“Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with over 17,800 stores in 49 countries, including over 11,000 in the United States, almost 800 in the UK, and nearly 1000 in Canada.” 1 Founded in Seattle, Washington, U.S. in 1971, Starbucks have made a long way from small local coffee store to international chain of popular and highly recognized cafes, to a cultural symbol undoubtedly comparable to McDonaldʼs and Coca-Cola. The companyʼs timeline, published on Starbucksʼ ofﬁcial website2, shows us the most distinctive highlights of its constant growth. But it obviously lacks of one very important episode in year of 2008. The year in which company could utterly fail, but survived.
Why Starbucks is successful
Starbucksʼ main idea of transformation from a coffee retailer to a cafe was bringing Italian coffee bars experience to the U.S. customer. Thereʼre several factors that made Starbucks successful:
• • • • •
High quality coffee Personal and professional service New paradigm: place to meet people and socialize Expensive, exclusive, “elitist” positioning (Yuppies) Variety of products: numerous types of coffee drinks, food, desserts
It was very unusual for the USA of that period with traditional american perception of coffee as a brown-colored liquid of uncertain taste in a big glass jar, brewed in the early morning and kept warm during the whole day. Starbucks founders, being real coffee experts, protested against “traditional american coffee” and addressed their passion to customers.
Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starbucks http://news.starbucks.com/images/10041/StarbucksCompanyTimeline-JAN2010.pdf 2
Quality of coffee (beverage) equals quality of coffee (beans). Coffee purchased by Starbucks was expensive “ﬁnest & ﬁrst grade” only, which purchasing price was always above market-average3. Starbucks tried to become a “third place” (after home and work) in the life of Americans. Interiors ﬁlled with coffee...