One of the key successes when Howard Schultz launched Starbucks, has been the well-managed projection of its stores as places for socialization between office and work.This strategy permitted the company to get a large customer base that could meet and talk and laugh drinking a coffee in different places that were not office or work.
The idea was tosell a high quality coffee which flavor was entirely natural and not modified by any machine. The attention was also paid on the environment of the different stores. The music, thefurniture, all the atmosphere has been considered to make people confortable. Employees also got training programs to help them become performers and serve the perfect cup of coffee.
Allthis factors had to reflect an “affordable luxury” and justified high prices because Starbucks was more expensive than others.
Starbucks had to prove it was different from others because,at the time, there were lots of coffee shops in America and the competition was rude. The company succeeded in proving that it was not only a coffee shop but also a place to meet andrelax between friends. It managed to make people feel “at home” with a coffee like the one they brew in the morning in their houses.
The strategy has been to place Starbucks as aluxury brand, offering new different products and services and also to promote a kind of “experience”. This has been the selling point of the company.
Starbucks initially targeted youngcollege students, social classes, workers and neighborhoods that would be most receptive to the idea of buying $1,5 a cup of coffee and spending time with friends at their stores.
Butwith the rapid growth, the target was quickly expanded to every individual of every age. What began as a niche target market eventually came to include consumers from all facets of life.