Innovation. Ideas. Insight.

Brett Favre, Starbucks and the Wisdom of Crowds

In Insight on August 6, 2008 at 3:17 pm
Favre heads out of town - Courtesy the AP

Favre heads out of town - Courtesy the AP

It’s been impossible the last couple of days to watch ESPN or NFL Network and not hear some talking head say, “Of course the Packers are a better team with Brett Favre at quarterback.” These aren’t fans saying this, they are “football experts.” And yet, it looks like Favre is on his way out.

Swing by Brand Autopsy and take a read regarding the latest marketing initiatives undertaken by Starbucks. In addition to John Moore, a former Starbuck’s guy, and Seth Godin, here are some quotes from other commenters:

“It seems like a strange promotion all around — as in, I can’t tell who really benefits from it.”

“Bad decision for Starbucks. Definitely not the best way for them to go.”

“It won’t be long before their brand has totally been commoditized.”

It seems the wisdom of crowds is pretty clear in both examples, yet neither the Packers nor Starbucks seems to be listening. I don’t think the management of either the Pack or Starbucks are dumb people, in fact I’d wager they are pretty darn smart. So why the disconnect?

What makes smart people make poor decisions? Are these poor decisions merely because a handful of people on the outside say so? When, and how, do you incorporate the Wisdom of Crowds into your thinking?


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