Marketing Plan: Starbucks

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Marketing Plan: Starbucks Revitalizing Teas


A marketing plan for Starbucks Coffee Company for the introduction of a new line of tea to the beverage menu includes a multi faceted approach. Beginning with an organizational overview, and following with the new product description, SWOTT analysis, marketing research, segmentation, differentiation and positioning, product life cycle, the marketing mix, budget, and finally, control mechanisms, the marketing plan comes to life.

Organizational Overview

Founded in 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company’s first location was in Seattle’s Pike Place Market and after 35 years, Starbucks has grown to over 11,500 outlets worldwide serving approximately 40 million customers every week ( Starbuck’s mission statement is “to establish Starbucks as the Premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles as we grow.” (Starbucks, 2005) Currently, the marketing strategy involves positioning a local Starbucks outlet as a "third place" (besides home and work) to spend time in, and the stores are designed to make this easy and comfortable (Wikipedia, 2006). It is not uncommon to see customers in stores for hours at a time. This strategy has proven very successful, but to stay ahead of the competition the Company plans to selectively pursue other opportunities to leverage the Starbucks brand through the introduction of new products.

What is Starbucks? This may seem like a funny question, but the truth is, Starbuck’s is a well-known name. Major cities across the North America have at least one Starbuck’s location. This organization understands the importance of marketing. Starbucks created a product that has in turn delivered more and caused more products and services to be created. The rapid growth and expansion of the company can be heavily attributed to organization’s use of the marketing mix.

Kotler and Keller in Marketing Management’s twelfth edition have also documented the success of the firm and the firm’s effective use of marketing. The organization strives to continue marketing to all consumers by introducing products that raise consumer interest from all types of people. Starbuck’s does not use a major commercial advertising campaign to drive its sales. Instead Starbuck’s can be seen everywhere. The Starbuck’s cup is the most effective marketing and advertising tool the company has to this day. One can find a Starbuck’s cup in movies and in television series. Additionally, sales are driven because someone in most companies across America is tasked with making the classic “Starbuck’s stop” in the morning. Each year the company has seen phenomenal gains. Last year alone net revenues increased 20 percent to $6.4 billion. The company feels that by staying aggressive it can keep growing successfully every year.

New Product Description

To keep growing the company also needs new product lines, and one that is being considered is a new custom line of hot and cold beverages for the public. Starbucks’ customers have been asking for specialized teas and now is the time to start the research and preliminary marketing to see if a new market really does exist. The tea line is not to take away from the company’s coffee sales but rather to increase its’ customer counts and sales numbers. A new tea line may encourage those who normally would not visit Starbucks stores to now have a reason to come in. Before just ‘throwing’ a new product to the public, Starbucks wants to make sure it will indeed be a profitable investment. Starbucks will need to do extensive research into the product line and also its customer base. Starbucks is the most familiar name in the world when it comes to coffee, can it continue their success into the world of teas? The research will be a good indicator of what Starbucks can expect.

Starbucks prides itself on having a variety of beverages available to the public, and...
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