Starbucks is an inseparable part of American culture. It is often the first port of call before leaving for heading for work or school. It is the perfect makeshift office for those who want a break from stay-at-home isolation. And for many of us, it’s the perfect evening time rendezvous with friends.
The coffee is pristine and the atmosphere is immersive with stimulating pictures and placating music.
They don’t even call their employees “employees,” they call them partners because they want to create a business relationship based on friendship.
Established in 1971 in Seattle, Washington, Starbucks has redefined the way the world consumes coffee beyond the home and at the workplace. It’s journey to world coffee domination has been nothing short of eventful. It opened its first international shop in 1996 in Tokyo, while it made a foray into the UK in 1998. It’s first Latin American store was commissioned in Mexico City in 2002.
The brand’s global tour then took a stop at Russia in 2007, opening a store there before making an incursion to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam in 2013. By February, 2014, it had set up shop at Brunei, marking its 15th business segment in the Asia Pacific and the 64th segment worldwide for the brand.
In 2015 it started vending through stores in
Panama, while attaining a milestone of 99% ethically sourced coffee. As of 2019, The enterprise has well over 30,000 stores in 80 countries throughout the globe, and is projected to continue to record an uptick in revenue.
Since Johnson took the mantle, the company has grown in leaps and bounds, implementing its strategic agenda like recording improvements in coffee, diversified meal options, innovations in premium-made ice teas.
Starbucks brand philosophy
Since its inception, Starbucks has directed its resources towards creating a brand identity by offering its customers a comfortable and delightful experience. From the get-go, the experiential component of the brand has been imbibed in all its outlets the world over. Starbucks have been some sort of rebel; going against conventions and fearlessly trying out new styles.
So, why is Starbucks so popular?
They’ve successfully added a new twist to coffee drinking
At the time of Starbucks founding in 1971, people didn’t care about coffee, and espresso was not quite obtainable outside Italian restaurants. At cafes and diners, many people purchased and drank generic coffee that was tossed out of a conveyor belt, crass, and weakly brewed. But with the establishment of a Starbucks chain across the country, the coffee situation was about to experience a drastic turnaround.
Today, the generations of coffee drinkers that embrace Starbucks now outnumber their grandparents who had preferred the alternative. Still, food opinion makers are antagonistic to coffee, bemoaning it’s imperfect taste due to hyper-roasted beans. In fact, random taste-tries show that most individuals favored MacDonald’s. However, the coffee is an upgrade from what it used to be, and it’s good enough for most customers. The golden goose in the Starbucks playbook remains the wide range of menu options and oceanic coffee beverages which the public get giddy over, and which the competition can’t catch up with.
We have seen twitter banters comparing Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks over and over. That’s because they both offer great coffee, but the vastness of Starbucks product offering and the sheer aesthetic uplift carries the day. Talk about branding muscle!
They have specialty drinks
Frappuccinos, caramel lattes, and Pumpkin Pie Lattes. These sweet-tasting drinks have earned Starbucks a devoted fan base. And while the brand gets a bad rap about their insanely roasted beans, it must be said that that’s the reason it blends so superbly with the sugary concocts to create the perfect blend of flavors that constitute the vast array of premium coffee nectars. These drinks are so renowned that it isn’t a surprise that other brands have started introducing their own versions to compete.
Starbucks cups are available in 5 sizes short, tall, Grande, Venti, and Trenta. Three of the cup’s names are italian-derived. This convention started when founder Howard Schultz was blown away by how Italian cafes created a homely feel, one of exclusivity and adventure. He wanted to replicate the Disney experience in the coffee shop business.
The cups are made with a biodegradable lining, and are tested for quality in labs in San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Vancouver, and London.
Social media visibility
In 2008, Starbucks came to the social media space and has become one of the most mentioned brands in the segment. They “crush it” on social media by regularly making one-to-one adverts, which eventually leads to reverberating social media interest via likes, comments, retweets, and mentions.
In addition, the Starbucks team provides forthright customer service. Their stature as a billion-dollar company, doesn’t make them neglect the specific needs of each customer. They reach out to each customer tenderly, endearing them to the company so that they keep coming again and again. Their social work is one of the best in the world.
