“We changed the way people live their lives, what they do when they get up in the morning, how they reward themselves, and where they meet.” (Orin Smith, Starbucks ex-CEO) For many Americans Starbucks coffee shop has become a very popular place, and more often than in it, they happen to be at the home and at a workplace. The product range represented in Starbucks is quite wide, such as hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, snacks, cakes, and of course coffee. All the reasons of such a deep public love to a usual coffee chain is of course coffee itself, as Starbucks is the place, where you can always find the best coffee brands in the world. Starbucks places exist in 50 countries around the world, with more than 5,500 coffeehouses. (starbucks.com) The name “Starbucks” appeared on the world coffee market in 1971 — it was a coffee shop, selling home roasting coffee. From the beginning, they did not have a lot of visitors, so they were happy to spend a lot of time with each customer, talking about coffee, sharing secrets, and literally preaching love for this drink.
Starbucks story originates back in 1971. Then the three friends – teachers Zev Siegl and Jerry Baldwin, and writer Gordon Bowker put together their savings and opened the first store in Seattle, Washington state, which sold the best coffee beans and home appliances for making coffee. The name for the store was taken from the “Moby Dick” novel, where one of the characters was named Starbuck.
The special attention should be given to the company’s logo. It depicts the mythical girl—topless Siren—a symbol of faraway countries, home of the first-class coffee Starbucks uses. Later on the logo somewhat transformed — girl’s breast was covered with her long curls, although at the first shop the logo is preserved in its original form.
During the first 9 months the shop owners purchased already roasted coffee from the owner of Peet's Coffee Alfred Peet. Later on, their own roaster was installed, and beans were purchased directly from the wholesaler. The further story of Starbucks looks like the McDonald's story. All proved to be the case - McDonald's brothers accidentally met with Ray Kroc, and in 1982 businessman Howard Schultz visited Starbucks. By that time Starbucks had five stores, a small factory for roasting beans and one trading department dealing with coffee supplies in various restaurants, cafes, bars, etc. A total of 11 years of work was not particularly impressed, so Schultz was invited to the company to develop the coffee business. However the problem was that the founders of Starbucks did not want to expand their network and all their stores were at that point only in one city - Seattle.
Once, during a trip to Milan (which is famous for its coffee shops), Howard Schultz came up with an idea to create a chain of cafes. But Ridge, Baldwin and Bowker did not want to change traditions, believing that real coffee can only be make at home. But Schultz was very devoted to his idea, so in 1985 he opened his own coffeehouse II Gionale. While Starbucks was one of it’s investors. After 2 years, entrepreneurs have moved to Peet's Coffee, as his ideology suited the Starbuck’s founders’ outlook more. And Schultz bought Starbucks for $ 4 million and slightly changed the name - the company became known as Starbucks Corporation. ”And so Starbucks began to focus its efforts on building a coffee bar culture, opening coffee houses like those in Italy.” (Keller) In the same 1987 Schultz started expanding the network – coffeehouses were opened in Vancouver, Chicago, British Columbia. The first Starbucks coffee shop outside the U.S. was opened in 1996 in Tokyo. In 1988, the company began trading though mail and released its first product catalog, through which the supply was established to 33 stores in different states. According to people who were lucky enough to work with Howard Schultz, he has an amazing ability to quickly and accurately responds to changing circumstances. The current president of the corporation does not cease to observe the market trends and anticipate the desires of users in advance of its coffee houses. Businessman relies not only on the volume of sales; he pays special attention to creating a cozy atmosphere inside the coffee establishments. The team of designers and Howard Schultz himself developed the interior of all the coffee shops. Despite of the fact, that the basic assortment of dishes presented in Starbucks is the same everywhere, the menu always has a special meal inherent to any nationality. However the main thing on the menu remains unchanged—coffee. Different people prefer to drink it in different ways. Some buy a coffee and sit in a coffee shop for a long time, enjoying the surrounding atmosphere. Others run into the institution to buy coffee on the go and drink it on the way to work (well, paper cups do not burn hands). Going into any coffee shop Starbucks, you can see that its main clients - businessmen, students and people with laptops. Each Starbucks has free Wi-Fi - this is a significant plus for bloggers and freelancers.
