Some of Ron Lieber's ideas make sense; others would be tough -- if not impossible -- to implement. But he's right that Starbucks ought to do something special -- more often -- for its best customers. (Yes, I know that it occasionally surprises with a bonus $5 or so added to my registered card.) Here are a few of Lieber's proposals:
* Make the first drink under $5 free each month after someone has spent $100 in the previous month.
* "Reserve seats next to the electrical outlets for folks who spend the most money at the chain, rather than letting total randoms hog the powered tables for the price of a small drip coffee? And let’s throw some free wireless in once in a while to boot." (Webmaster: It should be free all the time; you're way behind the curve on this, Starbucks.)
* "If I spend a lot there, I want to be able to use a special, shorter line."
* "Throw a members-only party when new products come out."
* "Starbucks should have some Aeron chairs in each outpost and save them for its elite customers." (Webmaster: I want to be there when they try to throw a "non-elite" out of the chair.) (Read Ron Lieber's blog post)