Starbucks Research Essay

Shawna Jansing English 103. 082 Dr. Carole Clark Papper Final Research Essay 12 December 2005 Starbucks: A Coffee Lover’s Paradise http://snjansing. iweb. bsu. edu/ENG103/Argument. html What is so extraordinary about Starbucks coffee? To most people who are addicted to drinking Starbucks coffee, its delicious taste keeps people coming back for more and more everyday. The widely known coffee company, Starbucks, captures the attention of its customers and keeps on feeding them regardless of their high prices. Starbucks is bought by many celebrities and is displayed in movies and in other media.

It isn’t really a family restaurant, but has become a “fashion trend” on college campuses and in big cities. Starbucks offers a variety of coffees, espressos, and its frappuccinos. Despite the outrageous damage to a person’s wallet, Starbucks attracts its customers through its delicious and satisfying coffees. Starbucks popularity is more essential to people than its expensive prices. Starbucks was founded in 1971 in Seattle, Washington. Three men by the names of Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegel, and Gordon Bowker started and opened the first Starbucks. The company got its name from a character in Moby Dick named Starbuck.

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In the beginning Starbucks did not sell beverages, it sold coffee beans and spices (“Food” 1). With every corporation there is almost always a logo that symbolizes the company. The recognized logo that represents Starbucks is of a siren or a mermaid (“Starbucks” 6). An example of the current Starbucks logo is shown to the left. She has two tails with long wavy hair decorated with a four-pointed crown topped with a star. Three colors fill the design: hunter green, white, and a solid black. Figure 1 This symbol is displayed throughout each Starbucks store.

The purpose of this image is to illustrate the visual picture Starbucks wants its customer to imagine when they see or hear Starbucks (Van Der Pool). An important figure in the Starbucks industry today is the Chairman of Starbucks, Howard Schultz. Schultz is described as an inspiring leader with a unique leadership style (Meyers 2). Joining the company in 1982, he has had ideas of changing the marketing and retail of Starbucks. With his distinctive management methods, he knew how to sell Starbucks coffee to an audience and he knew best how to treat them.

He doesn’t worry just about how Starbucks’ products attract people, but how they are treated when they come in and buy a beverage (“Starbucks” 2). The Starbucks Corporation’s bottom line states that, “putting people before products makes good common sense” (“Mission” 1). According to Howard Schultz, “If I am asked as chairman of the company, what is the single reason why Starbucks has been able to achieve its objective qualitatively and quantitatively, I always recite… that our people are making the difference” (Bollier 216).

Referring to the people associated with Starbucks, he also states, “We all want the same thing as people—to be respected and valued as employees and appreciated as customer” (Meyers 2). Howard Schultz’s highly acclaimed leadership skills transformed Starbucks into a popular brand. “Being a great leader means finding the balance between celebrating success and not embracing the status quo. Being a great leader also means identifying a path we need to go down and creating enough confidence in our people so they follow it and don’t veer off course because it’s an easier route to go,” declares Schultz (Meyers 4).

He did not want to focus all his marketing strategies on advertisements, promotions, and on the lowest price. His passion was to serve and satisfy his customers one at a time. He also believed in doing things right and doing them extremely well (Knapp 196-197). Starbucks brand equity was most important. They focused on being “third place. ” By this they wanted to be a relaxing place to make their customers feel comfortable, stimulated, and to feel great (Knapp 33-34). Starbucks also focuses on serving various people of all cultures and welcoming them in.

One of his desires was to create diversity among the Starbucks restaurants. He didn’t want Starbucks to be just an American restaurant, but an international coffeehouse inviting everyone. Over the years, Starbucks multiplied and appeared in other countries besides the United States. Today there are over 5,000 company outlets all over the world (“Starbucks” 1-3). On its website, the Starbucks corporation details a few principles that are included in their mission statement concerning diversity, which is “Embrace diversity as an essential component in the way we do business” (“Diversity” 1).

Diversity is apparent in the work staff of Starbucks too. The employees of Starbucks–Howard Schultz refers to them as the most important asset–are trained to open a new world of coffee for customers. Howard Schultz wants customers to perceive Starbucks as a friendly environment. He treats his employees exceptionally well too. Starbucks offers full health benefits and stock options to its workforce (Bollier 167). The employees are treated with great appreciation; they have no other reason why they shouldn’t treat the customers with respect in a Starbucks restaurant. [pic]Figure 2

Figure 2 shown above shows a “hang-loose” Starbucks restaurant. In the picture above are two ladies relaxing at the restaurant. It doesn’t seem very busy. In the upper half of the picture near the center is the Starbucks logo. The purpose of this picture is to give a view of the inside of a Starbucks restaurant to those who have never been (“Beijing”). Starbucks sells many products besides beverages at its restaurants. There are bags of coffee, coffee mugs, thermos, Starbucks girl and boy stuffed bears, and even coffee or espresso makers (“About” 1). Starbucks products are now venturing into grocery supermarkets.

