The business of starbucks is coffee and coffee like products with these product they have succeeded in changing the ideology and the way people use to drink coffee. They successfully transformed a persistent commodity into high end accessories. Starbucks has succeeded developing a brand that people especially in the United Stated have clinked onto. The fact remains that starbucks believed in quality, perfect cup of coffee which have helped them to stay in business and even with stand competition. As a giant organization this corporation has been considered by many to be the pioneer of the coffee culture in the United Stated and many part of the globe. They started small with coffee beans and equipment that was way back in the eighties but with the employment of someone with vision, and the zest to succeed, Howard Schultz as marketing chief and later the chief executive officer has transformed the image of the organization. He taught of expansion and reengineering by building coffee shops in strategic locations and expansion internationally. The first country he entered was Japan for best reasons known to him and later to other part of the globe.
Today starbucks is a household name in many countries and they have succeeded because of the vision mission, strategies and tactics, policies and procedures not withstanding the marketing mix.
Describe in detail three personas visiting Starbucks in the US
Starbucks has being so clever about its marketing strategies one that is hardly find today with its competitors. They have been strategic and systematic displaying a deep sense of professionalism with respect to there persona. They have been able to set themselves policy and procedures that works by carefully understanding the markets. There history has shown that they placed a huge emphasis on customer services and product quality. Their coffee even if priced slightly more expensive than expected is notorious for satisfying customers with its rich delicious taste and aroma. Customer satisfaction has being a core value; Starbucks ensures customers fill the uniqueness of their products by enjoying their experience.
Three of the most targeted persona in the US that visited starbucks are
3 Business Travelers.
1.2 Why do they go to Starbucks?
With respect to students they always have that sense of belonging and opportunity to have a forum where they would chat of subject study, college life, politics, sports etc. With starbucks cafe students have being able to enjoy such a privilege by having such a meeting point. The atmosphere at the café makes it possible for them to have a meeting point to discuss and chat on issues mentioned above. Students visit starbucks especially for socialism and and intellectual discussions. Students have made it possible for students to have access to internet facilities where they can buy music, download music and listen to music and communicate with friends. They can also broaden their orison through internet research.
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Business professionals like accountants, auditors bankers etc visit starbucks coffee shop because the atmosphere is different and supportive to release stress and tiredness after a tedious long working day. The atmosphere in the shop is relaxed and suitable for fatigue. Professionals come and have a good time to rest, and flex the muscles and chat with friends and make new ones.
1.2.3 Business Travelers
Starbucks are strategically located coffee shops at train stations and bus stops which makes it very accessible to travelers and passersby. Business travelers checked at starbucks coffee shop to meet with business partners and contact business counterparts through the internet. Some use the shop to wait for train, bus etc.
1.2.4 What are their expectations?
Starbucks in there establishment make it clear in their mission and vision statement that the customer is kin, that can be clearly manifested in their treatment towards customers. Based on their outlined principles they emphasized
Applying the highest standards of excellence to the purchasing, roasting, and fresh delivery of coffee.
Developing enthusiastically satisfied at all times
Contribute positively to community development and ecology.
Encourage diversity in customers treatments
Treat customers with respect and dignity etc.
With these factors highlighted above customers go to starbucks with the expectation that they will keep their promise in return for their consideration.
It is obvious that customers have different perception but for the purpose of this study we may generalize the expectations of these customers (Persona).
Personas expect to receive a cup of gourmet coffee in a clean and convenient environment. The coffee is expected to be of very high quality as they always advertise of quality product they picked by the prices they charge.
The taste of customers differs and the demand varies customers expect to have Varity of products with starbucks which can meet the different taste of the different targeted groups. This has been established by starbucks since they considered the expectations of their customer to be obviously different. This diversification in coffee product has helped to increase the market share of starbucks meeting different market segment of personas.
Delivery time is of significance to every persona. Customers do not expect to wait in the queue for as long as an hour just to be served a rich cup of coffee. Starbucks congnificance of this fact has conducted training to reengineer their process which would ensure that customers are treated within the shortest possible time.Revitalizing the customer experience. By grinding coffee throughout the day, Starbucks hopes to increase the aroma in the stores and “restore some of the theater.”
Customers expect their queries and enquiries with regards to their request to be listened to and addressed amicably. This procedure was instituted having considering the fact of the different attitude of customers some might be impolite, stubborn etc. Howard Schultz in his book “pour your heart in it” emphasized the courtesy approach of personnel. He said ” if we greet customers, exchange a few words with them and then custom-make a drink exactly to their taste, they will be eager to come back” This is the true description of a high-touch way retailers can connect with customers to bind ensuring loyalty.
Starbucks expectation is about the three p”s. People, place and Product. They have being able to build that mutual trust between customers and the shops and has developed that personal connection. The shops are designed to suite customers needs to have a relaxed atmosphere with hot coffee and good music. The quality of their coffee has encouraged customers to sand the purchasing power and afford the price.
The customers always expect starbucks to give back to the community some amount of their profit in the form of social and environmental responsibility.
Question 2: Represent the personas, as well as the direct and indirect competitors on a positioning map. What could make personas switch to competitors?
