“Who will save your soul, if you can’t save your own,” are popular lines from one of the songs by singer and songwriter Jem. The Starbucks strategy in the past has created effects that have commoditized the brand. The Starbucks strategy is based on experiential marketing. The company indulges in storytelling to achieve its goals of higher sales. At the end of the “Saving Starbucks’ Soul” case study the question that’s raised is, “Are you paying $4.50 for a caffeine jolt and caramel topping? Or have you simply been dazzled by Howard Schultz’ storytelling magic?”(2007) Starbucks manages to create a story that dazzles which is sometimes told in a fabricated manner but nevertheless it will help Starbucks’ to save its soul.
To sell anything you must believe in it first. The same idea is reverberated in the case study when Schultz decides to go back to its roots to develop a story behind its new Dulche-de-Leche latte. Lately according to Schultz’s email to his co-workers highlighted areas where Starbucks had been straying away from its main goal. He said that it was now time to “push for innovation and do the things necessary to once again differentiate Starbucks from all others…and triple annual sales, to $23.3 billion.” (Marketing – Saving Starbucks’ Soul, 2007) The company took steps to telling a story by geographically flavor its coffee. Starbucks has continuously innovated in the coffee business and that’s why it’s still amongst the top members today. It is able to justify its high price by giving the customer something they’ll always remember.
Picture Dairy Queen, a competitor of Starbucks. Imagine you go into a Dairy Queen to order coffee or a knock off Starbucks frappaccino because it costs less. What do you loose in the process? First of all the environment is bland, there are no soft couches around. When you’re handed a coffee no one writes your specifics on it because there are no specific ways of customizing your coffee. Even the coffee cups are bland and the flavors are easy to forget. The entire strength of Starbucks lies around creating a memorable experience. They are able to beat competitors and have a huge base of loyal customers because of the way they operate.
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