• Reply to two classmates
• Follow-up posts are expected to be a minimum of two well thought out paragraphs.
• Reference sources (at least 1 each post) to support your discussion points, as appropriate (using proper citation methods for your discipline). These may come from the textbook or from independent research. Relevant and interesting graphics, Infographics, and videos are also encouraged.
What is Starbucks really selling?
Starbucks seems to really be selling their service and coffee experience, the baristas are friendly and knowledgeable, you can smell the coffee beans, hear the grinders, and hear your drink being made. As Kotler and Armstrong (2014) say about experiential retailing, “they are environments to be experienced by the people who shop in them,” this optimizes the customer experience because the space becomes more customer-centric.
What are customers really buying?
All Starbucks stores have the same feel, even if you go to one of the reserve roasters you feel like you are getting the same experience. The brand has positioned itself as both expensive, with the specialty reserve roaster stores, and a cheaper option with their drive-through service. I think that customers are buying the experience and the brand recognition, as said in the video the business model “translated to other geographies,” (CNBC) there is the experience of having all recipes be consistent in taste no matter your location and the logo is also universally recognized so you know exactly what to expect from your visit to one of their cafes.
How do customers relate to the Starbucks brand? (Starbucks sells a lot more than just coffee.)
Starbucks creates a consistent look and feel for its stores. This strategy makes the customer feel comfortable in any of their cafes and creates a relatable experience across many markets. Starbucks also trains their employees to make efforts to get to know their customers, this creates more value and helps local stores become more relatable as there is a personal connection.
When customers purchase something at Starbucks, are they buying a brand experience?
Starbucks has created brand equity. They are engaging customers on a personal and a local level and “brand equity derives from consumer feelings about and connections with a brand. Consumers sometimes bond very closely with specific brands” (Kotler and Armstrong 2014, p. 245), all types of Starbucks customers like the experience they have when they visit a shop, this creates familiarity and a bond with the brand. Beyond the drinks and food they serve, they also create an atmosphere for those who need to get work done, have a meeting, or just enjoy a quiet moment. This also helps with what their customers purchase, they are not purchasing the space but instead the space acts as part of the brand experience.
What does that brand experience feel like to you?
It feels like you are buying more than just coffee, and that is their goal they put a lot of emphasis on the Starbucks experience, which is all about making a connection and they say, “we make sure everything we do honors that connection” (Starbucks 2021). I find it fascinating that Starbucks can appeal to so many people. Coffee, tea, and their offerings are universal yes, but I think what Starbucks does well is not having a rigid view of their customer base. I think this is why they are so successful in other countries because they can shape their marketing strategy accordingly.