Discuss About The Considerable Popularity Among Its Customers?
Starbucks is a well-recognized coffer house chain which has managed to spread across the globe and enjoys considerable popularity among its customers. Established in 1971 in Seattle, Washington the brand has managed to expand its operations extraordinarily to over 24,400 coffee shops across the world. Starbucks specializes in servicing Coffee, Smoothies, Tea, Baked Products and Sandwiches to customers visiting the stores (Schultz 2011). But it has been argued by many that Starbucks doesn’t actually sell its products but its services and brand due to offering different setting which attracts customers to the coffee house.
Starbucks A Product or a Service
Starbuck has grown to be a major coffee house brand globally and stores are located in most major cities and shopping malls. The stores offer coffee as well as several accompaniments but it’s the setting which truly attracts customers. With a cup of coffee costing approximately $5.00 on average, customers are not likely to be visiting the Starbucks for their daily morning coffee while on the way to work. Instead, it’s common to find families and friends visiting malls opting to visit coffee house (Schultz 2012). By considering this, one can claim that Starbucks mainly sells its services to customers who can enjoy the setting and amenities while enjoying their coffee. It’s common to find customers visiting the store as an outing or mini-party with many also opting to click photos while at the Starbucks stores. All these factors contribute towards demonstrating that Starbucks is mainly considered as a service business where customers visit to enjoy the coffee but also experience the brand.
Starbucks is well recognized for offering a unique setting at each of its stores which also seeing customers visiting different Starbucks stores just to experience the coffee houses. Again the setting is different but the brand allows for the customers to click photos which they can then share on the social media website and show friends. In addition to coffee and accompaniments, Starbucks also offers and study section where customers can sit and enjoy their coffee while working. Starbucks offers a power pluck and free Wi-Fi to its customers which allow them to go about doing their work while having coffee at the restaurant. This helps attract additional customers to the store since many people need a place to sit and do some work on their computer, tablet or smart phone for a few minutes. This results in Starbucks seeing regular customers visiting the restaurant to use the facilities during the day time house which allows the stores remain operations at all times. Evenings see large crowds visiting to experience the service and brand which makes Starbucks more of a service as compared to a product (Duncan & Moriarty 1997). This is due to most people visit the stores so as to be part of the brand and not necessarily to have the coffee.
Applying the Principles of Service Marketing
Investing On a Skilled Workforce
Starbucks is a well-recognized brand globally but every brand is heavily dependent on its staff to deliver a positive impression to the customers. This is well understood by Starbucks and the brand has invested heavily towards hiring and training the staff to handle customers in the most professional manner possible (Lovelock & Wright 2002). Staff communication and interactions with customers have a direct influence on service marketing since the staffs are the point of contact between the brand and its customers. To ensure the staff delivers a positive impression and experience to its customers always Starbucks recruits if staff through a strict selection process after which employees are sent for thorough training before visiting their floor. The new employees also take up job responsibilities which do not require direct customer interactions till they have developed adequate skill and confidence and have passed the QA on job training tests.
Offering More than Coffee
Starbucks is a well-recognized coffee house but the brand doesn’t focus only selling great coffee. Instead it also offers a world class setting that attracts customers to the brand. Most of its customers visit the stores to experience the brand and use the facilities. This change in Starbucks service delivery strategy changed during at the turn of the millennium whereby a major increase in the use of digital technologies was registered. This resulted in more people being able to communicate while on the move which delivered freedom to work on the move. For many, visiting a secluded coffee house like Starbucks allowed them to have a cup or two of coffee while having an important meeting call. This would see Starbucks register a huge number of visitors making use of the facility for important work and business which allowed the business to begin growing popular and expanding exponentially. This trend continues today and is considered as an important service marketing strategy which customers access and use thus keeping the brand very popular.
Free high-speed Wi-Fi
As of 2016, 90% of Starbucks 14 million customers were internet users. This is due to Starbucks targeting middle and higher income groups who can afford to purchase the latest communication gadgets. Offering free high-speed Wi-Fi has also helped contribute immensely towards Starbucks service marketing (Jaffe 2010). With customers visiting the coffee house to work and have important meetings, it has become a common place that people will visit and utilize the facilities to communicate or work.
Offering Hot breakfast Service
Most of Starbucks customers visit the stores to do some work or have a meeting over coffee during the day or for entertainment during the evening hours. It is therefore unlikely that the Starbucks Hot breakfast Service will register success as the brand mainly attracts professionals looking for a comfortable setting to complete some work over coffee or those reaching for an outing. This makes the hot breakfast service idea one which may register failure due to customers not searching to have a meal at Starbucks but rather just a hot beverage while on the move.
Starbucks is today ranked as the leading coffee house globally and the brand continued growing day by day. This success has been directly linked to the brand's strategic service marketing which has allowed the brand to retain its customer’s confidence and continue registering success. With more brands entering the coffee house business it has become critical to ensure customer satisfaction is retained at a high level at all times so as to ensure business suitability in today’s competitive market.
Duncan, T & Moriarty, S 1997, Driving Brand Value: Using Integrated Marketing to Manage Profitable Stakeholder Relationships, McGraw-Hill.
Jaffe, J 2010, Flip the Funnel: How to Use Existing Customers to Gain New Ones, John Wiley & Sons.
Lovelock, C & Wright, L 2002, Principles of Service Marketing and Management, Prentice Hall.
Schultz, H 2011, Onward: How Starbucks Fought For Its Life without Losing Its Soul, John Wiley & Sons, West Sussex.
Schultz, H 2012, Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time, Hachette U