Starbucks’ Mission: Social Responsibility and Brand Strength
Why do you think Starbucks has been so concerned with social responsibility in its overall corporate strategy? Two reasons Starbucks has been so concerned with social responsibility are the negative impact on the company if they aren’t and the financial and nonfinancial rewards because they are. According to our textbook, Starbucks has been engaged in responsible business practices almost from day one of operation.
Because of their substantial growth over two decades, they have spent a considerable amount of time defending their image. Their “clustering” strategy put many small coffee shops out of business and many consumers began to wonder if there really was a need for two Starbucks right across the street from each other. During the 2008-2009 recession, they decided to refocus their strategy. They closed several hundred underperforming locations in response to the economic downturn. They also introduced “breakfast pairings”, a Starbucks-styled value meal, for an affordable price. They even introduced an instant coffee consumers can brew at home.
Being socially responsible also has its financial and nonfinancial rewards. Schultz has also been a firm believer that ethical companies do better in the long run. Because of Starbucks’ dedication to their employees and their suppliers, Starbucks had earned their loyalty. Their employees are proud to work for the company and that pride reflects in low employee turnover. When consumers see happy, long-term employees, it reinforces a reason for them to return, along with the inviting atmosphere and great coffee. All of these would be considered nonfinancial rewards. As consumers see Starbucks continually practicing social responsibility and following the guidelines of their mission statement, they will continue as a loyal customer and promote Starbucks to their friends, family, and coworkers. Consumers are more apt to invest their hard earn money...
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