A rigid mobile app
In 2011, Starbucks launched the Starbucks App, enabling its swelling customers to order, pay for, and collect their drinks without waiting in a queue or being delayed by undependable colleagues.
The app was a screaming success, so much so that by 2016, over 20% of Starbucks’ trades took place over the app.
Starbucks has inevitably trickled into the entertainment industry. Celebrities like Resse Witherspoon, Miley Cyrus, and Katie Holmes have been spotted brandishing these hip cups while enjoying their vacation or at work. They usually share their experience of Starbucks or publish their selfies on their social media handles. This immediately sends their followers swarming around these posts for further interaction with the brand, thereby skyrocketing its prominence.
Little wonder the brand isn’t known for celebrity endorsements because the wigwagging of the cup by your favorite celebrities does all the trumpeting.
Names on cups
The concept of etching the names of their customers on cups is deeply entrenched in Starbucks’ process. Customers find the announcing of their names loudly across the room inventive and personally embracing. Such customizations are enthralling. It fosters strong connections with the brand. The concept of writing customers’ names on cups is something that other coffee houses still try to grapple with.
Starbucks has succeeded in creating an atmosphere that is very inviting and comfortable. Their designs look similar across all locations so that every customer knows what to expect. Accordingly, the interior of a Starbucks in LA won’t be too divergent from the interior of a Starbucks in Hong Kong. You’ll be accosted to rich, soft colors, alternative music, compelling artworks, minimalistic seats, and baristas covered in green aprons.
Over 87,000 beverage options
We know that Starbucks has a robust menu, but 87k beverages?
The company, in 2008, published this claim in a full-page promotional campaign in two national newspapers. Starbucks spokeswoman at the time, Lisa Pass, told the Wall Street Journal how they reached this number. “If you take all our major drinks and multiplied them by the improvements and personalizations, you will have an excess of 87,000 coffee options.”
Have you ever met an impolite Starbucks barista? No, I don’t think so. They are speedy, efficient, personable, and vibrant. And yes, some people get angry whenever a barista spells their name incorrectly, but let’s cut them some slack. After all, do you know how to spell everybody’s name in the world?
Starbucks positions itself as a customer-hinged company and a community-involved angel of progress. This is not to say that the company does not have a cut-throat competitive streak. The company is big on advertising, having mastered the art of customer-psyche penetration to score huge sales numbers.
For example, the franchise offers free cardboard sleeves so that your cup won’t be too hot when held. At the same time, they issue a polyurethane option because they know that a section of their customers are willing to pay more for a high-quality, refillable sleeve. Also, they are aware that when a customer purchases a refillable sleeve, they are incentivized to come back to the shop to purchase more shots.
Starbucks refillable cups have been available at the company’s outlets for many years. By offering customers 10% off when they turn in these refillable cups for another drink, Starbucks knows that they will maintain customer patronage. Intuitively, the Starbucks sign on the cups provide free hype when the users use the cups outside their coffee house.
Employee health management
You may have been told that Starbucks lavish their customers with a ton of health packages, including healthcare for workers who serve up to 20 hours/week.
Former CEO Howard Schultz revealed that the company outlays up to $300 million per year on healthcare. That’s more than they spend on coffee beans.
Thanks to the high Internet penetration and digital innovations, opportunities abound and more individuals can now work from home. Eventually, Starbucks cafes have become something of an escape room where people can deal with isolation. Starbucks, in turn, appreciates this new type of engagement by providing free wifi. Be careful though, free wifi is not 100% safe. Your personal information may be prone to attack.
Corporate social responsibility
In line with keeping the tenets of corporate social consciousness, Starbucks has left its footprint both domestically and globally.
The franchise is known to advocate for LGBTQ rights. They have revealed their homophobic stakeholders while turning their cafes into a secure coven for LGBTQ visitors.
They also share in the plight of refugees, initiating a charity event for Syrian migrants and refugees in 2015.
In 2017, the brand declared that by 2022, they would sign up 10,000 refugees as partners in the nations in which they operate. This plan will be a follow up to other Starbucks CSR programs like the one involving the recruitment of 10,000 ex-military servicemen. These types of gestures not only shows that Starbucks is socially responsive to world issues, but it helps to strengthen their customer loyalty.
