Starbucks began in 1971. They started out as a roaster and retailer of whole bean and ground coffee, tea and spices. Their first store was in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. “In 1983, Howard Schultz (Starbucks chairman and CEO) traveled to Italy and became captivated with Italian coffee bars and the romance of the coffee experience. He had a vision to bring the Italian coffeehouse tradition back to the United States. A place for conversation and a sense of community. A third place between work and home. He left Starbucks for a short period of time to start his own Il Giornale coffeehouses and returned in August 1987 to purchase Starbucks with the help of local investors.” (“Company Information” 2018)
According to their website they have “always believed in serving the best coffee possible. It’s their goal for all of their coffee to be grown under the highest standards of quality, using ethical sourcing practices. Starbucks’ coffee buyers personally travel to coffee farms in Latin America, Africa and Asia to select high quality beans, and master roasters bring out the balance and rich flavor of the beans through the signature Starbucks Roast.” (“Starbucks Company Profile” 2018)
Starbucks offers people of all ages the chance to meet friends, work or just visit. They have become a daily routine for thousands of people by making their stores feel inviting and a little like home.
Starbucks wanted to be a different kind of company, their primary focus being to celebrate coffee and its tradition while bringing a feeling of connection by inspiring and nurturing the human spirit. To accomplish this they are committed to reducing their environmental footprint, supporting their local communities and sourcing only responsibly produced products. As of today, they have over 25,000 retail stores in over 75 countries serving millions of customers every day. (“Starbucks Company Profile” 2018)
Employees (partners) have the opportunity to work at either retail or corporate locations all over the world with growth and advancement potential. They foster a sense of community among their partners and often perform community service as a team. Partners receive a comprehensive benefits package call “Your Special Blend” which includes bonuses, 401K, discounted stock purchase, adoption assistance, health coverage and tuition assistance. (“Working At Starbucks” 2018)
Starbucks mission is “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.” (“Mission Statement” 2018)
High quality products and positive customer satisfaction have been an important pillar and successful strategy for them. Their goal is to become a “third place” for their customers. Starbucks is also largely invested in their social media presence. Starbucks’ Facebook fan base has around 36.5 million fans as of February 2017. (“Starbucks Corporation’s Marketing Spending Worldwide in the Fiscal Years 2011 to 2016 (in Million U.S. Dollars).” 2016)
In order to expand its market and customer base Starbucks has implemented a loyalty program, is looking to expand its Asian market and focus on drive-thru and walk-thru stores instead of sit-down. They are also looking at a Roastery experience that focuses on the upper-middle income group, uber-rich and coffee connoisseurs; providing them with a one of a kind experience. They also plan to grow their at-home market by utilizing k-cups, brew at home and cold brew options. (“Let’s Look At Starbucks’ Growth Strategy.” 2016)
Strong brand image
Extensive global supply chain
Diversified business through subsidiaries WEAKNESSES
Higher price points
Generalized standards for most products
Expansion in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa
Diversification of product mix
Partnerships or alliances with other firms THREATS
Competition from low-cost coffee sellers
Independent coffeehouse movements
(“Starbucks Coffee SWOT Analysis.” 2017)
Starbucks main customer target is the middle to high-income white-collar worker looking for quality products. In order to obtain these customers Starbucks focuses on high quality control standards, the store layouts and atmosphere to make it feel like a home setting. They wanted their products to stand out from their competition, to offer a new and unique experience. (“Starbucks Coffee Segmentation and Target Market.” 2016)
Starbucks utilizes mass marketing and the undifferentiated marketing strategy to target every market segment. Their goal is to make their product fit everyone without compromising quality. Their strategy is based on the customers needs and wants as well as their employees. By focusing on the customer, they are able to adapt to the changing market easily. Their employees are considered partners and their ideas, suggestions and concerns from the front line are key in keeping the customers happy. (“Starbucks Coffee Segmentation and Target Market.” 2016)
Because of their commitment to superior quality, many customers will stay loyal and never switch to another brand. Each drink is tailored to the customers liking and often includes a conversation in order to make them feel welcome and part of the family; starting with taking your name and making sure it is spelled correctly. Having the option to customize your drink is vital to creating lifetime customers as it gives the customer the feeling that the drink was made especially for them. In an effort to change others opinions, Starbucks has also been standing up for traders rights and purchases most of their coffee from farmers in Latin America, Africa and India.
