What You Can Learn from Starbucks
Starbucks is an experienced company that serves good quality coffee, and besides this it delivers great customer service, from which managers have only but to learn, as Adam Hanft, the writer of the article “What Can You Learn from Starbucks” observes after analyzing the setting and the environment that Starbuck creates for its clients. The author of this article provides some useful customer service related advices based on his own Starbucks experience and he encourages managers to use them or to go visit the nearest Starbucks whenever they need to reposition their customer service strategy, as there are lots to be learned from this company.
Hanft observes that Starbucks is focusing on the experience, by making the clients feel good about everything they see in this coffee – shop: the furniture, the textures, the wrapping, the graphics or such details as the tray with the business cards of the manager and of the assistant manager, which generates the idea of.
Second, Starbucks provides an identity for its customers, as they associate this coffee – shop with a lifestyle and with solid values and for supporting this brand asset, Starbucks pays attention to everything, inclusively to music, in order to align to its brand story, having a “voice of itself” (Hanft, 2005, para. 5).
In terms of customer service Starbucks does not apply a MBA business philosophy by taxing the customers for their hourly stay, but allows them to enjoy their single coffee for hours, staking on its ROI from the fact that the customers associate it with a relaxing business experience. Moreover, Starbucks promotes pure American values, but in the same time it understands the global vision and applies it to its products, making its customers feel like belonging to an international environment.
Hanft’s ideas regarding customer service as inspired from Starbucks are efficient for this company, Starbucks does benefit of a great reputation and this helps it delivering a customer service experience using these aspects but no one guarantees that a start – up would enjoy the same success by using these customer service strategies.
Merger & Acquisition Article
What a Microsoft – Adobe Merger Would Look Like
The article “What a Microsoft – Adobe Merger Might Look Like” examines how a potential merger of Adobe my Microsoft would work. The article discusses about this idea that was considered about two representatives of the two giant IT companies (Steven A. Ballmer from Microsoft and Shantanu Narayen from Adobe) as a way of combating Apple’s ascension and the fact that their software are not allowed on Apple’s platforms – iPhones and iPads.
The article criticizes Microsoft that although has a huge popularity and a significant market value ($212 billion) did not adventure in any big mergers or acquisitions and even its attempt to acquire Yahoo in 2008 remained unresolved. However, as the article was written in 2010 it does not account for Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype (in 2011), a strategic move to position in the company in the online communication market, competing against other giants such as Google or Facebook.
The article focuses more on analyzing the two companies historic in terms of merging, offering little information about how Microsoft’s acquisition of Adobe would actually look like. The readers learn that Adobe shares jumped 17% in the same week that the announcement of the merger intention was made. Regarding the actual merger, however, the article only mentions that this would mean that Microsoft would want Adobe’s software products – Creative Suite, Photoshop and Illustrator and Acrobat. There is not an actual discussion regarding what the merger would mean for Adobe and nothing regarding the legal procedures that such an action would imply, nor about how both companies would be benefiting from this action or how would their shares be evaluated as a result of Microsoft – Adobe merger.
Promotional Strategy Article
Doritos, Pepsi & Bud Light Join Forces to Form Huge Supermarket Display Voltron
In this article Chris Morran centers the promotional strategy that Pepsico developed as a way of announcing its presence as a sponsor in the Super Bowl and, counting on its previous experience gained from NFL. This experienced allowed Pepsico to understand how well Pepsi drinks go with Bud Light and based on this aspect, it had decided to team up with this brewing brand and develop a super display, featuring Pepsi drinks alongside Bud Light and Doritos, another Pepsico product.
The article captures the essence of Pepsico’s promotional strategy, as the display is meant to induce the direct connection with Super Bowl, an event that will be sponsored by Pepsico and Bud Lights. It highlights this by the title of the display: “Super Bowl. Super Team. Super Party.” Therefore, the display itself announces that the two companies will be joining hands for Super Bowl, playing like a team for bringing a great, super party. But until the Super Bowl the fans of this sport event can anticipate the emotions of the actual games by enjoying this cool mix with their friends and family, benefiting from the fact that they are all in the same place, and they (the consumers) do not have to go in different corners of the store to find each different product. Moreover, as Morran notes, the promotional strategy also includes an $8 saving coupon, but this implies a mail – in action, which, as the author of this article observes, discourages the customers to participate.
The article, hence, surprises the essence of Pepsico’s promotional strategy: with this promotional strategy, Pepsico hits twice: first by connecting its image with the Super Bowl, determining mental associations (between Pepsi and this event); second by increasing its sells by teaming up with Bud Light and making it easier for the clients to reach Pepsico drinks, Bud Light and Doritos.
Merchandising Philosophy Article
Heineken Eyes “Apple of Beer Brands” Status
The article written by Sebastian Joseph opens up by mentioning Heineken’s “Open Your World” marketing strategy, which is to include the goal of making Heineken the “Apple of beer brands”. This goal would follow the design strategy. The article discusses how by design Heineken repositions itself as a premium brand, by exemplifying how Apple, Audi or BMW are considered premium brands also because of their elegant designs.
