Starbucks is my choice for the letter S, for today’s #AtoZChallenge, for the theme ‘Brands that people identify with’.
It may seem somewhat unbelievable now that the first Starbucks store that opened in Seattle, Washington in 1971, sold only coffee beans and coffee making equipment, but no brews. It was only when Howard Schultz, now the chairman and CEO of Starbucks, joined the company as a marketing director, some 10 years after its founding, he suggested that Starbucks should be selling drinks rather than just beans and machines.
Drawing inspiration from Italian Latte
Starting with a small chain of stores, Starbucks has come to a position of dominance with 20,500 stores worldwide. The story of Starbucks goes as follows.
On returning from a trip to Verona, in Italy, where he spotted people stopping on the way to work for their morning shot of latte, Schultz got the idea of selling espresso and other specialty drinks at Starbucks.
But unable to convince the owners, he left and started his own chain of coffee bars in 1986. As luck would have it, the three owners of Starbucks, Baldwin, Siegl and Bowker decided to sell Starbucks to Schultz.
Schultz quickly started to expand after renaming his coffee bars to Starbucks.
Starbucks, which was operating only 17 stores by end of 1987, became a big business after Schultz took over.
Experience beyond Coffee
Due to the informal environment in which people can relax and bond over a cup of coffee, Starbucks is my preferred choice of a place to catch up with friends. Though Starbucks stands out in the coffee market, the core proposition of Starbucks goes beyond coffee. With the mission,
To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
Starbucks is more about a relaxing and uplifting environment with a cuppa coffee that gives you an at home feel.
”Meet me at Starbucks“, campaign of Starbucks chronicles the stories that happen inside Starbucks’ stores.
Going beyond coffee shops, Starbucks now offers wine and snacks in select stores in the US. In China, more than coffee, people line up at Starbucks for cold refreshments.
Creating the Starbucks Experience
Starbucks baristas create the Starbucks Experience for customers by providing prompt service, quality beverages and products, and maintaining a clean and comfortable store environment.
Taking the Starbucks experience online, Starbucks engages customers through social media to bring about customer driven innovation. With Starbucks digital apps you can order before going to a store or tip digitally, as well as earn free drinks and other perks.
With community friendly stores, focused on recycling and reducing waste, Starbucks builds goodwill among communities where it operates.
As Starbucks continues to engage hearts and minds around the world, who knows in India, we may soon get to sip a Starbucks Masala Chai.
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