Throwing Out The Playbook

Attention Starbucks shoppers, there’s an early bird special over by the pastry counter. But only for the next 15 minutes, so better hurry! Sound far-fetched? Maybe not.

The Seattle-based chain, famous for its pricey lattes, is planning to use more special deals, including discounts during certain days or seasons and limited offers for free food and drink when new products roll out.

"Customers can anticipate that we will continue to look for fun ways to offer value," Brad Stevens, Starbucks' vice president of customer relationship management, told Reuters in an interview.

But Fast Money’s Jeff Macke isn’t buying. (The strategy we mean, actually he loves their coffee)

Ridiculous, exclaims the Wolf. They should be all about margins and charging people more for higher quality coffee. It’s a harbinger of doom.

And that led us to wonder, which companies are meeting business challenges with successful transformations. And for that matter, which didn’t.


Intel: from a memory to a chip company.

Bank of New York:
from a bank to a securities processing company.

from mainframe to a mix of services.

All the companies listed above performed impressively well, according to Karen Finerman, after they changed their business models significantly.


Johnson & Johnson: A couple years ago they were strictly a drug company but now they’re growing as a consumer products company. I think they’re doing a great job, says Guy Adami.

Dell: I like the fact the Michael Dell has returned to the company, says Pete Najarian. He’s trying to get that Apple cool back into his products. I’d keep an eye on it.

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Trader disclosure: On Sept 3, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Macke Owns (MSFT), (WMT), (UUP), (DIS); Macke Is Short (TM); Adami Owns (BTU), (C), (AGU), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE); Finerman Owns (GS); Finerman's Firm Owns (MSFT), (NOK), (SUN), (TSO), (VLO), (JCP); Finerman's Firm Owns (AAPL) Calls, (JCG) Calls, (HUN) Calls; Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (C) Leaps; Finerman's Firm Is Short (XLF), (IYR), (IJR), (MDY), (IWM), (SPY), (COF), (BBT), (BAC); Pete Najarian Owns (AAPL) And (AAPL) Collar, Pete Najarian Owns (EP) Call Spread, Pete Najarian Owns (ETFC), Pete Najarian Owns (FTO) Call Spread, Pete Najarian Owns (LEH) Put Spread And (LEH) Call Spread, Pete Najarian Owns (NOK), Pete Najarian Owns (SCHW) Calls, Pete Najarian Owns (WFMI) Put Spread, Pete Najarian Owns (XLF) And (XLF) Collar

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