12. Liz Muller

Director of concept design, Starbucks

12. Liz Muller

The Global Brewmaster

Liz Muller’s task is to introduce the chain into foreign markets via splashy flagship stores, and her efforts often stray from the first 18,000 shops’ formula. She builds based on how cultures interact with brands: In Amsterdam, coffee without a biscuit is unthinkable, so the store tweets when warm pastries are ready. In New Delhi, customers come in groups for multiple cups, so soft lights and big tables encourage lounging. “The most sustainable thing is to make people truly want to be there,” she says.

About the author

Margaret Rhodes is a former associate editor for Fast Company magazine.