The most recommended books on Starbucks the company

Who picked these books? Meet our 8 experts.

8 authors created a book list connected to Starbucks, and here are their favorite Starbucks books.
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Book cover of Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

James Espey Author Of 365 Quotes to Accelerate your Career and Find Balance in Life

From my list on dynamic personal and business tips to build long-term successful brands.

Why am I passionate about this?

Well, all my life, I have been passionately involved in Marketing. I was an intrapreneur in the organisation, challenging the system and trying to build brands for the future. I always took an extremely long-term view, and when I was fired for launching Chivas Regal 18, which is now No. 1 in the world in its category, I became an entrepreneur. I backed start-ups, including my own company. The most successful brand I was ever involved with was called Mimecast, which is an anti-virus company, that sold not too long ago for $5.6 billion.

James' book list on dynamic personal and business tips to build long-term successful brands

James Espey Why did James love this book?

This book was published in 2002 by Seth Godin, who has a very positive attitude. I agree when he says, “Marketing is too important to be left to the Marketing Department.” It has to be the total focus of the entire company, and he implied there are not enough p’s. For years, marketing has talked about the 5 p’s of marketing, and everyone has their favourite 5, but there are many more.

Ultimately it is the people throughout the entire company, and everyone has to realise that there is only one boss in business–the customer who votes with his or her feet (I quote this in my book).

Why is it called “Purple Cow”? All cows look the same, but the essence of a purple cow is that it must be remarkable. His book is about the how and why of remarkable. Coupled with remarkable is, of course, tenacity and…

By Seth Godin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Purple Cow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You're either a Purple Cow or you're not. You're either remarkable or invisible. Make your choice.

What do Apple, Starbucks, Dyson and Pret a Manger have in common? How do they achieve spectacular growth, leaving behind former tried-and-true brands to gasp their last? The old checklist of P's used by marketers - Pricing, Promotion, Publicity - aren't working anymore. The golden age of advertising is over. It's time to add a new P - the Purple Cow.

Purple Cow describes something phenomenal, something counterintuitive and exciting and flat-out unbelievable. In his new bestseller, Seth Godin urges you to put a…

Book cover of Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World

John Gaudet Author Of Papyrus: The Plant that Changed the World: From Ancient Egypt to Today's Water Wars

From my list on plants that changed the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a writer, lecturer, biologist, ecologist, and two-time Fulbright Scholar (to India and Malaysia). I'm now a fiction writer, but basically I’ve always been a storyteller who writes in a historical framework. While I feel an almost compulsive obligation to keep faith with the facts, my main objective is to tell a story—as dramatically and suspensefully and entertainingly as I can. My first non-fiction book, Papyrus: the Plant that Changed the World, tells the story of a plant that still evokes the mysteries of the ancient world while holding the key to the world’s wetlands and atmospheric stability. It changed the world as did all five of the plants on my list below. 

John's book list on plants that changed the world

John Gaudet Why did John love this book?

The coffee industry dominated and molded the economy, politics, and social structure of entire countries. 

Beginning as an Arab medicinal drink for the elite, coffee became the favored modern global stimulant of the blue-collar worker. On the dark side, its monocultural avatar has led to the oppression and land dispossession of indigenous peoples. 

In Latin America it created vast wealth next to dire poverty, leading to repressive military dictatorships, revolts, and bloodbaths. And it continues to transform the world today. Welcomed news by the burgeoning world’s drinkers is the finding that coffee consumption can be good for you, reducing the incidence of liver cancer, as well as lowering suicide attempts.

What’s not to like about it?

By Mark Pendergrast,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Uncommon Grounds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published in 1999, Uncommon Grounds tells the story of coffee from its discovery on a hill in ancient Abyssinia to the advent of Starbucks and the coffee crisis of the 21st century. Mark Pendergrast uses coffee production, trade, and consumption as a window through which to view broad historical themes: the clash and blending of cultures, slavery, the rise of brand marketing, global inequities, fair trade, revolutions, health scares, environmental issues, and the rediscovery of quality.

