One of the most iconic brands of the world, Starbucks has revolutionized the way the world drinks coffee away from the home and office. Not long after opening the first store in Seattle in 1971, the brand expanded rapidly and the coffee chain currently has about 26,000 stores across the world. Starbucks has created the concept of an additional place to home and work where people can enjoy a cup of coffee, relax and experience the ambience.
The company opened its first international store in 1996 in Tokyo and presently has stores in 75 countries of the world. The global expansion of the brand has been rapid as well as strategic. It is expected to maintain a strong growth momentum in coming years. Read on to find out the secret to the success of Starbucks.
The brand has introduced an extraordinary concept where everybody can enjoy an amazing experience of drinking coffee. Following a customer-centric culture, Starbucks works to create an environment to satisfy the wishes and requirements of the guests.
It is smart and innovative. Apart from their trademark Frappuccino, it kept up with the latest trends. They offer everything from regular coffee to premium Unicorn Frappuccino’s. It is often said that Starbucks taught America how to drink coffee and is currently teaching the entire world.
Ever since its establishment, the brand has been keen on building its identity by offering an enjoyable and relaxing experience. Right from its inception, the brand has consistently implemented the experiential aspect across its stores worldwide. At the time when brands were busy advertising, Starbucks did not advertise. The brand chose to make the employees its partners by giving them health insurance and stock options.
The company’s approach to getting customer insight is also unique as compared to large organizations. Instead of complex consumer surveys, Starbucks uses informal, casual chats with customers to understand the experience, capture mood and gather feedback. It has used some smart and innovative ways to understand customers and this is how it could succeed in creating an iconic brand resonating with customers around the world.
Another important part of Starbucks brand philosophy is being an ethical and responsible company. This is accomplished through support for farmer loans, forest conservation programs and responsible purchasing practices. It also works to create opportunities through education, training and recruitment. Starbucks also introduces programs aimed at reducing environmental footprint through water and energy conservation, green construction and recycling. Such examples depict the brand’s attention to detail, consistency and strong customer orientation.
The most important factor deciding the success or failure of restaurants is location. Convenience is highly important for food and beverage businesses. Locations of Starbucks are quite convenient for people. Whether it is friends party, business meetings or space to get some quiet time, these locations get everything covered. You can easily find two Starbucks locations in one locality.
You might never have come across a rude Starbucks staff. They are always friendly, efficient, fast and they call out your names correctly. They greet you by names and customize your beverage from a large number of combinations available. When you walk into a Starbucks store, it has the power to mesmerize and delight you.
Customers always look for comfort and these stores provide it well. Though they use similar color scheme, tables and chairs worldwide, they have the ability to make every store seem unique. By offering a relaxing, pleasurable customer experience, the brand could focus on directing the customers’ attention to the quality of their experience and the enjoyable moments rather than the pricing of products. It operates with a sense of attention to details and replicates a consistent customer service across its products and stores.
The company launched its first global campaign in 2014, ‘Meet me at Starbucks’. It was about shooting a mini-documentary about a day in the life of Starbucks. The campaign was shot across 28 countries in 59 stores with 39 filmmakers and 10 photographers. It has spent a lot on various campaigns after that.
The company invested about $200 million on campaigns during the low growth phase in 2008. The brand promotion strategy is unique and unconventional and does not follow the traditional advertising models. Starbucks rarely markets through newspapers, magazines, posters and billboards. The company has always believed in building the brand and reputation through word-of-mouth advertising and by being more visible.
The company has invested a lot in creating a standardized look and feel across its stores, food, drinks and merchandise. Its Siren logo is a highly recognizable logo across the world. It follows a global expansion strategy with the objective of creating the experience across the countries it has presence in. The brand strategy focuses on the experience customers get at the stores.
The international stores implement a strategy of localizing the store elements while retaining the original Starbucks experience. The brand has a noticeable presence on social media catering the need to engage better with customers and increase visibility on places where potential customers spend their time. Starbucks has an active page on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, a Twitter account, YouTube video channel and Google+ community.
The brand also invests in mobile marketing. It has also developed an app to pay for products, tip baristas, earn and redeem rewards. Apart from the use of the latest technologies like virtual gift cards, QR codes and coupon downloads, Starbucks uses artificial intelligence to let customers place their order through voice command on the mobile app.
Starbucks remains growth-focused and strives to expand its profit margins continuously. It aims to deliver high revenue growth each year by driving more volume through existing stores and expanding the global footprint. It hasn’t taken long for Starbucks to position itself as a destination spot for coffee-lovers.
The brand has achieved a massive success globally through its secret strategies and philosophy as discussed here and will continue expanding its presence in different parts of the world with innovation, consistency and operational efficiency.