Starbucks introduced a winning chain of coffee shops in a country of tea drinkers. Author Helen Wang analyses what the US company did right and found five key reasons, she explains in Forbes. First, they started to look smart.
Once Starbucks decided to enter China, it implemented a smart market entry strategy. It did not use any advertising and promotions that could be perceived by the Chinese as a threat to their tea-drinking culture. Instead, it focused on selecting high-visibility and high-traffic locations to project its brand image.
The next thing Starbucks did was to capitalize on the tea-drinking culture of Chinese consumers by introducing beverages using popular local ingredients such as green tea. This strategy has effectively turned potential obstacles into Starbucks’ favor. Chinese consumers quickly developed a taste for Starbucks’ coffee, which was essential to Starbucks’ success in China.
One of Starbucks’ key marketing strategies is to provide customers with an exceptional experience. The chic interior, comfortable lounge chairs, and upbeat music are not only differentiators that set Starbucks apart from the competition, but also have strong appeal to younger generations who fantasize about Western coffee culture as a symbol of modern lifestyle. Many go to Starbucks not just for a cup of Frappuccino, but also for the “Starbucks Experience” that makes them feel cool and trendy.
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