What Makes Starbucks Great
Starbucks is the biggest coffee shop chain in the world. It was founded in 1971 by Howard Shultz in Seattle, Washington. The company currently has over 20,000 stores in 64 countries around the world. The company generated $3.8 billion dollars in net revenue with market capitalization of over $54 billion. Here are some of the things that make Starbucks such a great success.
Pioneer in good coffee
Prior to the launch of Starbucks coffee was in serious decline in the US. During that period most coffee drinkers were older and coffee companies were not successful in attracting a younger market. One of the reasons for the decline in coffee consumption was poor quality coffee. Places that served coffee used cheaper beans brewed using a drip method. It was not uncommon for coffee to be watery or highly acidic after being kept on heat for hours before being served.
Starbucks changed the playing field in the US by introducing European standards for coffee. US Starbucks offers drip coffee but it stores it in a thermal carafe rather than let it sit on a burner for hours. Starbucks also helped make popular coffee drinks like espresso, cappuccino and latte. These versions of fresh brewed coffee showed America just how tasty it could be.
Starbucks does a great job of making customers feel like they are having a high class experience when they purchase a cup of coffee. Starbucks stores are stylish and comfortable places to spend time. The company’s logo and to-go cup connote an appreciation for a certain type of bourgeois experience. Starbucks manages to do all this without actually charging more than a few dollars for any of its products. Not many companies offer an upscale experience that is accessible to so many people.
Starbucks does a great job ensuring that customers know what they are getting across the world. The feel of a Starbucks is universal. Even if Starbucks is not a particular person’s favorite coffee shop at home, many people will go there when they are on the road rather than risk a mediocre cup of coffee at a place they don’t know. Starbucks mastered what chains like McDonald’s and Subway have been successful at for decades – providing a uniform experience from Brooklyn to Beijing.
Bring in a younger generation
Starbucks attracts clients by offering very good drip coffee, cappuccinos, espressos and lattes. It also attracts people who might not particularly like bitter tasting drinks by offering much sweeter variations. The most famous example of this is the Frappucino; this drink packs 370 calories, 53 grams of sugar and 15 grams of fat. It is a favorite of teenage girls across the world.
Many people wonder why people are willing to pay more for a Starbucks than local diner coffee. One of the key reasons is the space offered by the store. Starbucks might be expensive for coffee but it is a cheaper than taking a client out for lunch or dinner. The same thing applies to people who are looking to go on a date. Many freelancers like Starbucks because it allows them to do work with wifi without the distractions of being home. Starbucks does not ask paying customers to leave once they are finished their drink, even if they have been there for a few hours. This is especially attractive to people who live in small apartments in crowded cities. Their local Starbucks becomes an extension of their living room – a pleasant place where they may feel comfortable hanging out for hours.
What is the underlying reason for Starbucks’ success?
All of the reasons above contribute, but the broad reason in my opinion is that Starbucks offers hospitality. In an uncertain world it offers a dependable product. In a crowded world it offers a comfortable oasis. In a competitive world it offers a badge of identity as a discerning person. When you step over the Starbucks’ threshold you are in a home. Maybe not your own home, but the home of a very close, and caring, friend.
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