As the scope of coffee culture continues to expand,Uncommon Grounds remains more than ever a brilliantly entertaining guide to one of the world's…

Book cover of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site

Megan Preston Meyer Author Of Supply Jane & Fifo Fix the Flow: A Supply Chain and Logistics Adventure for Kids

From my list on Kids’ books about supply chain management and other ways the world works.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent 10+ years in supply chain and analytics, but now I tell the stories that data doesn’t. I love exposing the hidden logic that makes the world work. Correction: I love discovering the hidden logic that makes the world work, and what I figure out, I love to share. Whether it’s getting kids interested in supply chain (e.g., how the things in the Amazon package actually get to their mailbox) or shedding light on corporate absurdity in funny novels (e.g., Firebrand), I figure that the more we can pull back the curtain and look behind the scenes, the more we can understandand appreciatethe world around us.

Megan's book list on Kids’ books about supply chain management and other ways the world works

Megan Preston Meyer Why did Megan love this book?

Sometimes, things that are mainstream-popular are mainstream-popular for a reason. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site may be the Starbucks of big-truck-oriented kidlit, but every once in a while, you just want a nice, reliable $7 latte instead of a matcha-oat-single-origin-barista-art-cortado out of a chipped vintage teacup.

And, sometimes, your kids want the same book they read at daycare with their friends instead of one of Mom or Dad’s gold or silver nostalgia trips. Luckily, GGCS lives up to its best-selling reputation: it rhymes, the illustrations are pretty, and the dump truck is a girl. It just goes to show that, sometimes, a book doesn’t have to be old to be a classic.

By Sherri Duskey Rinke, Tom Lichtenheld (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times bestselling children's book now available in board book!

An unabridged board book for kids version of the bestselling, best-beloved hardcover, perfect for small hands! Even the roughest, toughest readers will want to turn off their engines, rest their wheels, and drift to sleep with this sweet and soothing story. Vibrant illustrations and gentle rhyming text make this construction book for kids a surefire bedtime favorite for truck-crazy kids everywhere.

Can't get enough of these tough trucks? The long-awaited sequel to this bestselling book series, Mighty, Mighty, Construction Site, is now available for preorder!

Book cover of Primed to Perform: How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures Through the Science of Total Motivation

Donald Summers Author Of Scaling Altruism: A Proven Pathway for Accelerating Nonprofit Growth and Impact

From my list on essential reading for nonprofit leaders.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent most of my adult life using entrepreneurial business practices and principles to redesign and transform nonprofits. From my very first nonprofit organizational acceleration, I was hooked. The wealth one receives from helping other people is so much richer and more satisfying than money–altruism is truly life's greatest pleasure. You know the movie The Sixth Sense where the little kid sees dead people everywhere? I am the same way, except everywhere I look, I see uncaptured opportunities for social impact. I live and breathe social impact strategy, governance, financing, evaluation, and change management. Because by fixing problems in those areas, organizations are able to do more to make the world a better place.  

Donald's book list on essential reading for nonprofit leaders

Donald Summers Why did Donald love this book?

While this book lacks the elegant organization of Collins or the memorable simplicity of Adizes or 4DX, it is stuffed with valuable wisdom.

It will be the longest read for your team, but it will make all of you better managers and give you specific traction points for organizational development and culture building. One of its fundamental points is particularly powerful for all of us: assume good intent. 

By Neel Doshi, Lindsay McGregor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Primed to Perform as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The revolutionary book that teaches you how to use the cutting edge of human psychology to build high performing workplace cultures. Too often, great cultures feel like magic. While most leaders believe culture is critical to success, few know how to build one, or sustain it over time. What if you knew the science behind the magic-a science so predictive and powerful that you could transform your organization? What if you could use cutting edge psychology to unlock people's innate desire to innovate, experiment, and adapt? In Primed to Perform, Neel Doshi and Lindsay McGregor show you how to do…

Book cover of Who Do You Want Your Customers to Become?

Marty Neumeier Author Of The Brand Gap

From my list on brand strategy.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my younger days I was a graphic designer and copywriter, approaching brands largely from a creative viewpoint. Over the years I’ve discovered that creative work is much more powerful when harnessed to business strategy, and business strategy is much more powerful when combined with exceptional creative work. I’ve characterized the gulf between strategy and creativity as the “brand gap,” which has led to eight books on branding and a school for professional mastery called Level C.

Marty's book list on brand strategy

Marty Neumeier Why did Marty love this book?

