Monday, October 16, 2006

The Starbucks Experience

The Starbucks brand is worth a lot, and growing. Why? They know their business.

First of all they have a method of determining the worth of their marketing brand messages. Second, they have a good business model. And third, they deliver on their promises.

But those activities don't drive their brand as much as understanding the business that they are in. They understand that they are not in the coffee-selling business. Otherwise, they need to compete on price, since everyone else who sells coffee is in competition with them. Rather, they compete on experience. Specifically, the experience of community. How many businesses create an overall coffee experience?

They determined that the reason people linger in coffee shops, and have cups of coffee in their hands, is because the experience of drinking coffee is more of a community activity than a thirst-quenching one.

What does that mean for their marketing and branding efforts? It means that their logo design, cup design, website design, store design, and uniform design enhance — and in some cases — facilitate the experience of community and familiarity.

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