Research Proposal of Starbucks

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Research Proposal
1.The Starbucks “Sing Your Own Song Event”
2. The purpose is to answers the central question: How can music contribute to conveying Starbucks’ experience to the Dutch consumer? 3.(a) What is the new concept to be tested?
(b) How can music contribute to conveying Starbucks’ experience to the Dutch consumer? (c) Why do people avoid the Starbucks brand?
(d) Why do people have an unfavourable attitude towards Starbucks, so much so that they avoid the brand?
(e) What and Why Starbucks brand has been know all over the world? 4. The research undertaken will be from the Constructivist epistemology with an Interpretist theoretical view. The reason underlying this is that the Constructivist epistemology views reality (of which there are multiple) as being constructed by human interaction. It is shaped by social conventions, process and culture (Crotty, 1998). The Interpretist view leads itself well here because the goal is understand the meaning within a social context (Orlikowski and Baroudi (1991). In this case the research is to uncover the reasons behind the social phenomenon “brand avoidance” within the Starbuck context. As brands are “bundles of meaning” (Lee, 2007) and this research is within a social context which has been constructed by human process, qualitative research will be used to provide rich and insightful meanings into attitude and brand avoidance for Starbucks. The limitation 1) being that the results will have low generalisability (Hair et al, 2006). What kind of company is Starbucks?

* How did the brand develop to become a Multinational?
* What is the company’s Mission and Vision?
2) What is the Starbucks experience exactly?
* The Starbucks experience: a “Second Home”
* The specific aspects that convey the experience
3) How do the Dutch customers perceive the current Starbucks experience? * Why do they go to Starbucks?
* How do they feel about the atmosphere inside the coffee shops? * Are they familiar with the “Second Home” experience? 4) Is music important for the Starbucks experience, looking at what music already does for this brand? * Is there already a connection between the brand and music? * Are there examples of this brand and using music?

5) How do other brands put their experience concept into practice? * Examples
* Cases
* What media is used in the customer communication?
6) What is an optimal experience looking at the current “Experience Economy”? * What are the ingredients of an optimal experience?
* The definition of a meaningful experience
* The 4 realms
* Co-creation
7) What form should the concept take?
* How do you get the customers familiar with the new concept? * What media should be used? Why?
* What is the optimal form for this concept?
* What are the best “Experience Settings”?

8) What do the Starbucks customers think of the new concept? * Focus groups + Mood board
* Questionnaire
* Does it suit with their perceptions and experience of the brand? * What do customers think about the connection between Starbucks and music?

5. Starbucks is a multinational company who purchase and roast whole coffee beans. They sell these along with a variety of hot and cold beverages, food, teas and coffee accessories. The head office is in Seattle, USA, which is also the location of the first store. The company’s net profit for 2008 is $316.8 million; however profits have decreased by 77% in the first 2009 quarter (New York Times, 2009). Starbucks was voted one of the best retail environments by Brand Channel in 2009, with comments like “The right blend of flavours in the decor, service, product, sensory experience with a shot of neighbourhood authenticity”.

In comparison with other European countries, Starbucks is rather new on the Dutch coffee market. The Starbucks experience seems less exploited among the...
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