for free
·         Package books with their product
·         Use the author as a spokesperson
·         Sponsor events for the author’s appearances
·         Highlight positive excerpts from the book in the ad
·         Partner with the author to form a charity

Starbucks has been doing the right thing for years when it comes to publicly speaking out on social issues.  It makes you feel good to be their customer, as I have been for more than 15 years.  They are not like any other coffee place. 

From the quality of their product, to the environment we consume it in, to the care they take to recruit, train, and retain talent, they rock!


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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