The article also mentions that Heineken’s “Open Your World” marketing strategy is built on a campaign of receiving feedback from the fans all over the world, as well as implementing a digital campaign and focusing on night clubs. The mentioning of these elements that compose the “Open Your World” marketing strategy are significant as they offer visibility regarding the company’s actions on how to place its merchandising. However, the most significant aspect is the design of the product, which is the statement regarding the company’s merchandising philosophy for following its goal of becoming the number 1 brand in the brewery industry. Having a classy design, compared to the one of Apple in the IT segment, would boost the company in the top of the premium beers. Moreover, Heineken’s merchandising philosophy also consists in associating the brand with football and music and placing it in the mainstream events of football and music.
The company’s merchandising philosophy of reaching the top premium beer brand is to be sustained, according to the article, by developing a design culture, which is to be visible in Heineken glasses, packages and logos even.
The article is consistent, as it offers a merchandising approach from a premium brand’s perspective. Discussing about design, placement, distribution and marketing strategy offers a broad image on merchandising actions that are meant to position Heineken as the top premium brand in brewery industry.
Operations Management Article
KFC Loses Its Touch in China, Its Biggest Overseas Market
This article, created by Liza Lin and Leslie Patton points out an operations management problem with which KFC (YUM company) is confronting in China. The article underlines the fact that KFC started to lose market share to domestic players, but also to American competitors such as Burger King Worldwide or McDonald’s and there are various reasons for which this is happening. YUM company’s operation management policy supposed opening a new store each day in China, reaching an impressive number of 4200 restaurants in 850 Chinese cities. The main operation philosophy was to adapt, localize the tastes, products and menus and this resulted in losing the classical KFC touch. In addition, the bird flu and the suspicions regarding food safety as its chicken products have been previously treated with antibiotics, lead the customers to lose trust in KFC.
Therefore, three operation management problems that the company confronts with in China are being presented and very well elaborated on and explained in this article published in Bloomberg Businessweek, which makes the article relevant for the fast food chain industry operation management vision.
The fact that it points out that KCF kept up with the Chinese people’s tastes regarding fast food preferences indicates a good adaptation and placement of the brand. However, the fact that it could not maintain the pace with the development rhythm of the Chinese society reveals the fact that YUM was too focused on the product adaptation and not on the lifestyle adaptation, which was standardized. Bringing a globally renown brand into the biggest country of the world can be benefiting of its international image and a certain degree of standardization should exist, but the company aimed for adaptation, customizing the brand to the local market, but while focusing too much on adapting the product, it left another components of the marketing mix (placement/distribution) standardized, which is causing loses for the company, as the article very well points.
Subway Franchisee to Grow Wingstop in Indiana
Although this article published in QSR Magazine initially gives the impression that it will be talking about Subway, it only mentions this brand as being owned by Chintu Patel in Indiana, who is franchising it and who will franchise the Wingstop business also. Therefore, the article is announcing the franchising of 12 stores in over six Indiana counties.
A strength of the article is that it offers its readers precise information about the counties where the Wingstop will be operating: Indianapolis, Lafayette, Columbus and Bloomington, South Bend, Mishawaka, and George Town and it presents Patel’s franchising business philosophy. As such, Patel only enters in business with companies after he gathered all the facts about the company and he was impressed about Wingstop because the company is organized and prepared with a professional team for developing and opening the new stores. This sets a comfort feeling also for the readers and the fans of Wingstop, who can understand that they will be enjoying a good atmosphere and good quality chicken menus in the Wingstop restaurants that will be opened in Indiana.
What the article misses, however, are information regarding the opening dates, or general data regarding when the Wingstop 12 restaurants expansion is due to be implemented in Indiana state. This information is significant in order to let potential consumers know when since when they will be able to enjoy the Wingstop dishes and could have served as an advertising strategy of preparing the customers for the opening days in each of the new location.
Overall, the article surprises very well the context and the need that determined the expansion of Wingstop and it serves also as a good promotional tool, although it has newsworthiness. It offers good franchising strategy from an experienced businessman, successful in the franchising business.
Joseph, Sebastian. Heineken Eyes “Apple of Beer Brands’ Status”. Marketing Week. Retrieved on 4 June, 2013, from http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/news/heineken-eyes-apple-of-beer-brands-status/4002288.article. 2012. Web.
Lin, Liza & Patton, Leslie. KFC Loses Its Touch in China, Its Biggest Overseas Market. Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved on 4 June, 2013 from http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-05-16/kfc-loses-its-touch-in-china-its-biggest-overseas-market. 2013. Web.
Morran, Chris. Doritos, Pepsi & Bud Light Join Foreces to Form Huge Supermarket Display Voltron. Consumerist. Retrieved on 4 June, 2013 from http://consumerist.com/2013/01/10/doritos-pepsi-bud-light-join-forces-to-form-huge-supermarket-display-voltron/. 2013. Web.
Subway Franchises to Grow Wingstop in Indiana. QSR Magazine. Retrieved on 4 June, 2013 from http://www.qsrmagazine.com/news/subway-franchisee-grow-wingstop-indiana. 2013. Web.
What a Microsoft – Adobe Merger Might Look Like. New York Times. Retrieved on 4 June, 2013 from http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/thinking-through-a-microsoft-adobe-merger. 2010. Web.
Hanft, Adam. What You Can Learn from Starbucks. Inc. Retrieved on 4 June, 2013 from http://www.inc.com/resources/marketing/articles/20050401/starbucks.html. 2005. Web.