Named after the first mate in the novel Moby Dick, Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world. As of August 2007, there were 6,566 company-operated stores and 3,729 licensed stores in the United States, and 1,613 company-operated stores and 2,488 joint venture and licensed stores outside the United States. The company’s objective is to establish Starbucks as the most recognized and respected brand in/the world. It expects to achieve this by continuing with rapid expansion of retail stores and growing its specialty sales and other operations. It will also continually pursue other opportunities to leverage the Starbucks brand new products and new distribution channels that meet consumer needs determined by marketing research
Over the last two decades, Starbucks has revitalized the coffee industry. The inspiration behind Starbucks was conceived when CEO Howard Schultz visited Italy. At that time, Starbucks was a coffee company, and people were very passionate about the coffee, but in Milan Howard saw the passion around the coffeehouse experience. In Milan, Howard went from one espresso bar to the next and saw how people at the coffeehouses knew each other. These ‘People were getting their daily coffees, but they also were making daily connections with other people, with the baristas,
and with the artistry; the folks making the drinks were connecting with their customers and knew them personally. From this experience, Howard recognized that although Starbucks was passionate about the coffee, it also had the . opportunity to be equally passionate about the coffeehouse experience.
This local connection with customers and the consequent brand building have allowed Starbucks to move into other successful venues-from coffee bean sales at grocery stores to partnerships with United Airlines, Marriott, Pepsi, Kraft, and others. Starbucks has some of the best coffee in the world, but it was missing from grocery stores, which is where most coffee is purchased. Syndicated data from Nielsen showed that grocery stores sell two-thirds of the coffee in the United States, and Starbucks has’ been able to enter this lucrative market. It has also used partnerships in other industries to increase revenues.
In the past few years, Starbucks has been aggressively expanding its global footprint by entering newer markets and strengthening its position in countries it already has a presence. Growing a brand overseas, however. can be different from doing so in Starbucks’ home market. According to Thomas Yang, former senior vice president of International Marketing, this difference in different growth behavior in different countries can be attributed to Starbucks’ different stages of development in the United States and different parts of the world. In international markets, Starbucks is at the brand development and establishment stage, allowing consumers to discover what the brand is about and what the Starbucks experience is about. In contrast, Starbucks has had a presence in North America since 1971. In the United States, the Starbucks experience is pretty well-known and understood, and thus it is ill a different stage.
Starbucks has been extremely successful in achieving its objectives. It has been able to maintain a local feel despite massive growth around the globe. It has done this by stressing its culture and placing the focus on its employees and customers through marketing research. Starbucks hopes to continue staying local while going global through marketing research.