They help eliminate hunger
Hunger is a serious scourge at the moment especially with rising food prices amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2016, Starbucks gave away all their remaining food in order to feed the downtrodden. The company collaborated with Feeding America to pledge unsold meals like sandwiches and vegetables just because the baristas urged their employers to do so.
Barista training excellence
Every partner on the Starbucks roster undergoes 30 hours of drilling on processes ranging from Frapuccino tricks to the origin of coffee.
Training sessions feature first impression techniques, coffee brewing, the Starbucks method, customer complaint handling, cupping, espresso machine basics, food-making, coffee growing, processing, readying drinks, roasting, and bagging.
The music is delicately selected at Starbucks. As soon as you enter the store, you are greeted by mollifying tunes that soothe the senses. At any given time, the same tune is playing in all of Starbucks houses. You can even purchase a CD of the songs to enjoy at home.
And while the customers are oblivious of the sameness of the music throughout the chain, they’re still subliminally attuned to the uniqueness of the music. This does wonders by way of generating brand loyalty.
They know that no company operates in a vacuum
Most customers like doing business with organizations that offer a sensational experience over organizations that offer the best product or are big in tech and innovation.
Consider Apple. Its models aren’t necessarily better than their competitors’ products when it comes to product quality. But with customer attention being bombarded by a lot of attractive stimuli, it’s those stimuli that have the highest deviation from the base concept that will be able to deliver an exhilarating experience.
Top Starbucks products online
This is a round up of the best made-ready Starbucks products on the market. It’s your Starbucks store sensation rediscovered.
Nitro cold brew
This line of ready-made drinks, rolled out first in 2016, is less lighter than regular cold or hot coffee. It’s considerably fuller, and smoother in your mouth. It makes for an amazingly gratifying sipping session, instead of guzzling it for a caffeine reset while you’re on the move.
It is brewed with lower temperature water to extract less of the bitter less acidic components. The inclusion of nitrogen also enhances the flavor of the cold brew by giving it a slight sweetness alongside improving the appearance and texture of the drink.
This product is best served chilled.
Weight: 0.63 lbs
Flavor: black unsweetened, vanilla sweet cream, dark caramel
Package information: can
What we liked
- Great tasting
- Smooth tasting
What could be better
- Not quite like what you would get from a starbucks shop
- Pricey; too high for what people are willing to pay for a can of coffee
Triple Shot Energy
The Starbucks Triple Shot Energy Extra Strength Caffe Mocha delivers a charge of caffeine with a hint of mocha and a touch of cream that is not just enough for your morning wake up, it’s for muscling through your day.
It tastes smooth from the touch of cream to make for a memorable drinking experience. It’s best served chilled or over ice.
Weight: 1.2 lbs
Flavor: caffe mocha
Package information: can
Unit volume: 180 fl. oz
What we liked
- Arabica blend
- Additional 225mg of caffeine to help you charge through the day
What could be better
- Customers complain about the curdled milk
RTD Frappuccino drinks
Enjoy your favorite Starbucks, chilled and fresh, on the go. The perfect late afternoon re-focuser is made with real Starbucks coffee. This drink can be enjoyed over ice or from the bottle.
It contains 100% arabica coffee with a tapered down milk and chocolatey hint.
Ingredients: brewed Starbucks coffee, reduced fat milk, Sugar, Cocoa, pectin, Vitamin C.
Weight: 8.91 lbs
Package information: bottle
What we liked
- Made with the finest arabica beans
- Ergonomic design good for drinking on the good
What could be better
- A lot of ingredients
Why do people like Starbucks?
Starbucks has positioned itself as a luxury brand that every person can afford. It’s beverage names are italicized. It has also gained much fanfare for its excellent interior decor.
Starbucks is a third place between home and the workplace where people can relax.
Contemporary life is fast-paced, with little free time, making the Starbucks model so relevant. It is the world’s largest coffee chain, with around 30,000 stores in more than 80 countries.
Starbucks has certainly become a valuable part of contemporary life, so much so that it’s not all about coffee, brunch treats, and snacks, it’s an all-inclusive experience involving books, theater, and music. There is even a Starbucks division dedicated to these concerns called Starbucks entertainment.
We have just revealed some of the reasons why Starbucks is so popular. It provides the best meet-up experience, the company is good to society, employees, and mother earth. Starbucks is indeed one big, global party.