Starbucks Marketing Strategy

10 October 2016

Starbucks developed an advantage over its competitors by engaging in partnerships with stores such as Safeway, Barnes & Noble where they open cafes to serve their coffee and sell their products. They improved their brand awareness by licensing its brand name on different food products such as ice cream and bottled Frapuccinos 2. What were the principal drivers behind Starbucks’ success in the marketplace? What does the Starbucks brand mean to consumers? How have the growth opportunities pursued that Starbuck has pursued affected the value of its brand name? One of the drivers behind Starbucks’ success is their store locations.

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The company only open stores in centralized cities in highly visible regions. Stores are always spacious with room for customers to hang out and drink their coffee. They also have great merchandise items such as coffee beverages, whole bean coffee by the pound, pastries, sandwiches, etc… A big part is Starbucks’ success is their employees. Their baristas are trained to customize each drink and to explain the origin of different coffees. There are treated like partners, and trained to provide the best customer service and to deal with customer complains on the spot.

The Starbucks brand means consistency and predictability to consumers. It is a promise to great coffee and great experience. Starbucks’ extensive product line strategy of creating a variety of products beyond just coffee beans was a big growth opportunity, as well as their partnerships that allowed them to expand their brand by selling ready to drink coffee, flavored ice cream and branded coffee now in supermarkets. They also have joint venture agreements in 15 countries. 3. What are the major challenges facing Starbucks as it goes global? Is the brand advantage sustainable going forward?

Can Starbucks defend its position against other specialty coffee retailers? Competition is always a challenge when expanding a business overseas, as well as their lack of experience in the international market. Global expansion also means being operated by local partners and therefore making less money. However, I do believe their brand is sustainable. Starbucks is the market pioneer, which gives them major advantage against their competitors. To defend their position, Starbucks should never impose their western preferences in their international markets and continue to adapt their products to the local markets.

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