Starbucks Marketing Strategy

Topics: Coffee, Brand, Starbucks Pages: 8 (2563 words) Published: March 29, 2011
0105.363.01 Marketing Analysis—Starbucks Co.
Intended Customer Segment
Starbucks is an international company that is recognized and respected. It’s is well known for its coffee as well as the relationships formed with its customers. The typical gourmet coffee fan is that sought-after individual with high levels of education and disposable income (Scarpa). This targets college students and business people in general, as well as individuals from the baby boomer generation to generation Y. Starbucks aims to promote their brand and the coffee experience to foster human connections—which is what Starbucks advertising is all about (

SWOT Analysis
- Customer Loyalty—Starbucks has very strong brand recognition and faithfulness among those who frequent the coffee shop. The Starbucks “high flyers” are known to frequent stores at least three times a week, if not more.

- Employee Loyalty—Starbucks’ partners are their greatest assets. They empower their employees, allowing them to make their customers’ experiences memorable and satisfactory.
- Themes—Each Starbucks store is allowed its own individuality, though the business as a whole is unified in the look and feel of the restaurant envionment. For example, chalkboards are used for creativity in expressing the menu. CD’s, books and movies are also sold, which the company helps to produce and/or promote. The book readings and signings have been very successful for both Starbucks as well as the individual authors.

- Social Issues—Starbucks supports many social issues including, but not limited to: Fair Trade Organization, literacy, clean water and health issues. - Coffee is still an up and coming industry, and Starbucks is growing right along with this business.

- Some of the stores may be overpowering to the cultures they merge into. For example, in their Dublin store in Ireland, local coffee shops open mid to late morning, while Starbucks opens much earlier. Some people feel that this takes away from the laid back atmosphere of the Irish culture (Hammonds).

- Starbucks has a somewhat narrow product line for their overseas countries. For example, it is hard for Starbucks Coffee to promote tea in China.

0105.363.01 Marketing Analysis—Starbucks Co.
-Many people and industries view the company’s lack of advertising as a negative business strategy.
- Over-expansion: too many stores. Starbucks may eventually become too big for itself.
- Over-expansion: too many products. Right now Starbucks is venturing out of the coffee industry and into music, books, entertainment, and other foods as well. Too many brand extensions may become harmful to the company. Opportunities

- Starbucks could add to their product line multiple brand extensions: desserts, sandwiches, coffee makers, espresso makers, IPOD stands, breakfast items, more coffee/hot chocolate variations, etc.

- There is a great deal of overseas expansion available to the Starbucks Coffee Corporation.
- Immediate competition from fast-food restaurants catching on the specialty coffee wave and developing products that competes with Starbucks.
- Tim Hortons
- Dunkin Donuts
- McDonalds
Market Segmentation
Target Market
Starbucks is mainly adult-focused and aims to connect with their customers, communities, and children through various advertising tactics. The vast majority of these customers come from urban areas, where individuals are willing to go the extra mile to purchase costly gourmet coffee.

Another new and large growing target market within the coffee industry is college-age students and post-graduate individuals residing in urban areas. These two segments account for the largest portion of gourmet coffee drinkers (Isidro). There have been studies showing that coffee consumption has increased with the drinker’s educational level. Those who have finished college have bought a lot of coffee but those who are in...
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