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Marketing Mix: Product and Place

Abstract

Jamie is among many loyal customers of Starbucks. Starbucks has every reason to attract loyal customers because of its high quality coffee, its excellent service and its stores’ soothing ambience. Starbucks as a brand has already established its reputation of being the “world’s number one specialty coffee retailer” (Hoover’s, 2008). With a coffee shop in almost every corner, a coffee lover like Jamie would find himself drawn to Starbucks and keep going back to a good place, to have the good experience and a good cup of coffee.

Marketing Mix: Product and Place

Introduction

            A customer has to be consistently satisfied to be loyal to a certain brand of product. This paper presents Jamie’s case of brand loyalty to Starbucks Coffee. It discusses Starbucks’ marketing mix: its products, service and its place as factors that contribute to its brand reputation. Specifically, the paper probes into the reasons for Jamie’s brand loyalty, presents a backgrounder of Starbucks Coffee Company and briefly analyzes the information gathered about Starbucks marketing strategies.

Jamie, a law student, is a coffee lover and frequents a Starbucks cafe almost everyday during breaks or before he goes home from school. Whether alone or with friends, it is his habit to go

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to the nearest Starbucks outlet and order his favorite cappuccino, a special coffee drink with cream and cinnamon. Jamie’s loyalty to Starbucks is due first to his attraction to the cozy ambience characteristic of every Starbucks cafe he has visited and second to the quality of coffee it serves. Everyday Jamie looks forward to spending his time at a Starbucks café; read a book, work on his laptop or simply enjoy the interior design of the cafe. Given a choice between Starbucks and McDonalds or other coffee shops, Jamie would not have any second thoughts; he would always choose Starbucks.

Starbucks started in 1971 in Seattle. It was owned by three (3) academicians who had common love for quality coffee. For 37 years it maintained its position as the “world’s number one specialty coffee retailer” (Hoover’s, 2008), multi-awarded for its excellence in its products, services, human resource management and its social responsibility programs. Starbucks products are “fresh-brewed coffee, hot and iced espresso beverages, coffee and non-coffee blended beverages, and Tazo® teas… baked pastries, sandwiches and salads” (Starbucks Coffee, 2008).  Its stores also sell “assorted home espresso machines, coffee brewers and grinders, a line of premium chocolate, coffee mugs and coffee accessories, and a variety of gift items” (Starbucks Coffee, 2008). Starbucks operates worldwide. It has stores in more than 35 countries totaling approximately 15,000 coffee shops (Hoover’s, 2008). In the United States alone it operates in 50 states with a total of 7,087 company-operated stores and 4,081 licensed stores (Starbucks Coffee, 2008).

Jamie is just one of the many who frequent Starbucks everyday and would be happy to spend a high $4.50 for a cup of coffee. This brand loyalty may be attributed to excellence in Starbucks’ products, service and its place that no other competitor is near enough to beat Starbucks’ brand and image. Starbucks takes pride in the quality of its coffee beans which are roasted in special facilities and transported speedily to its coffee outlets. Its coffee is freshly brewed so that the aroma lingers in the coffee shop. These are prepared by highly skilled baristas that are well compensated and well managed to provide excellent service to customers. The store ambience is a major factor in building Starbucks’ brand and image. The shops reflect the best of class in its fixtures, its displays, colors, artworks including choice entertainment music. (Thompson, et.al., 2005)

Somebody who needs a good product, a good experience and who can afford to pay high price would definitely go for the best. Starbucks is so far the best and has continued to satisfy Jamie’s expectations thus the loyalty for the brand is developed and maintained. For as long as Starbucks will sustain the quality of its coffee and other products, provide a good experience through its soothing ambience, Jamie will be at Starbucks every time he feels the need to relax and have a cup of coffee.

References

Hoover’s. (2008). Starbucks Corporation. Retrieved August 9, 2008 from http://www.hoovers.com/starbucks/–ID__15745–/free-co-profile.xhtml

Starbucks Coffee. (2008). Starbucks Company Factsheet. Retrieved August 9, 2008 from http://www.starbucks.com/aboutus/Company_Factsheet.pdf

Thompson, A., Shah, A. & Hawk, T. (2005). Starbucks in 2004: Driving for Global Dominance. Crafting and Executing Strategy: The Quest for Competitive Advantage: Concepts and Cases, 14/e. McGraw-Hill Higher Education. ISBN: 0072844485.

 

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