Weekly Column: 2017-01-27

There is a place where you spend a lot of time outside of your home and office. This is about a place where you can meet with customers, a place you visit once or twice a day where you can order your Americano on a mobile app, earn rewards, and the place where I am writing this article: Starbucks. Even though you can work from your office, for some reason, it's more comfortable to work here because it draws us in more than any other place.

Starbucks is a bit more expensive than Canada’s most famous coffee chains such as Tim Horton or The Second Cup because Starbucks owes its success to its marketing, which boasts that you will get a unique experience!

Unlike conventional coffee shops, they use high-quality coffee beans to differentiate their cappuccinos.  Their baristas are the coffee specialist who chat with and ensure customers they will make coffee to suit their tastes and needs, providing a whole new coffee experience. The atmosphere is very different as well; the fragrance of coffee fills the store and there is a culture of enjoyment and comfort that is accompanied by soft music.

 “Those who enjoy coffee do not have to grind coffee beans at home. You should be able to feel the mysticism and romance of coffee that would only be experienced in Italy at a coffee bar.”

Starbucks is located on every major street in most cities and attracts customers with concepts that are different and uniquely Starbucks. This concept of uniqueness has created an emotional culture and many Starbucks enthusiast, who walk the streets with their phones in one hand and a cup with the green Starbucks logo in the other. You can read or used your laptop in their stores while enjoying the atmosphere of Starbucks. Many people have been attracted in order to experience this new culture of coffee. Starbucks' customers are willing to pay an exorbitant price in order to enjoy this unique experience.

Based on a different concept, Starbucks has focused on the comfort of their customers while communicating directly with them through social marketing. Through Facebook, they are able to spread their message to their fans and through Twitter, they can listen to customers' opinions. With their Rewards program, they have stimulated curiosity and attention, and have created a mobile app so customers can order and earn rewards conveniently. Once you become a gold member, you will receive more benefits and a gold Starbucks card with your name on it. When you get to this level, you have become a Starbucks maniac without even realizing it!  Emphasizing uniqueness and convenience through mobile marketing has proven to be its most differentiating factor when compared to their competitors. 

Because of Starbucks’ emotional marketing and strategy for being different, many customers recognize Starbucks as a place of culture.  They have added this culture into their lives along with their home and office and they are getting used to it. 

According to recent trends, cultural consumers are just as important as economic consumers. Consumers prefer goods that can satisfy their emotional and symbolic needs along with a unique experience.  Many businesses are now considering what the cultural image of their products and services will be to their consumers. Instead of emphasizing gender and age groups or following  trends, it is important to approach consumers in a way that follows and fulfills cultural codes.

In recent years the differences between products and services have significantly decreased, and the value of the brands are becoming more evident. The image of a brand is a crucial criterion that determines the value of the product. Building a good brand image is one of the most important factors of management as the brand has a huge impact on product image and sales.

Starbucks was able to identify this concept quickly and was able to turn a simple cup of coffee into a luxury product with their own special marketing. Like those who like to show off their wealth, Starbucks customers proudly hold their cups with the Starbucks logo, which is an extension of their marketing. Even though it is just a cup of coffee that sometimes costs more than a meal, customers are continually increasing its value by spending their money on pursuing these small luxuries that seem to market themselves uniquely.

Branding is no longer just a label, but a key factor that determines the future value of a company. Although there is a rapid trend of change in the current coffee market, if Starbucks continues to appeal their brand value and associate the brand with culture, it will be able to continue to utilize the number one spot of coffee shops.

Like Starbucks, who sells emotions rather than coffee, try a different type of marketing that is hard to come by in a daily setting that sells comfort and is set apart in uniqueness to your consumers.

We encourage you to carry out marketing activities that convey differentiated values to customers through comfort and specialty that are.