Starbucks products vary greatly in order to capture more of the market. Their coffee line is just a small portion of what they offer. They offer customized coffee and frappuccinos. Their coffee is available hot or cold, in k-cups and brew-at-home. This also includes using a variety of coffee beans including rare options. Their website offers an interactive question interface to help find the right coffee for you. You can find a Starbucks on almost every street corner it seems. The most common of which are cafes where you sit and relax, visit with friends, hold a meeting or study. Starbucks also has an online presence now where you can buy your coffee for consumption at home. They also have merchandise to purchase at their retail locations. They are most likely to be found in big cities.
“Starbucks uses a premium pricing strategy. This pricing strategy takes advantage of the behavioral tendency of people to purchase more expensive products on the basis of the perceived correlation between high price and high value. The company’s coffee products are more expensive than most competing products, such as McDonald’s Premium Roast. Through this pricing strategy, the company maintains its high-end specialty image.” (“Starbucks Coffee’s Marketing Mix (4Ps) Analysis.” 2017)
Starbucks does most of its promotion through advertising, but they also use public relations and sales promotions. They mainly utilize advertising through print, TV and Internet. They rarely use public relations. They utilize their Starbucks Card as a sales promotion so that customers can earn freebies. (“Starbucks Coffee’s Marketing Mix (4Ps) Analysis.” 2017)
Performance evaluation metrics
Starbucks plans to continue its global reach while increasing its to-go presence for those in a hurry. They also plan to increase their specialized stores by catering to the rich by offering new and innovative food and beverage options. Starbucks plans a 12 percent or greater growth target as well as a commitment to return $15 billion to shareholders through the next three years. Starbucks also announced a new standard for 100% global pay equity, both for gender and for people of all races in the U.S. They also revealed new commitments to sustainability, including a $10 million investment in the “NextGen Cup Challenge” in partnership with the Closed Loop Foundation. (“Starbucks Unveils Growth Strategy at 2018 Annual Meeting.” 2018)
“Starbucks: Marketing Budget 2016 | Statistic.” Statista, Nov. 2016, www.statista.com/statistics/289357/starbucks-marketing-spending-worldwide/.
“Company Information.” Starbucks Coffee Company, 2018, www.starbucks.com/about-us/company-information.
Greenspan, Roberta. “Starbucks Coffee’s Marketing Mix (4Ps) Analysis.” Panmore Institute, 31 Jan. 2017, panmore.com/starbucks-coffee-marketing-mix-4ps-analysis.
Lombardo, Jessica. “Starbucks Coffee SWOT Analysis.” Panmore Institute, 31 Jan. 2017, panmore.com/starbucks-coffee-swot-analysis.
“Mission Statement.” Starbucks Coffee Company, 2018, www.starbucks.com/about-us/company-information/mission-statement.
“Starbucks Company Profile.” Starbucks Coffee Company, 2018, www.starbucks.com/about-us/company-information/starbucks-company-profile.
“Starbucks Unveils Growth Strategy at 2018 Annual Meeting.” Starbucks Newsroom, 21 Mar. 2018, news.starbucks.com/press-releases/starbucks-unveils-innovative-growth-strategy-at-2018-annual-meeting.
Team, Trefis. “Let’s Look At Starbucks’ Growth Strategy.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 19 Sept. 2016, www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2016/09/19/lets-look-at-starbucks-growth-strategy/#4ed005c03d71.
“Working at Starbucks.” Starbucks Coffee Company, 2018, www.starbucks.com/careers/working-at-starbucks.