Starbucks Brand Audit
Starbucks - Brand Audit
Ranking as the 96th in Interbrand’s Top 100 Brands of 2011 list with its $3.6 million brand value, Starbucks is one of the most successful and highly recognized brands. In order to understand more about the underlying strategies that brings this success, we analyzed the brand focusing on its brand inventory, brand positioning, marketing strategy, consumer perceptions and competitors. Finally, we evaluated Starbucks’ strengths and improvement areas and recommend future actions in pursuit of success. Brand Inventory
Starbucks is one of the few brands to develop a strong brand image without investing large amounts of money to marketing and advertising. With its ability to align its brand positioning with consistent brand image, Starbucks delivers its core values to its customers directly with its brand inventory. Starbucks opened its first store in Seattle in 1970's. With ties to Seattle’s history Starbucks name originates from an old mining camp: Starbo. The exact Starbucks name is taken from a classic American novel, Moby Dick, which gives the idea to evoke seafaring romance of the early coffee traders.1 Although there have been changes in the logo, mermaid logo become one of the most easily recognizable logos of the world. With $3.6 million brand value, Starbucks is ranked as 96th in Interbrand’s Top 100 Brands of 2011 list.2 In its 40 years of existence, Starbucks brand was able to create strong brand positioning and increase its brand equity year after year without mass media marketing. Starbucks employed strategies in its marketing similar to its business management which are consistent growth and quality emphasis. Starbucks brand has grown with company and kept its consistent image throughout the years. Until 2011, 40 years after it is founded, Starbucks had positioned itself as a coffee company. However in 2011, Starbucks changed its long lasting brand strategy and repositioned to Starbucks experience. In addition, new logo eliminated English language to deliver a more global message rather than focusing its American heritage.2 By 1997, Starbucks had spent very little money on advertising, preferring instead to build the brand cup by cup with customers and depend on word-of-mouth and the appeal of its storefronts. The company was, however, engaged in a growing effort to extend the Starbucks brand and penetrate new markets. In addition to expanding internationally, venturing into ice cream with Dreyer's and into Frappuccino with Pepsi, partnering with licensees, and developing specialty and mail-order sales, Starbucks had begun selling its coffees in supermarkets.3 Starbucks has successfully used its brand elements to translate its message to its customers. Starbucks original mermaid logo (Exhibit A) was used most of its products, packaging and all of its stores. Even though Starbucks name was translated to local languages in some countries (Arabic speaking countries, China, Japan Russia and etc), the name is used as it is in US in most of its global locations. Starbucks used a slogan consistent with its experience positioning “Take Comfort in Rituals”. Starbucks’ brand success comes from using brand elements carefully to connect them with Starbucks mission “To inspire and nurture the human spirit; one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time”. 4 Starbucks’ simple but modernized logo and packaging signals its stores metropolitan look and feel while maintaining non special - daily routines. Starbucks also used dark green color in its main logo and in its stores to emphasis its quality. With creating brand elements that fits to its mission and position, Starbucks was able to deliver modern, everyday brand with quality experience. Starbucks attributes and features can be defined as high quality coffee and products at accessible locations and affordable prices. With strong community involvement, corporate responsibility and ethics, Starbucks characterized...
References: 13. Moore, John. Tribal Knowledge. 2006
15. Koehn, Nancy, Marya Besharov, and Katherine Miller. Starbucks Coffee Company in the 21st Century. HarvardCollege. Boston: Harvard Business School, 2008. 1-35.
16. Stephanie Kang, Janet Adamy, and Suzanne Vranica, “TV Campaign is a Culture Shift for Starbucks,” The Wall Street Journal, November 17, 2007.
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