October 16, 2009
Freshman year, I recall professors using Starbucks as THE business to talk about when discussing branding. The Starbucks Experience was what attracted people to the cozy little store for their $4, $5 cup of coffee. It is obviously the customer service that differentiated Starbucks coffee. Holding the green and white cup was almost a sign of status.
Former USA Today writer Kevin Maney argues that, "In the late 1990s, Starbucks epitomized cool, and people were willing to endure long lines for its pricey coffee concoctions. But when it expanded aggressively, the Starbucks experience began to look rather mundane," Von Ahn writes.
Is that why Starbucks' traffic into U.S. stores started declining in 2007, when the economy was still expanding? Or did lattes just take a hit before everything else?
Whatever the reason, as I am observing Starbucks attempting to make a comeback with new product lines in the instant coffee industry and more attractive customer retention tactics.