I love everything about it — I like the coffee.
Brand positioning questions and feedback from senior executives set the tone and direction for brand development work over the course of the next two years. This was also the critical time when we established a brand blueprint for growth with integrity to a set of core values.
From this experience I learned five things that helped shift Starbucks onto a more soulful and iconic brand development path. Build A Common Brand Vision. When I arrived at Starbucks headquarters in Seattle there were many internal voices telling Howard what he should do to grow.
Many of these ideas could have generated additional sales but would not be polishing the brand image in the process or strengthening the internal culture of the brand. Most Starbucks executives came out of the packaged goods or quick service restaurant industry and they brought with them the values, goals and methods of operating common to those industries.
Yet, Howard was concerned that if Starbucks imitated McDonalds or any other QSR or packaged goods brand it may never achieve its growth potential. High quality specialty coffee Howard knew has a rich, colorful and soulful past.
Howard had experienced the Italian love affair with espresso, lattes and strong coffee of all kinds and knew that the role it could play in America was different from the role that a fast food burger joint played.
Specialty coffee had a different kind of energy, charm, taste, style and sociability. I was recruited away from Nike more on that experience here to help shed some light on this for brand planning purposes. I was initially asked to study the global history of coffee and glean what insights I could about the values that Starbucks needed to hold onto as it grew.
It was Scott Bedbury who called for the building of a common vision for what the Starbucks brand could become. Scott convinced Howard to hire me as a means to conduct a comprehensive and far ranging strategic brand positioning study to tease out the important elements, the leverage points that Starbucks executives in all divisions needed to agree on to build the brand with integrity to a set of core values that served a core brand purpose.
Set A Course For Insights: On my first day on the job, Scott told me he wanted me to read everything there was to read about the origins and history of coffee, and about Starbucks brand history and to get an accurate fix on its current position in the marketplace, and to let him know where the gaps were for the brand and for the category as a whole if it were to achieve its growth potential.
Scott and I both knew that if you want to change the world, you have to start with an ideal. In addition to studying the historical context, language and imagery of the category I put together depth workshops across the US to help Starbucks locate its current brand position in different product and service categories.
On top of that I commissioned a large-scale segmentation study to understand the benefits sought most in the category related to all coffee brands, packaged coffee products and quick service restaurant experiences.
Putting together a customized, multi-layered learning approach develops multi-dimensional intimacy with both the category and with consumers. It helps you sift for insights like gold miners would pan for gold.
Not all insights are created equal. Some provide greater leverage to help you move your brand and product narrative forward. Brand backstory research like this also allows a planning team to tease out the culture and values of the entire category, and then compare your brand to ideals, competitor positions and unmet consumer needs.
Capture The Shared Romantic Ideal: Dream catching was one particularly powerful research tool used in the big dig. It entails delving into the power of a dream state as a means of conceiving and designing ideal experiences. Through a group meditation and guided visualization the respondents were gently encouraged to notice the other people in the cafe, what the space looked like, the plants, furniture, lighting, colors and textures, the smells, the sounds, and the food.
When the mediation period ended the participants were asked to describe what they had seen, and we were surprised to discover their descriptions were all very similar. We learned about a shared romantic ideal, which the ideal coffee house represents, a universal vision shared so consistently across ages, genders, geography and demographics.
Thus, the ideal coffee shop, as it turns out, is an archetype in the collective subconscious. The resulting imagery helped us to close the gap between what Starbucks had started to become in the public eye, a corporate coffee chain, and the much more ideal experience of a more soulful coffee shop that so many respondents had visualized.
Bring The Vision To Life: The ideal coffee shop findings were then translated into a store design brief, highlighting the visual cues and design codes that Starbucks designers needed to pay attention to.
The findings were embraced by Wright Massey who was Starbucks head of design. Armed with these insights, the Starbucks store design team found new ways to bring the history and mythology of coffee to life, not just in the design of the stores, but also in packaging, posters, promotions, print advertising, the employee handbook and even in the Starbucks Annual Report.Starbucks Brand Personality.
I recently came across this image in my Twitter Stream. It came from a friend in Toronto.I often write about Starbucks marketing, and have addressed the following topics. But somehow, he convinced us.
In an excerpt from Brand Thinking, Stanley Hainsworth, former VP of global creative for Starbucks and now chief creative at Tether Inc., explains the rationale behind.
Starbucks Marketing Strategy A Unique Marketing Strategy that Starts from Premium Quality Products Starbucks has a distinct marketing strategy that starts right from its products. It has differentiated itself from the others . Starbucks Marketing Strategy is a model to learn from and Starbucks History is a past worth remembering.
Successful franchises were built on a foundation much like Starbucks Coffee Company. For those that appreciate learning from example, you will want to read this. Starbucks ® Blonde Espresso - seriously sweet and available in all your favorite espresso drinks.. Learn more». The rich aroma of waste alchemized into resources is one that Cedar Grove client Starbucks Coffee has been trying mightily to capture, but its recipe has mostly eluded it.