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Sometimes when a well-established company decides to take a new direction, the change is so natural that you almost can remember what it was like before. Sometimes, however, the change can feel disjointed, and loyal customers almost feel offended by the departure. The difference between these two scenarios? Good brand management.

When I first read a case study about Starbucks’ decision to test beer, wine, and dinner foods in certain markets, I was skeptical…for about 2 minutes. But once I took a beat to think about the Starbucks brand – instead of its product offerings – I was sold. That was sometime last year, so I was really happy to hear the announcement recently that they’ve decided to release Starbucks Evenings in several wider metro areas.

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