Starbucks just announced a new service where you can burn your own custom music CD while waiting for your latte. "The company will install three to six terminals for choosing music and burning CDs in each of 15 stores in Seattle and 30 in Austin, Texas, said Ken Lombard, president of Starbucks' entertainment division."
To which I say, "Veni, Vedi, Venti!" HP is supporting the new service and the two brands look great together in my opinion.
But for other retailers green with envy over this news (Starbucks green?), there's still hope. This approach totally ignores iPods and other mp3 players. Hook up with Apple and create an iTunes * kiosk that is friendly to any mp3 player for a similar concept taking up less floor space. The customer cannot walk out the door with a store-branded CD, but you could create a frequent buyer program earning free iTunes. You could also prepackage songs to avoid a long line of folks waiting to find and download songs. This is a branding opportunity in itself. Choose a mix of songs aligned with your brand and your target customer.
From coffee to beer, it looks like Cincinnati has been selected as the location for the Beer Hall of Fame. Even better, it looks like my company will be designing it. So drink up.
*Talk about two brands looking great together, check out U2's iTunes commercial. Great way to create buzz around a single and upcoming CD.