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Starbucks International Marketing Strategy in UK and China


This research paper aims to provide a basis for the effect of Starbuck Corporation’s international marketing policy in its global expansion into China and the UK by looking at market share, competitiveness and productivity-based management strategies. As a result, this paper will discuss the way Starbuck Corporation in China and UK was created and how it changed over time especially with increased competition in a marketing environment based with cultural differences. More significantly, this study wants to emphasize the strategic thinking about all the factors involved in applying and analyzing the increasingly enthusiastically satisfied customers served by Starbuck’s management unlike its competitors in the international market. More considerably, the main debate on this subject is on the impact faced by Starbucks Corporation in its expansion globally into china and UK based by regulations, international marketing strategy to increase profitability and increased competition.

History of Starbucks

As a remarkable company, Starbucks Coffee Company has grown into a global brand since its founding in 1970 in Seattle, the United States, concentrating on increasing customer satisfaction by treating each customer with respect and dignity. Starbucks Coffee Outlet, which focused on building its market share, competitiveness and efficiency, started in the 1970s as a single shop offering high-quality coffee and brewing goods. However, Starbucks Coffee Outlet has grown to be the largest international roaster with more than 19,000 outlets, as it offers a high standard of excellence in all areas of buying, fresh coffee distribution and roasting, as it provides improved customer satisfaction. Over the years, Starbucks has enriched its service in offering roasted coffee sold out to customers its enriched Italian style espresso coffee beverages in all Starbuck stores and branches along with pastries and other coffee-related products.

Starbucks International Marketing Strategy in UK and China

More remarkably, the chain of outlets seek to give its consumers increased service reliability, high product quality, and management of operations as it seeks to increase its business growth and sustainability. As a result, Starbucks promotes cultural diversity in different regions through its workers who aim to connect with different cultures and thus grow consumers with that enthusiasm. Unlike its competitors, Starbuck’s management always seeks to provide high quality products in all their international market with increased provision of their products based on affordable cost, timely delivery and flexibility. Uniquely, Starbucks as a business entity seeks to attract more customers as it provides the community an opportunity to share in the coffee drinking experience and variety of choices in services at its stores.

Starbucks Experience and Global Expansion

As a business entity that seeks to continuously attract more customers and grow its market size and profitability, Starbuck Corporation choice of innovation of some of their coffee products in the market to suit its customers needs as compared to their competitors remain essential. Considerably, the increased selection based on the right approaches in making decisions based on choice of suitable markets have made Starbuck Corporation one of the most recognised  and respected brand in the world. This is because, the choice of the coffee outlet by the customers is based on the variety of coffee offered, the experience gained in the stores and the employees who give the customers exceptional services.

As a result, Starbucks strategy seeks to reduce cost and increase customer accessibility as the management selection of their location of coffee shop ensure they remain accessible to its customers. Considerably, the choice of market by Starbucks is based on the suitability of the location, which depends on the favourable nature of the business and strategic location for customers to access products and services. More so, the organization’s strategies have seen Starbucks Corporation expand to the Far East and United Kingdom being the key business driver as it established a foothold in China. More especially, Starbucks management focuses on its increased convenience to attract market share, based on the increased levels of capacity and flexibility, operating costs, revenues, operations, competitive advantage, and importance to supply chains.

Starbucks in China and the UK

Indeed, Starbucks remains exemplary in its wide expansion as the exportation brand of international coffee worldwide. More so, Starbucks management both in the UK and China mark seek to reduce cost and increase customer accessibility by exploring suitable market mix strategies applicable in different locations. Certainly, Starbucks choice of location remains an essential factor just as other entities in the food and beverage industry as exhibited in the Chinese and UK market thus influencing consumer choice of specific coffee shop. As a result, majority of Starbucks coffeehouse are strategically located within the reach of its customers especially in distinct locations within, Taiwan, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Macau in China within shopping malls and areas near the commercial centres.  Notably, Starbucks expansion into UK has been successful as a leading retailer, roaster it remains focused on providing costa coffee in the world the choice of location at Lambeth, London in 1971 lead to the rapid expansion into Vauxhall Bridge Road in London in 1978 with the opening of first Starbucks Costa espresso bar. Indeed, increased rapid expansion of Starbucks in the UK and China allows the business enterprise to become the number one choice of the coffee shop as compared to its competitors because customers choose to go to the coffee bars to relax from busy lifestyles.

As a company that seeks to remain competitive in the beverage industry and ensure marketability, Starbucks shifted focus to Chinese buyers, who had been interested in good quality coffee as a norm led to shop extensions all over China. Considerably, as the fastest growing brand in the food and beverage industry Starbucks Coffee, management establishment in China seek to maintain its unique and modest brand in the market. With increased profitability in Chinese market the focus shifted from expansion in the US to China  leading to continued store openings and establishing new coffee bars in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen as the largest market outside of the US (Starbucks Corporation 2014). As a result, Starbucks focus has been moving from being a profit-making business as it engages in corporate social responsibility within China in corporation projects in the country and district parts.

As a result, Starbucks has increase market opportunities as it invested five million US dollars in the year 2005 spent on China Education Project through corporate social responsibility in China western and central areas in September 2005. More so, Starbucks market strategies seek to attract an increased number of customers considering that it targets those from both the wealthy elite high class customers and middle class consumers. More so, Starbucks Association meet community needs through promotion across China through coffee ground environment program, construction of school buildings and participating in beach cleaning. The figure below shows the number of Starbucks stores in China from 2005 to 2013.

Figure 1.4: Number of Starbucks stores in China from 2005 to 2013 (The Statistics Portal 2013)

Notably, in 1998 market entry of Starbucks showed increased accomplishments in the European market which lead to take over of 65 Seattle Coffee Company shops in the UK. More significantly, both companies focused on cultural promotion of selling coffee based on its unique brand and gaining competitive advantage over its competitors (Starbucks Corporation 2014). Indeed, Starbucks expansion in the UK ensured that the global brand remain competitive in the beverage industry as, Starbuck’s management always continuously seek to provide high quality products with increased provision of affordable cost, timely delivery and flexibility amongst its competitors.

Starbuck’s main market is the UK is influenced by the company offers employees who are considered partners in the well structured company stock plan even as Starbucks coffee shops management offer increased as job opportunities in the UK. Remarkably Starbucks plans to expand its coffee shops through its ambitious expansion to sustain marketability and market share by creating more jobs and increasing revenue. Notably, there has been increase in number of Starbucks stores in the UK from 2005 to 2013 as shown in the figure below.

Figure 1.5: Number of Starbucks stores in the United Kingdom from 2005 to 2013 (The Statistics Portal 2013)

Research Aims and Objectives

This research study focuses on Starbucks’ ambitious goals focused on international market expansion research on the international marketing entry strategies used by Starbucks both in its successful China and UK market to remain essential.

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