What you can learn from Starbucks when planning your startup marketing strategy

 2016-04-14 04:08 PM by
What you can learn from Starbucks when planning your startup marketing strategy

Starbucks is set to make waves in South Africa in the upmarket city of Rosebank, where eager coffee lovers will be eagerly awaiting to try a cup of coffee, seen across the globe thanks to popular movies showing off the brand time and again. After scanning the buzz on social media it seems many people are excited about them coming, but there are also those that feel this will threaten the local coffee industry.


According to Kris Engskov, the president of Starbucks’ Europe, Middle East, and Africa region, “We are proud to be bringing Starbucks to South Africa,” and reassures the local market that, “Starbucks supports the development of local suppliers and is fully committed to our Changing Lanes program wherein we have provided employment to previously unemployed people and expose them to global training initiatives and skills.


Is this move bad timing given our country’s circumstances?


Many startup marketing  companies would be reluctant to enter a market where there is economic turmoil, but not Starbucks, they are that confident. So confident that you should not expect any discounts from them, we will be lucky enough to engage in a truly American custom by paying top dollar for your cup of coffee. 


What makes Starbucks great ‒ isn’t it just coffee?


What makes people walk straight past other coffee stores and like a magnet, go straight to Starbucks? Why do they have such a hypnotic effect on people, it’s just coffee, isn’t it? “But all cups of coffee and coffee houses are not created equal,” says Rachel Hennessey “A large chunk of the company’s recipe for success can be found outside of the cup.” In other words, people buy an experience, not a product, thus pointing out why excellent customer service separates the greats from the mediocre. 


When Starbucks crosses our borders, they don’t need to employ any marketing strategy to attract customers. All they needed to do was announce that they are coming and once they open their doors here, people will flock to their store to try out their first authentic Starbucks coffee.


How they do it – without breaking a sweat 


There’s a thing or two you can learn from them when employing your own startup marketing plan, for starters Starbucks understands who their clients are and constantly try to improve their customer service to beyond serving simple coffee, they want to provide an experience fit for the gods.


A popular tactic that they employ is the ask customers their names so that they can write them on their cups. This is the simplest, but highly effective form of marketing that every startup marketing company employs. We all love to be flattered, but Starbucks takes it further by intentionally misspelling their customers names to get a good laugh out of them. This ingenious marketing strategy works, because it gets a reaction out of their customers, yes they may be annoyed at first, but after a while they are so delighted by it that they end up sharing the experience on all of their social media platforms.


When trying to enter a new market, companies need to realise that they are selling to different people than they are used to, Starbucks understand that South Africans are different, which is why they will tweak their menu slightly by incorporating a locally-brewed rooibos tea.


They are constantly trying out new things from their health conscious breakfast range, to putting Shelby Kregel’s art on their cups, there is no limits to what they will try. Their online presence is enough to make top social media experts jealous. They have made it their online marketing strategy to duplicate their customer experience online and they have nailed it.


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