To-go coffees in glass bottles are easier for busy people who don’t have time to stop and wait for a coffee. The music played in the restaurants is now available to buy on CD’s (Meyers 3). One could have a Starbucks in their home, buy the CD and get the convenient bottles. The restaurant seems to have a high-class setting, but anyone is invited to come in and relax. Starbucks strives to be a business that sells “the best cup of coffee” (Knapp 196). People have heard of Starbucks, but may have never been there. Starbucks competes with leading coffee companies such as Maxwell House, Folgers, and Columbia.

Starbucks popularity keeps people addicted and most other companies like Folgers don’t have a restaurant. When a Starbucks moves into town, little coffeehouses suffer and go out of business, just from their popularity. Starbucks is seen in movies and on TV. The “Austin Powers” series includes several segments of the stars drinking and commenting on Starbucks. Hollywood has put an influence on the Starbucks frenzy as well. Celebrities are buying into the fact they want to be trendy, so they are buying Starbucks. People think if Hollywood does it, then they have to drink it too, to also be trendy.

Our society focuses on being materialistic and fitting in. Starbucks is the popular name brand for coffee. People always must be in fashion and up-to-date so going to Starbucks to buy coffee is cool. Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle are the name brands for teenage clothing and are presented the same way. Their prices are high, but its customers always come back for more. People desire the need to be in fashion when they could spend their money on cheaper things. Many things are overlooked such as the importance of family, friends, and caring for others before themselves.

These are the true meanings in life rather than being with the in-crowd. To experience the mania, I visited Starbucks and tried a couple of their products. I pulled into the restaurant and I noticed there were very few parking spots. I had to drive out of the parking area and park in a lot next to Starbucks. I first walk in the door and noticed that Starbucks was getting ready for Christmas. The cups were colored red decorated with white Christmas lights illustrations around the top. After taking a quick gander, I stepped in line.

While I waited in line for about 15 minutes, I decided to look some more because I wanted to discover their atmosphere. There were students studying and two older males taking a break and chatting. I checked out the variety of coffee bags setting on a stand next to me. I watched the employees to see how they treated their customers and if they kept busy and used sterilized containers and utensils. When it was my turn to order, I felt uncomfortable and rushed due to the fact that there were a wide variety of drinks and coffees to choose from. I said I would like peppermint mocha, but I didn’t know what size to get.

The sizes were confusing to a first-time Starbucks customer like myself. The tall, white male then replied, “Would you like a tall, grande, or venti? ” I had no clue which to get so I told him to give me the smallest size. The smallest size is supposed to be the cheapest, but at Starbucks it was over three dollars. While I was in line, I drooled over the sight of the blueberry muffin. I added that to my order too. My total amounted to over five dollars. I could get a meal for less than that at McDonald’s. The cashier did not seem as friendly as I thought an employee who worked there would be.

I finished my purchase and walked out a little disappointed. When I took my first sip of a Starbucks coffee, I was disgusted. The peppermint stung the bottom of my throat and left a terrible aftertaste. The hot chocolate part of it was delicious. The blueberry muffin was just like grandmas home cooking. Overall, after my first-time visit, I would give it about a five out of ten because of the poor respect the workers gave and the coffee wasn’t as great as I expected it to be. At one point when I was waiting in line, an employee walked by me and didn’t smile or give me eye contact.

I suppose since so many hungry customers desire food, that’s what they are more after than how they are treated in the restaurant. After my experience at Starbucks, I would go back for the environment and not buy anything because of the high prices. I admired the restaurant itself because of its unique displays and the merchandise was interesting to look at. The restaurant was clean and smelled refreshing. There were a wide variety of coffees and mochas, but the price burned my eyes. Kevin Robertson, a long-time coffee drinker and a Ball State student, admitted, “I would buy Starbucks everyday, but I can’t afford it” (Robertson).

Starbucks captures the attention of its audience and makes so many people devoted to drinking their Starbucks coffee everyday through the motivation and influence of Howard Schultz hard-working skills. Schultz works hard to achieve respect and popularity. When you stand in line, you can’t help but admire the neatness of a Starbucks restaurant. It feels like you are in New York in a nifty cafe. The employees are amiable and do their best to be at your service. According to The Brand Mindset, “Starbucks is the expert in the coffee business and has a powerful brand identity among customers” (Knapp 189).

The prices are extremely high, but the company looks past that to focus on the environment of the customer. Starbucks effective taste and popularity captivates its customers over its costly prices. Bibliography “About Us. ” Starbucks. 13 November 2005 . “Beijing, October 1999. ” Washedashore. com. 20 November 2005 . Bollier, David. Aiming Higher. Atlanta: American Management Association, 1996. “Diversity at Starbucks. ” Starbucks. 13 November 2005 . “Food & Drink. ” Starbucks Coffee Company. 13 November 2005


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