Starbucks Research Essay

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  • Topic: Starbucks, Coffee, Howard Schultz
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Shawna Jansing

English 103.082

Dr. Carole Clark Papper

Final Research Essay

12 December 2005

Starbucks: A Coffee Lover’s Paradise

What is so extraordinary about Starbucks coffee? To most people who are addicted to drinking Starbucks coffee, its delicious taste keeps people coming back for more and more everyday. The widely known coffee company, Starbucks, captures the attention of its customers and keeps on feeding them regardless of their high prices. Starbucks is bought by many celebrities and is displayed in movies and in other media. It isn’t really a family restaurant, but has become a “fashion trend” on college campuses and in big cities. Starbucks offers a variety of coffees, espressos, and its frappuccinos. Despite the outrageous damage to a person’s wallet, Starbucks attracts its customers through its delicious and satisfying coffees. Starbucks popularity is more essential to people than its expensive prices.

Starbucks was founded in 1971 in Seattle, Washington. Three men by the names of Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegel, and Gordon Bowker started and opened the first Starbucks. The company got its name from a character in Moby Dick named Starbuck. In the beginning Starbucks did not sell beverages, it sold coffee beans and spices (“Food” 1). With every corporation there is almost always a logo that symbolizes the company.

The recognized logo that represents Starbucks is of a siren or a mermaid (“Starbucks” 6). An example of the current Starbucks logo is shown to the left. She has two tails with long wavy hair decorated with a four-pointed crown topped with a star. Three colors fill the design: hunter green, white, and a solid black. Figure 1 This symbol is displayed throughout each Starbucks store. The purpose of this image is to illustrate the visual picture Starbucks wants its customer to imagine when they see or hear Starbucks (Van Der Pool).

An important figure in the Starbucks industry today is the Chairman of Starbucks, Howard Schultz. Schultz is described as an inspiring leader with a unique leadership style (Meyers 2). Joining the company in 1982, he has had ideas of changing the marketing and retail of Starbucks. With his distinctive management methods, he knew how to sell Starbucks coffee to an audience and he knew best how to treat them. He doesn’t worry just about how Starbucks’ products attract people, but how they are treated when they come in and buy a beverage (“Starbucks” 2).

The Starbucks Corporation’s bottom line states that, “putting people before products makes good common sense” (“Mission” 1). According to Howard Schultz, “If I am asked as chairman of the company, what is the single reason why Starbucks has been able to achieve its objective qualitatively and quantitatively, I always recite… that our people are making the difference” (Bollier 216). Referring to the people associated with Starbucks, he also states, “We all want the same thing as people—to be respected and valued as employees and appreciated as customer” (Meyers 2). Howard Schultz’s highly acclaimed leadership skills transformed Starbucks into a popular brand. “Being a great leader means finding the balance between celebrating success and not embracing the status quo. Being a great leader also means identifying a path we need to go down and creating enough confidence in our people so they follow it and don’t veer off course because it’s an easier route to go,” declares Schultz (Meyers 4). He did not want to focus all his marketing strategies on advertisements, promotions, and on the lowest price. His passion was to serve and satisfy his customers one at a time. He also believed in doing things right and doing them extremely well (Knapp 196-197). Starbucks brand equity was most important. They focused on being “third place.” By this they wanted to be a relaxing place to make their customers feel comfortable,...
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