Coffee has been a major good in import and export for centuries. It's a part of a person's everyday living, so it's only natural to question how a small coffee boutique would turn into one of the largest franchises' in the world currently. Starbucks prides themselves on offering premium service with the freshest coffee beans. They aim for a “high quality, ethically purchased and responsibly produced product”. At first, I questioned if that was all to the scheme. I consistently wondered why people would spend anywhere between 4 and 7 dollars on a cup of coffee. I understood that people were paying for the quality but was that all to it? Was that the main reason why individuals felt compelled to make that stop at Starbucks every morning. Starbucks success has a lot to do with their quality of goods, but marketing and how these services are portrayed is what has made Starbucks a household name in a business that is not only hard to prosper in but one that has also been steadily declining.
Before I go into the analytics of the company, let me offer a little insight into its history. Having established their first store in Seattle, Washington on March 31st, 1971, Starbucks had started off as a small town coffee shop. The founders, Jerry Baldwin, Ziev Siegi and Gordon Bowker were inspired to open up their own store after seeing a coffee roaster by the name of Alfred Peet explain his process for brewing a cup of coffee. Peet would contribute heavily to to the founders and would later be the main source of coffee beans for the first year before the founders began to buy directly for the growers. At the time, small coffee shops weren't seen as profitable but during the 80's due to the state of economy and the overall perception of society at the time. Even though Starbucks had started off as a small owned business, they completely broke that perception and essentially made its mark in the town of Seattle. They would continue to experience this prosperity along with actually beginning to expand across the US. When Starbucks decided to open up their franchise in California, they experienced a complete upturn and essentially California offered a complete increase in their revenue stream. As their revenue stream increased, more stores began to open up throughout the US and then later overseas, the first having opened up Tokyo in spring of 1996. After Along with the constant expansion and increased revenue stream, Starbucks makes an initiative to help provide for their employees as much as possible. When it comes to provisions and benefits, Starbucks was one of the first companies that offered their employees an option for stock investments. Along with that, they're also one of the first companies to offer their employees the opportunity to go to school debt free. Even though there are stipulations on being accepted into their program, being able to attend school for free takes a heavy tool off a number of people. Many students, including myself, work while they attend school I pay off part of the debts they accumulated.
When it comes to the foodservice industry, one of the main objectives is to inspire loyalty with their consumers and this task is especially hard to do, when a cup of coffee can run the average person up to 5 dollars. Even with the price point of Starbucks being decently high, that loyalty is still existent, especially in this day and age. If you were to ask the average millennial what their day consist of, a strong majority would state that going to Starbucks is included in their day. Even from my own personal experiences, I noticed that ever step the employees takes, from beginning to end, everything is handled to make the consumers life easier. The most current example for this was the Starbucks app that was created in 2012. Essentially, what the Starbucks app allows its users to do is place an order an any of your local Starbucks. This app even takes it a step further and allows you to only track your order but allows you to link and pay for your order with the Starbucks credit card. Using the Starbucks mobile app, customers are able to select and customise their food and drinks, then select the store and pick it up in a matter of minutes. Along with this, the Mobile Order & Pay option Starbucks has managed to not only offer a superior customer experience, but also an effortless one making the consumer journey quick and easy. With being able to order online, consumers who use this tool to order essentially skip the line. If it's paid for, all they're doing grabbing and going, cutting out unnecessary wait times.
Along with this app, in 2008 Starbucks launched a message board called “My Starbucks Idea”. With this launch, Starbucks took a major leap forward in trying to further build that relationship and consumer loyalty with their buyers. What the “My Starbucks Idea” allowed for was a place for customers to leave their feedback, ideas on any and all facets of the Starbucks brand. If a consumer had an idea for a beverage, or any ways on how to better a service, they would leave it on that message board. Everybody likes to know that their opinions matter and this launch allowed for that to happen. This “My Starbucks Idea” became an innovative channel for the voice of the customer, with the goal of furthering a loyal customer following and creating place for Starbucks to directly interact with customers and make meaningful business decisions.
With the launch of the “My Starbucks Idea”, Starbucks was able to reap two major benefits. One, it further creates a base of satisfied and loyal consumers, happy that their feedback is valued and willing to offer more just to make their next experience even more enjoyable. Starbucks created a positive surprise for their consumers in that the ideas that are posted are reviewed and used by Starbucks. Second, “My Starbucks Idea” also helps the company make business decisions on what products and services would be well received by customers, furthering their return on investment. Simply, by asking their consumers what they thought, Starbucks furthered their bond with their consumers. They showed the masses that they cared and took the initiative to incorporate what the people were saying into the everyday functions that is Starbucks.
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