Gone are the days when big companies and brands resorted to traditional methods of print media and Television advertisements to increase their sales. Today, people are going forward with new and better ideas for promotion of their brands to increase attention and drive up sales.
Similar new age strategy is being adopted by the coffee shop giant Starbucks. The article focuses on the growth strategies and promotional ideas used by Starbucks.
Focuses on product and place elements
Marketing mix comprises of 7 elements: -Product, Price, Place, Promotion, Process, People and Physical evidence. Every firm uses one or more elements in different combinations. Starbucks focuses on providing high quality products and different variety of coffee and customised food. It gives special attention to its service by providing an ambience suiting all customers. The aspect that helps Starbucks to make its presence felt is location of stores. These stores are located in high visibility area where footfall is high.
Increasing/ Growing the number of stores
Starbucks at present is not only focusing on increasing its outlets, but also trying to change its store mix. The coffee-giant is planning to open drive-thru outlets in the outskirts of suburban and urban areas. In addition, the company is also planning on setting up express stores which will function as walk-thru. These stores will be settled in New York, Boston, and Seattle. This strategy as discussed in Ansoff matrix is used for market penetration.
Starbucks has shunned what is known as traditional ways of marketing. Instead, it has shifted softly to paying dividends. It relies on cafes to market themselves, and hence for this word-of-mouth creating a strong brand is the key factor for spreading positive reputation.
Social Media Strategy
Social media is at a boom and is very important. It helps in establishing brand authority, trust and identity. It can also be used as an effective medium for maintaining customer relationship and create brand loyalty. Starbucks as a brand is perfectly utilizing this medium and its presence is felt successfully on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The main reasons being: –
- Tweeting custom images.
- Continuous interaction with followers on Twitter.
- Coming up with new campaigns and new hashtags.
- Use of GIF’s, images and videos on tweet.
One of the few campaigns that went viral on social media platforms was Red Christmas Coffee Cup. The campaign was not merely a scheme rather it aimed at making connections with the fans and offered them the best experience.
Loyalty programs like membership cards
Recently Starbucks came up with the strategy of using loyalty program by introducing Starbucks card. Every purchase of coffee lead the user to earn 1 point and a total of 5 points yielded them offers and free coffee or an upgrade of coffee size.
Starbucks is an example of how the companies in this era of tough competition and globalisation can retain their market share, increase sales and create a customer base across the globe. The companies that update themselves with changing marketing trends and understand the customer needs are certain to create a mark for themselves. Marketing is not just restricted to print or television media but is expanding to new horizons. The most important aspect is making a connection with the customer in which Starbucks excels. It is responsive to the needs of its customers and does extensive consumer research before entering into a market. Starbucks makes a great case study to understand and learn marketing techniques.