Company Information: Starbucks
Starbucks is one of the most popular and successful global coffeehouse chain and coffee company. Starbucks was first established on March 31, 1971, in historic Pike Place Market Seattle Washington. Starbucks mission’s statement is focused on the customers and providing good customer service rather than coffee. Starbucks mission statement is “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time” (Starbucks, Our Starbucks Mission Statement, 2019). Starbucks aim is to “create a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome” (Starbucks, Our Starbucks Mission Statement, 2019). Starbucks is also known as a premier roaster and coffee retailer that sells whole bean coffee. They sell snacks, healthy juices, breakfast, healthy meals (sandwiches, salads and protein bowls), baked goods (pastries, croissant, Danish and etc.) bottled beverages, develop their own style of beverages and Starbucks coffee-related accessories such as coffee mugs, coffee pods tumblers, clothing and etc. Starbucks official website is https://www.starbucks.com. As of June, 2019 there are over 30,000 Starbucks stores around the globe (Starbucks, Starbucks , 2019). Starbucks employees worldwide as of September 30, 2018 are 291,000.Starbucks employees In United States are over 191,000 (Pratap, 2018). Approximately 183,000 are working in company-operated stores and 8,000 in support facilities, store development, and roasting, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution operations (Pratap, 2018). Starbucks employees Outside of the U.S are Approximately 100,000 (Pratap, 2018). Starbucks headquarters remain in Seattle, Washington. Starbucks has since expanded its business from Seattle to throughout the world. Starbucks net revenues is $6.3 billion and it grew 5% over the prior year (Starbucks, Starbucks , 2019).
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Starbucks Digital and Social Media Use
Now day’s social media platforms is a natural place to reach and target customers. Starbucks has excellent social strategy to attract customers and they use every media outlet available to them. Starbucks use a variety of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Google+, Snap Chat, Pinterest and their phone application to stay connected and provide great customer service and relationship. They use these social media platforms to build and promote their company’s promote a product or service. Starbucks has 36.92 million Facebook likes, 11.4 million Twitter followers, 7.8 million Instagram followers, 373K Pinterest followers and 220K YouTube subscribers. Through these social media accounts, Starbucks can really sell their brand and appeal to large amounts of people (Ravi, 2018). Starbucks social media team does great on posting unique content but also uses social media service to reach out to customers talking about their in-store or product experiences. Each of these different platforms is used to engage, update on new inventions and establish communication with customers and followers (Ravi, 2018). Instagram and Pinterest are important for engagement, inspiration and customer involvement by posting pictures of new drinks, products, deals and offers. Starbucks post new appealing beverages using attractive settings that customers can’t resist. In 2017, Starbucks had 26% growth in followers and gained 3.3M new followers (Ravi, 2018). They posted 240 posts on their Instagram account. Colorful lifestyle posts that capture the essence of coffee culture, which shows the creativity of the brand (Ravi, 2018).Other social media platform like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter is used engage with customers by posting online post, new announcements, retweets, and answering questions and concerns (Ravi, 2018). This allows customers to share their personal experience and concerns. Starbucks uses this to connect with their followers in a more personal level, rather than corporate (Ravi, 2018). Starbucks team uses this satisfy dissatisfied customers needs and complaints, and encourages them to get InTouch with the company through socialmedia platform to address the issue before things escalate (Ravi, 2018). Starbucks also engage in conversation regarding national and global issues (Ravi, 2018). Starbucks uses hashtags to create excitement among users, which drives engagement between followers and the brand (Ravi, 2018).
Lastly, Starbucks YouTube channel which is used to engage to the customer and the world by uploading commercials, advertisement, tutorials on Starbucks drink, product-related videos, and life inside Starbucks stores and inform consumers of charity work and campaigns they are supporting (Ravi, 2018). One of the campaign is about hiring veterans and military spouse, the video earned 2.6 million views and also got political attention and contribution regarding this matter. Starbucks also posted original content series ‘Upstanders’ and an animated series ‘1st & Main’ (Ravi, 2018). These series were most viewed content with 430,763 views (Ravi, 2018). All of these different platforms tie back to completing the mission statement of Starbucks. Starbucks has been able to create a successful online personality which there followers and customers can connect, follow and love because they take the time to reach out to each customer and make them feel appreciated and a part of the their community (Ravi, 2018). Starbucks mission statement explains that they treat everyone equally. Starbucks provides valuable content which promotes equality, inspiration, love peace, values and enjoyable experiences to their fans rather than posting advertisements.
This chart shows twitter tweets. Star bucks tweeted 57,000 times and gained 134,000 new followers. On average they post 155 tweets per day (Ravi, 2018).
Starbucks makes sure that almost all of their customers are heard and responds to messages, whether it’s negative or positive (Ravi, 2018)
Starbucks post photogenic, vibrant, Instagram-friendly pictures to attract customers and they make drinks specifically designed for Instagram.
Starbucks launched a campaign called ‘Good Feels Good’, which includes 7 video featuring a diverse group of people on YouTube. They are going for hate for none and love for all (Ravi, 2018).