Let’s stop separately on the music playing in Starbucks. There was a separate server established, from which the music is broadcasted to all places at once. That is, the melody, which is currently playing in Chicago, can be heard in Seattle too. Of a particular relevance to the musical content led a contract signed between Schultz and Apple. Owners of the iPhone and iPod Touch via a special application can buy songs, sounding at Starbucks. In March 2011, Starbucks Corporation celebrated its 40th anniversary. In honor of the anniversary, all the visitors were offered a free coffee. The company also decided to rebrand—slightly modified logo with the siren. A large mug that was used previously for serving coffee was changed with elegant walled porcelain. Now one can buy also tea and ice cream, available under the Starbucks brand. Starbucks’ top management makes all the effort to make their brand one of the most recognizable in the world, such as Adidas, Nike or Apple. Regular business cannot buy a Starbucks franchise. The company denies the idea of franchising in its activities as expressly declares it on its official website. Exceptions are cases where the cafe is opened only under the condition of a special agreement. Starbucks franchise is only possible when you open places in airports, schools, hospitals and other social facilities.
“It is not about the coffee”. Coffee at Starbucks is very good, no one will argue with that. But, according to the company’s managers, when they asked visitors to name the top five reasons why they choose their network, social experience was on the first place. People come to Starbucks to socialize, to work and even just to look at the other people. And it did not happen by accident. Communication atmosphere was created in coffee houses deliberately because the owner of the company and its chief executive Howard Schultz was convinced that not only coffee brings people in coffee places, but also their personal experience. And all the work of building the brand was aimed precisely at creating the necessary experience for such situation. Comfortable sofas, fireplaces, smoothly curved lines cafes, creating seemingly open, but a comfortable space, free Internet and so on. Howard Schultz stressed that his business is not about filling stomachs, but about filling the souls. He also coined the term " third place " — a balance between work and home.
Another trump of Starbucks is the high level of personalization. Being inside of the coffee house and hearing “Frappuccino for Bill!” became a normal thing. Some guy named Bill comes to the front and takes his drink. Trifle, but a very pleasant one. No one cares that the barista will hardly remember the guy next time he comes to the coffee house, but still, such a famous trifle has created an iconic image of Starbucks — people are captivated by the personal attitude of the brand, even such simple and artless.
Starbucks has been very active with its international expansion campaign. As it was already mentioned, the first international store was opened in 1996 in Japan. Since than the company has been opening a tremendous number of coffee houses in different countries, and became successful there as well. “This success comes despite competition from local rivals. ” It is also worth mentioning that the company adapts to every country it operates in, in order to meet the national standards and preferences. For example, on the international market two thirds of the company’s cafes are “run by licensees or partnerships”, which is quite a good strategy, considering the peculiarities of each market. Also, “due to the recent economic downturn, Starbucks launched a new line of instant coffee, and developed a breakfast value meal, that costs less than $4”. The new meal, as the new line of instant coffee will help the company to win more customers, who were not able to go to Starbucks on regular bases due to its relative expensiveness. Considering the fact that on the international markets Starbucks has a lot of competitors (especially in Europe), the implementation of new products lines seems to be a very justified strategy. (Green, Keegan, 282)
However, despite of the differences in cultures and believes in different countries, Starbucks is stuck to its core values and believes, no matter where the company operates. “When we are fully engaged, we connect with, laugh with, and uplift the lives of our customers – even if just for a few moments. Sure, it starts with the promise of a perfectly made beverage, but our work goes far beyond that. It’s really about human connection.”(Starbucks.com)
Behar, Howard, and Janet Goldstein. It's Not about the Coffee: Lessons on Putting People First from a Life at Starbucks. New York: Portfolio, 2009. Print.
Keegan, Warren J., and Mark C. Green. "Global Market Entry Strategies: Licensing, Investment and Strategic Alliances." Global Marketing. Boston: Pearson, 2013. 282+. Print.
Keller, Kevin Lane. "The Brand Report Card." Harvard Business Review (2000): 4. Http://www.training-vanzari.ro. Web. 9 Dec. 2013. <http://www.training-vanzari.ro/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/Brand-Report-Card.pdf>.
"Our Starbucks Mission Statement." Starbucks Coffee Company. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2013. <http://www.starbucks.com/about-us/company-information/mission-statement>.
Thompson, Craig J., and Zeynep Arsel. "The Starbucks Brandscape and Consumers' (Anticorporate) Experiences of Glocalization." JSTOR. The University of Chicago Press, 21 Dec. 2010. Web. 09 Dec. 2013. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/425098>.