Starbucks Marketing Strategy
Unconventionally Effective

By studying the Starbucks Marketing Strategy you will be able to apply the principle of success that worked for them in a big way. The history of Starbucks and its expansion give this company the respect of being a model for other businesses to look up to. Why not take full advantage of this icon?

starbuskcmarketingFrom only one store more than 30 years ago in Seattle to its still growing empire today with thousands of outlets in the United States and in foreign countries, the Starbucks Coffee Company is no doubt a well-known success story all over the world.

The fact that it started as a small business enterprise that was able to continuously multiply over the years can be a huge motivation for small businesses anywhere in the world. Many business schools have studied the Starbucks marketing strategy and the business, itself, and have tried to detail why such techniques have worked for this company.

Many points can be attributed to the success of this innovative company from the holistically slanted Starbucks Mission Statement to the environmentally conscious Starbucks Corporate Social Responsibilty statement. But one thing is certain, if Starbucks comes up with a new viral marketing campaign - others companies should start taking notes.

Uniquely Starbucks Coffee Company

 The Starbucks marketing strategy is not one commonly seen in many businesses today. Did you ever realize that it’s rare (if not none) for you to find a Starbucks ad in a billboard, ad space, newspaper or poster in places where you can expect to see advertisements for most other establishments, even huge ones like McDonalds?

Now, Starbucks Coffee Company didn’t just go for unconventional marketing strategies for the fun of it. They thought real hard about promoting their company, and have decided that Starbucks is more likely to benefit if it employed unconventional strategies (see viral marketing examples to see how others do "unconventional" successfully) that may be unique and seldom-tried, but most perfectly matched the concept that the company wanted to portray.

Points to Learn from the Starbucks Marketing Strategy

Every business can learn from another, especially if a particular business is one that has displayed tremendous success over the years. The Starbucks Corporation and its successful marketing strategies are definitely something that anyone interested in business can learn about. What sort of techniques did the company use, and how were these able to reach out and attract millions of people worldwide? Some of their best strategies are outlined below.

  • “Perfect Cup of Coffee”Starbucks history has shown that they place a huge emphasis on product quality. Their coffee, even if priced slightly more expensive than expected, is notorious for satisfying customers with its rich, delicious taste and aroma.

  • “Third Place”From the very beginning, the Starbucks marketing strategy has focused on creating the “third place” for everyone to go to between home and work. Creating this unique and relaxing “experience” and “atmosphere” for people has been very important for the company as they have realized that this is one of the strongest concepts attached to the company, to which customers have been strongly attracted.

  • “Customer Satisfaction”Customer satisfaction is a very important issue with Starbucks. From entrance to the store to the very last drop of their coffees, it is a must that customers feel the uniqueness of enjoying their Starbucks coffee experience. Without a doubt, Starbucks Coffee Company knows the answer to the question, "Why is customer service important."

  • “Creating a Starbucks Community”The Starbucks marketing strategy has even expanded to create a community around their brand. On their website, individuals are encouraged to express their experiences with Starbucks history, and the company strives to “personally” join in the discussions. This technique was cleverly pointed out by Webolutions: The Strategic Marketing Agency in their “Starbucks Marketing Observations” article.

  • “Smart Partnerships”Starbucks Coffee Company has been known to create strategic partnerships that demonstrate the fact that another way to grow your business is to partner smart. Over the years, the Starbucks Corporation has greatly increased sales just by using this strategy.
  • “Innovation”Through the years, the Starbucks Coffee Company has been known to think up creative and innovative ideas to add to their products or services. They’ve added different flavors to their coffee, more food on their menu, and even became one of the firsts to offer internet capability in their stores.

  •  “Brand Marketing”The Starbucks marketing strategy has always focused on “word-of-mouth” advertising and letting the high quality of their products and services speak for themselves. For years, this has been uniquely Starbucks, and it has played a huge part in making Starbucks Coffee Company a success. The definition of viral marketing speaks to this new word of mouth that Starbucks has run with, and made their own.


Starbucks Coffee Company and Marketing

It is clear that the company has created greatly individualized marketing techniques to fit the promotion of the Starbucks brand as it applies to the unique concept it was built on. But Adelino de Almeida wrote a blog article named, “Starbucks’ New Marketing Strategy: Advertising Like Everyone Else”, where he discusses how the Starbucks marketing strategy may try to finally follow everyone else’s marketing. Read his article and the discussion it has created to find out what this might mean for the company.

Nevertheless, the Starbucks’ marketing strategy has led the company to its current success. This fact is enough to realize that there can be much to learn from what this company has achieved to the benefit of many small businesses. Isabel Isidro, managing editor of, has written an excellent article that outlines what small businesses can learn from Starbucks. The article is entitled, “Learning from Starbucks: 10 Lessons for Small Businesses”.

For more comprehensive and detailed information on this topic, read about the paper entitled, “Catching the Starbucks Fever” (2002) written by Brent Kembell and colleagues.

Find out about the enterprising man who put MacDonalds on the map by learning to franchise-Ray Kroc.

Get inspired. Visit the Success Stories of Entrepreneurs page.

Learn what it takes to succeed. Find out the winning Characteristics of an Entrepreneur.

Discover what successful entrepreneurs already know. Great Customer Service Tips matter.

Are you are Entrepreneur interested in Starting a Restaurant? Read This.

Learn from the Success of others. Check out the Starbucks History page.

Return from Starbucks Marketing Strategy to VoteForUs home page.

buz banner



buz banner