Analysis: Starbucks address a serious public relations issue
The globally famous coffee company, Starbucks, was at the center of a controversy earlier this year. Two African American males were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks. News reports suggest that the two males were waiting for a friend in the Starbucks seating area. Soon after, a Starbucks employee had called the police in order to remove the men from the premises because they had asked to use the restroom and had not purchased anything since their arrival (Stevens, 2018). As the police arrived, the incident began to escalate quickly as many of the bystanders began recording the scene of the arrest and posting the content on social media where it quickly went viral and got viewed more than eight million times on Twitter (Stevens, 2018). Since the incident, Starbucks has been criticized and protested for how they handled the situation. Being the large corporation that it is, the event was a PR nightmare for Starbucks and damaged the brand’s reputation (Stevens, 2018). In the backlash, customers were protesting outside Starbucks establishments and celebrities used their social media popularity to voice their opinions on the incident. In order to retain its reputation, the company utilized its social media platforms to address the incident. They initially posted on Twitter saying: “We apologize to the two individuals and our customers for what took place at our Philadelphia store on Thursday’’ (Starbuck, 2018). The CEO, Kevin Johnson, also took a proactive approach by posting apologetic posts on the company’s Twitter and Instagram accounts and said it was “very hard to watch” and he even called the situation a “reprehensible outcome.” (Stevens, 2018).This step was taken deliberately to ensure the public that Starbucks is taking responsibility for their actions and are remorseful because of the event that took place. Even though, Starbucks apologize on social media platform soon hashtag #Boycott Starbucks was trending on Twitter (Stevens, 2018).They acknowledged that the event had taken place and that they were in the wrong and they were taking corrective measures to rectify the issue. They also encouraged customers to engage in conversation and say their opinions on the issue on all of their social media platforms through open dialogue. Two weeks after the incident, Starbucks had announced the closure of 8,000 stores to provide employees with anti-bias training (Chappell, 2018). The purpose of the training is to address implicit bias and promote conscious inclusion to prevent discrimination, and ensure everyone inside a Starbucks feels safe and welcomed (Chappell, 2018). Through the utilization of the company’s social media platforms, Starbucks displayed their dedication to their consumers and showed that they were quickly acting to rectify the problem. Also, after the training was complete, Starbucks had utilized twitter as a platform to share the reactions of the employees who had participated in the training (Chappell, 2018).
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Although Starbucks acknowledged and handled the incident that took place in one of their stores, they failed to correctly demonstrate the impact of their bias training and how it would change things in their stores. The company could have displayed statistics that showed a decline in complaints related to racial bias because of the training (Chappell, 2018). This would demonstrate that the training actually made a difference. Starbucks operated under the assumption that a few hours of training could resolve the entire issue. The company could have further benefitted from multiple initiatives to make changes related to racial bias.
A company that is as large and successful as Starbucks uses its social media platforms to address their customer base and further build their brand. But, it’s incomplete without using the data that they retrieve from their customers to understand whom their audience is. Starbucks is able to strategically mine big data to improve the consumer experience for their customer base. The data that is collected from social media sites and Starbucks app can be used to learn more about their customers and boost sales. The company can then combine this information with data and social media, and understand what marketing tactics to use in order to engage with the consumer. This can be done through promotion, inventory, and insights to local event. This helps deliver a more personal service to the customer. In addition to engaging customers, Starbucks can also utilize big data to make financial decisions related to stores. They can track which drinks are more popular at which locations.
In conclusion, Starbucks will continue to grow and expand their brand. Starbucks is more than just selling products it’s about connecting and satisfying its customer by not discriminating. By using social media platforms they reaches out to their customers all around the globe to express their gratitude and create positive relationships to their followers. Starbucks used well established strategies to position itself successfully in the market.
- Chappell, B. (2018, May 29). Starbucks Closes More Than 8,000 Stores Today For Racial Bias Training. Retrieved from National Public Radio: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/05/29/615119351/starbucks-closes-more-than-8-000-stores-today-for-racial-bias-training
- Pratap, A. (2018, December 15). Starbucks Number of Employees. Retrieved from Notesmatic: https://notesmatic.com/starbucks-number-of-employees/
- Ravi, K. (2018, March 28). 8 Ways Starbucks Creates an Enviable Social Media Strategy. Retrieved from CAMPAIGN ANALYSIS: https://blog.unmetric.com/starbucks-social-media-strategy
- Starbucks. (2019). Our Starbucks Mission Statement. Retrieved from Starbucks.com: https://www.starbucks.com/about-us/company-information/mission-statement
- Starbucks. (2019, April 25). Starbucks . Retrieved from Starbucks Reports Q2 Fiscal 2019 Results : https://s22.q4cdn.com/869488222/files/doc_financials/quarterly/2019/q2/Q2-FY19-Earnings-Release-FINAL.pdf
- Stevens, M. (2018, April 15). Starbucks C.E.O. Apologizes After Arrests of 2 Black Men. Retrieved from The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/15/us/starbucks-philadelphia-black-men-arrest.html
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