2.1 What could make personas switch to competitors?
Persona either consumer or corporate may switch over to a competitor for benefit for what personas buy is benefit.
People buy necessities to satisfy basic needs, they buy product which improves the quality of their lives and that of their families, and they also buy products to stay healthy and physically fit. Some buy product that would save their time and work etc. These mean that a customer would switch over to a competitor if the product can server its purpose. Customers want product that satisfy their desire and would move unto the competitor that meet their requirements. Products must be designed based on customer’s requirements, if the product cannot give benefit customers will search for it.
Time is a resource especially in the service industry. An organization that can deliver within the given time frame effectively and efficiently will attract and captivate the minds of customers.
The marketing environment is not static thing change with time and seasons and customers go with those innovations. An organization that is visionary and goes with modern trend example the APPLE who continues to make innovations in IPOD, IPAD, and COMPUTER ACCESSORIES etc would captivate and attract the minds of customers.
Price is a key element in customer’s decision; the pricing strategic of a company can be used as a technical device to attract customers to their business. Every persona wants a discount and wants to pay a price that matches the product.
The place or location of the business can attract customers living a competitor and clinching unto you. For customers always want easy access to product and want a dependable and reliable wholesaler or retailer.
Promotion has been the major tool in moving customers away from competitors. Various tools can be used personal selling, sales promotion, advertisement, public relations, etc. These tools when used appropriately and properly can be able to influence and captivate the minds of customers. Examples can be free samples billboards, plastic bags, tradefair, etc.
The employees of an organization plays a greater role in attracting the minds of customers, their attitude goes a long way in determining the success of the business. There appearance, telephone manners, reception, and rapour can retain and attract new customers.
The list can be endless what influences a customer to move away to another competitor.
Customer satisfactions etc.
Finally the marketing strategy is the key work to overcoming competitors. A business that benchmark study the strategies of their competitors and make improvement and innovations that are convenient for customer satisfaction will always win the market and cause customers to switch over.
Question 3: From a strategic perspective, why did Starbucks go to China?
Starbucks has developed a concept launching into international market, china is not an exception, even though lot has been said about the Chinese people that they are resistant to change and will not accept any foreign culture especially that from the west maybe because of a racist reason. Tea is a central part of Chinese culture yet starbucks find it necessary and consider china to be a fertile ground to invest.
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After the opening of the Chinese economy in the early 1980’s china became a lucrative market for international investors and starbucks knowing of this considered it an opportunity to lunch into such market buy the experience, create the innovation and establish a market. This opportunity analysis gave starbucks the zest to penetrate into such market especially so when the Chinese people have a tea drinking culture. Considering the economy of china which has opened up to the world at large and starbucks having a vision of expansion considered it a reason to penetrate into a new market especially so when they where facing challenges in the US market because of several reasons. Again the liberalization and globalization of the Chinese economy make it a privilege for foreign business to have easy access into their territory. Starbucks considering this want to continue servicing the foreigners entering china. Even though starbucks faces challenges in transforming the Chinese culture from tea to coffee their strategies works and now they can account for several successes in the Chinese market compared to other countries in which starbucks operate.
The increase competition in the coffee business account for another reason why starbucks penetrate into the Chinese market to make its presence know before its competitors, the Chinese market was considered to have much more potentials for growth and development because of their tea culture which they believe they can transform into coffee culture.
3.1 What are the differences between US and Chinese Starbucks personas?
The culture of US and that of the Chinese are too distinct values and sanctions. These diversity accounts for the attitude of the two personas. The American would eat and drink in public and does not consider it to be a wrong custom whilst in the case of the Chinese they prefer not to eat or drink in public and starbucks provides drinks that could be accessible in public.
Starbucks had made it a policy not to encourage smoking in public especially in their café. Smoking has become a culture for the Chinese persona. The reason for this is that starbucks don’t want any interruption or interference with the smell of their dark roasted beans. The American persona considered starbucks brand to be a product of their own whilst the Chinese considered it to be a western product. The Chinese customers perceive the high price as conveying quality and sophistication unlike that of the US who considered it to be some for of exploitation. Most Chinese go to starbucks not for coffee but to present themselves as modern Chinese in the public setting.
3.2 How did the firm adapt its offering?
To the upper class who can afford starbucks, they have successfully made themselves a home away. Most people enjoy starbucks in china not for the coffee but also for the relaxing atmosphere it guarantees as one Chinese customer replied “he came to starbucks after work to relax and think about the day”
The brand name is so unique that it captivates the minds of the Chinese. Starbucks has been able to stick to its old tradition and offer a blend of drinks to the Chinese. Starbucks represent western culture so customers do not go to starbucks to enjoy Chinese culture. The shanghai brand of starbucks also do not cater to the Chinese pallet. Although other branches such as the Beijing or Taiwan will blend their flavor to suite the Chinese culture. The penetration strategy has helped starbucks to adapt to the Chinese culture by blending both the western and Chinese culture with regards to coffee to meet the needs of the customers.
Been persistent in their vision policies and procedures starbucks was able to successfully combat their greatest challenges, especially so when 80 percent of the employees where Chinese.
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