The Success of the Branding Strategy of Starbucks
Starbucks uses Unique Branding Strategies (Williams, 2005) which focus on developing a unique brand around each product or service. The benefit of using a Unique Brand Strategy as opposed to a Corporate Brand Strategy is that if one brand has a poor customer response in the market, the brand may still maintain a positive image.
Branding Strategy is essentially a marketing tool in which a company finds out what potential customers need or want, and gives it to them (Design Damage, 2009). It is about knowing your audience. Basically, branding is a way of building a customer base or ensuring return and gain the interest of a new customer as well as maintaining the interest of the existing customer.
If a brand is a promise to the customer or consumer, what does Starbucks promise? Starbucks promises fresh drinks; a wide variety of caffeinated and noncaffeinated beverages served at several temperatures and snacks, but also Starbucks promises quality. Starbucks, as well as many other coffee houses, is known for having a relaxing atmosphere. It has become a place where people can go to be creative, to be productive or to just be.
Branding involves building equity in a company. For example: when building equity in a home, a person will maintain the current high standard of quality, while also making improvements, a constant push to make everything newer and nicer than it was even one day before. Starbucks builds equity by maintaining the high standard of the products currently on the menu, while constantly adding new items, adding new locations and increasing accessibility to potentially curious consumers, and creating the appropriate atmosphere that would be conducive to relaxation. Ultimately, making people want to stay and buy more.
Starbucks has been around for roughly 44 years (Statistic, 2014) and as of July 12, 2014, reported 23,187 active locations worldwide. For the company’s 40th anniversary in 2011, they revamped their logo, just another reminder of the strength and determination behind a company that is constantly moving upward and onward.
In conclusion: branding is about connecting with people on an emotional level (Blaskin, 2015). There is no shortage of coffee houses in the world, but consumers find something at Starbucks that they cannot find elsewhere. Starbucks has the resources to continually create new products, new locations, and better atmosphere. The first Starbucks opened over 40 years ago in a small, retail space in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, one small store, the underdogs in an already flooded market. Look at them now. Over 20,000 locations worldwide; it would appear that branding does make a difference after all.
“A Look at the Future of Starbucks.” (2011) On Starbucks.com Retrieved from http://www.starbucks.com/preview.
“Examples of Types of Brand Strategies.” (2015) By Jonathan Salem Blaskin. On Marketing Answers Retrieved from http://marketing.answers.com/branding/examples-of-types-of-branding-strategies.
“Starbucks Company Statistics.” (2014) On Statistics Brain Retrieved from http://www.statisticbrain.com/starbucks-company-statistics/.
“The 12 Principles of Brand Strategy.” (2009) On DesignDamage.com Retrieved from http://www.designdamage.com/the-12-principles-of-brand-strategy/#axzz3XLs3Njwl.
“The Basics of Branding.” (2005) By John Williams. On Entrepreneur.com Retrieved from http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/77408.