Based in Seattle, Starbucks Corporation specializes in a variety of hot and cold beverages, as well as in coffee equipment and accessories. The company opened its first branch at Pike place Market in 1971. Currently, the corporation includes over eight thousand retail branches throughout the globe, with every store having its own product mix that relies on the branch location and its size. The positioning of the stores is at high visibility and traffic areas in different urban settings (Bussing-Burks, 2009).
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Starbucks employs unconventional advertisement strategies where they have sidestepped main avenues such as newspapers, billboards, or ad spaces (Ferrell & Hartline, 2010). The company employs a highly effective viral campaign in marketing the Starbucks brand. The Starbucks’ brand marketing is largely dependent on the word of mouth, whereby satisfied customers refer others to the company (Mueller, 2010).
As Bussing-Burks (2009) aptly noted, the company has put a lot of detail to uphold the quality of its coffee, even though its price is slightly higher than that of its competitors, it has a characteristic aroma and taste that is deeply satisfying. This is the most important way of ensuring customers’ loyalty. They ensure customer satisfaction in all departments of their service delivery, an experience that leaves lasting positive impressions on customers (Ferrell & Hartline, 2010).
The firm has also come up with personalized marketing approaches in the promotion of the brand which form the foundation of Starbucks (Bussing-Burks, 2009). Ferrell and Hartline (2010) observe that the firm evolved into a strong international brand founded on concrete standings for finest products and recognized by clients for the best quality drinks, food and related products.
They have set up the ‘Discover Our Heritage’ facility on their website aimed at creating a community around their product, dwelling on the history of the company and highlighting aspects of Starbucks experience with words such as “honest brand”, “first real cup of Coffee”, “big comfy chairs”. This enables the customers to distinguish it from other brands. They also have a forum for customers where they can contribute ideas and express their views on the products (Ferrell & Hartline, 2010).
Innovation has been a part of their strategy for a long time. Starbucks has improved the variety of their products, introducing different flavors to their coffee, diversifying the array of foods on their menu as well as experimenting with creative ideas. Starbucks was one of the first companies to provide internet services to its clients within the same premise. They have the ‘Hear Music’ subsidiary where customers are able to sample online music and intend to make this an income generating venture. The uniqueness of their brand marketing is what has largely contributed to the success of the retail giant (Ferrell & Hartline, 2010).
To this day, the firm has attained its objective statement to make Starbucks the premier retailer of the best quality coffee internationally while making sure that they maintain their unbending standards as they grow (Bussing-Burks, 2009). The realization of this came as a result of selling and buying of the finest quality coffee beans and an aggressive growth in its retail operations, together with its environmental and social dedications.
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The international partnerships and associations with other businesses having the same standing on both social and environmental principles have also brought success to Starbucks. Through aggressive marketing and branding, Starbucks has been able to gain and retain the market lead (Mueller, 2010).
Bussing-Burks, M. (2009). Starbucks. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO.
Ferrell, O. C., & Hartline, M. D. (2010). Marketing Strategy. Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.: Cengage Learning.
Mueller, B. (2010). Dynamics of International Advertising: Theoretical and Practical Perspective. New York: Peter Lang.