Excellent Marketing Initiatives by Starbucks

Companies now understand that in this fast-paced, competitive world, the only thing that will sell is what is visible to the customers. You might have an excellent product, available to the customer at their nearest store on the e-commerce platforms, at a price that is lower than what the market has to offer but still not have sales in your pocket. For consumers to purchase the product, they have to know about the product, and to let people know about the product, companies will have to advertise their products. It is not only about advertising the products for the customers but also positioning the product, service, and brand name in the mind of the customer. Good marketing strategies help you enchant customers as well as drive sales.

Hence, in this article, we will be understanding the various marketing excellences of the brand Starbucks and how they are impacting the market.

Starbucks and its History

Starbucks, a coffee house, entered the US market in 1971. During the 1970s, the US market for coffee was facing a downfall. The companies were using cheap quality coffee beans to stay competitive in the market and to survive. The founder of Starbucks is Howard Schultz. When Howard went to Italy, he was shocked to realize that no such coffee houses exist in America. He came up with the idea of delivering the customer an experience, mixing Italian elegance with US informality to start the brand Starbucks.

The first Starbucks store was in Seattle. Howard wanted to position Starbucks as a brand whose main focus is to provide the customer with a rich experience but at the same time is going to be a place where the customers can feel comfortable or at home. It positioned the brand as your comfort couch for both social gatherings and workplace meetups. Today, the brand has expanded rapidly, and it is time that we dive deep into its marketing initiatives that have helped the brand expand and gain such large market shares.

Starbucks and its marketing initiatives

Some of the highlights of marketing initiatives are −

  • Personalization of coffee cups − instead of just letting customers have coffee in a regular cup, Starbucks came up with the idea of writing the name of the person on the coffee cup. This allowed the server as well as the customer to interact with more than a few greetings. It helped the barista as well as the customer in developing a relationship. Another huge plus point of the name initiative is that most teenagers or youngsters think of Starbucks as a matter of social acceptance and prestige. These youngsters use instant photo-sharing applications.

    Some of the applications include Snapchat, Instagram, and others. Now, youngsters, whenever they visit Starbucks, share a snap with their friends regarding the coffee cup or the ambiance of the place, so Starbucks is getting free positive portions from its customers. It is like word-of-mouth promotion in the digital era.

  • Happy employees can only create happy customers − Starbucks’s entire stepping stone is about creating an experience for the customer. The company is serving top-quality coffee, coffee beans, and machine equipment to the customers, and along with this, you will see the price is higher than the market, so if customers do not get an experience, they will not be willing to go to the shop. Hence arose the need to create happy workers. Starbucks came up with various initiatives to strengthen the bond between the employee and the business. Some of the renowned ones are

    • Designation of the employees − Every employee working for Starbucks is called a partner and not an employee; this helps the employee feel like a part of the family and the bigger picture of Starbucks.

    • Insurance and Mediclaim − Every employee, including the part-timers working in Starbucks, is entitled to medical insurance and health insurance. It is like a way of saying that you work for us, and we will take care of you no matter what your designation is. Starbucks' employees' insurance plans now cost more than the price of coffee beans purchased by the company.

    • ESOP − Employees at Starbucks are entitled to an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) to help them see the bigger picture as well as the financial picture.

  • Giving back to the community − Starbucks logo is colored green, which is a color that symbolizes sustainability, love for nature, and the willingness to preserve the same. All the community upliftment and social responsibility activities done by the business are available at the reader’s disposal, and in many ways, the brand also uses these to market its products and services to customers. Today we see a lot of customers feeling bad while purchasing goods with their own money or not having the time to contribute to society, so through these, the brand established itself as someone who cares for the community, and if the customer is purchasing from the brand, then they are helping the community at large. Starbucks as a brand is taking many initiatives to help the community grow. Some of its initiatives are −

    • Hiring and Sourcing − Hiring veterans as well as spouses of military personnel as workers in the Starbucks outlet. There are more than 10,000 such workers at Starbucks currently.

    • Social Service − Employees at Starbucks have devoted more than 1 million hours to community services.

    • Donations and support − Starbucks is supporting literacy programs for children and families in the United States, Canada, and countries worldwide. Starbucks as a brand has donated more than $11 million to a program in South Africa to stop the spread of HIV.

    • Framer support and high-quality coffee beans − For sourcing high-quality coffee beans and even helping the farmer. Starbucks today has set standards that farmers have to meet to sell their coffee to Starbucks, and for better farming methods and the preservation of forests, Starbucks has invested more than $70 million to date.

  • Collaboration for the social cause − In Indonesia, there are high risks of breast cancer. Society as a whole has this taboo, and hence, speaking about it or getting treated seems to be a shameful option. Hence, the brand collaborated with Mccan to raise awareness about the same. This entire initiative is known as the pink voice, and they also developed a pink drink for this occasion. 10% of the total pink sales are donated to Pink Voice, a non-profit organization.

Starbucks has a vast marketing portfolio. All its marketing initiatives are robust and impactful. They force the customer to pause and think about their actions and reactions. As a result of this, Starbucks is now present in more than 65 countries worldwide. It has more than 200000 employees working for the brand, and along with this, it has 20,000 stores worldwide. Starbucks today serves more than 3 billion customers worldwide, and this is only possible because of the varied and creative marketing initiatives taken by the brand.

Starbucks stands for humanity; it has been successful in positioning itself as a brand, which is something more than respectability in this price-sensitive and competitive environment. With this, it is proven that it is all about the art of selling. Starbucks is able to sell high-priced coffees all over the world to more than 3 billion customers because it knows which pinpoint or nerve to touch.

Updated on: 21-Apr-2023


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