Specialty coffee retailer Starbucks is one of America’s greatest success stories. As one of the most admired companies today, Starbucks has grown from one store in Seattle to chains in 64 countries-including Japan, New Zealand, and the UK-and has posted billions in revenue.
Starbucks has transformed the way people around the world drink coffee. The brand has turned coffee from a regular commodity into “affordable luxury.” It has also created a “Starbucks lifestyle” that people continue to embrace around the world.
Small businesses and medium-sized franchises dream of becoming as successful as Starbucks. Though you may not (yet) earn billions in revenue, you can build your business for success by taking a leaf out of Starbucks’ strategies:
Create an innovative concept
Starbucks is a massive success because it changed the coffeehouse experience. A store is not just a place to get coffee; it’s also a place to socialize, study, and engage in intellectual discussion. Starbucks turned an ordinary product into an extraordinary experience.
Think outside the box
Loyal Starbucks customers always look forward to the launch of new and seasonal flavors-from the fan-favorite peppermint mocha during the Christmas season to the viral UnicornFrappuccino.
The brand also keeps up with the latest needs of its customers. They introduced free Wi-Fi so customers can stay longer to study, read, or connect their devices. Recently, Starbucks accepted mobile payments through their app for a faster and more efficient experience.
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It’s always about quality
Starbucks takes pride in the quality of their products, and they make sure that their customers drink only the best coffee. Although their coffee is more expensive than other coffee chains, Starbucks makes up for it by:
- Sourcing ingredients from around the world
- Using different brewing methods to enhance the flavor
- Offering a variety of flavors to suit every palate
This way, customers are willing to pay a little more for their daily caffeine fix.
Connect with customers
Starbucks’ policy intends to make the customer as happy as possible. You’ll see a sign in the store that lets them know they can approach the barista if they’re not satisfied with their order.
Customers can request customized drinks with unique flavors that aren’t necessarily part of the menu. Baristas connect with their customers by writing their names on the cups, adding to the memorable, personalized nature of a visit to the coffee shop.
Starbucks also maximized the use of social media to further connect with their customers. Small businesses and franchisees alike can learn from the brand’s social media marketing strategy, which strikes a balance of fun content, helpful tips, and subtle sales messages.
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The company keeps its systems consistent, which helps ensure that the coffee you order in the Original Starbucks in Seattle tastes the same as the coffee you get in the Netherlands. Having efficient systems in place, as well as seeing to proper hiring and training of employees, provides customers the assurance that they will get the same (or higher) level of service no matter which branch they visit, and this encourages them to keep coming back to the brand.
Since Starbucks opened in 1971, the company has transformed the coffee shop experience. Small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs can learn from the brand’s business sense to provide value for their customers and stand out from their competition.