It’s a startling question, especially for companies that focus on their own success instead of the success of their customers. But if you’re out to build a lasting brand, it’s the right question to ask. Schrage shows why the goal of innovation should not be to invent a great product but to create a great customer.

By Michael Schrage,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Who Do You Want Your Customers to Become? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Who do you want your customers to become?

According to MIT innovation expert and thought leader Michael Schrage, if you aren’t asking this question, your strategic marketing and innovation efforts will fail.

In this latest HBR Single, Schrage provides a powerful new lens for getting more value out of innovation investment. He argues that asking customers to do something different doesn’t go far enough—serious marketers and innovators must ask them to become something different instead. Even more, you must invest in their capabilities and competencies to help them become better customers.

Schrage’s primary insight is that innovation is an investment…

Book cover of Never Lose a Customer Again: Turn Any Sale into Lifelong Loyalty in 100 Days

Brittany Hodak Author Of Creating Superfans: How To Turn Your Customers Into Lifelong Advocates

From my list on turning your customers into superfans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m passionate about customer experience because it’s the number-one reason businesses succeed or fail. Regardless of the size (or budget!) of your company, you can set yourself apart—and create superfan customers!—by focusing on being exceptional in the areas that really matter. I grew up watching my dad prioritize customer service, first as a fast-food restaurant manager and then at a car dealership, and I know firsthand that how you treat your employees and your customers makes all the difference! 

Brittany's book list on turning your customers into superfans

Brittany Hodak Why did Brittany love this book?

Never Lose A Customer Again is my go-to recommendation for readers that are interested in learning the psychology behind customer loyalty. Joey Coleman details the eight emotional stages that customers go through in the 100 days following a purchase and how you can strategically anticipate their reactions to strengthen your relationships. Everyone that has read Never Lose A Customer Again has told me that it’s helped them improve their relationships with everyone in their lives, not just their prospects and customers. 

By Joey Coleman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Never Lose a Customer Again as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Award-winning speaker and business consultant Joey Coleman teaches audiences and companies all over the world how to turn a one-time purchaser into a lifelong customer.

Coleman's theory of building customer loyalty isn't about focusing on marketing or closing the sale: It's about the First 100 Days® after the sale and the interactions the customer experiences.

While new customers experience joy, euphoria, and excitement, these feelings quickly shift to fear, doubt, and uncertainty as buyer's remorse sets in. Across all industries, somewhere between 20%-70% of newly acquired customers will stop doing business with a company with the first 100 days of…

Book cover of Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time

Eric G. Flamholtz Author Of Growing Pains: Building Sustainably Successful Organizations

From my list on the stages and challenges of organizational growth.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm Professor Emeritus at UCLA and have also been on the faculty of Columbia University and The University of Michigan, where I received my PhD degree. I founded Management Systems Consulting, which works with entrepreneurial firms in the US and globally to scale up, in 1978. I've served on the board of a firm (99 Cents Only Stores) that scaled up and was a NYSE listed firm. I've advised CEOs who have created global champion firms and been recognized as leaders in their space. I've authored or co-authored several books including Creating Family Business Champions; Corporate Culture: The Ultimate Strategic Advantage; Changing the Game; and Leading Strategic Change.

Eric's book list on the stages and challenges of organizational growth

Eric G. Flamholtz Why did Eric love this book?

This book is by the founder of a company that has successfully navigated the stages of growth from a start-up to a sustainably successful organization and become a global champion or recognized leader in its space. Accordingly, the book is from the “horse’s mouth.” Schultz and his coauthor take the reader on the journey of the development of one of the classic entrepreneurial successes of our time. He details the challenges, his thinking, and the responses that were made to create the Starbucks of today. The book provided s the reader with a rare opportunity to participate in the Starbucks journey from a vision to the reality of building a great company. 

By Howard Schultz,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Pour Your Heart Into It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Pour Your Heart Into It, former CEO and now chairman emeritus Howard Schultz illustrates the principles that have shaped the Starbucks phenomenon, sharing the wisdom he has gained from his quest to make great coffee part of the American experience.

The success of Starbucks Coffee Company is one of the most amazing business stories in decades. What started as a single store on Seattle's waterfront has grown into the largest coffee chain on the planet. Just as remarkable as this incredible growth is the fact that Starbucks has managed to maintain its renowned commitment to product excellence and employee…