203. Starstruck about Starbucks
The last few days witnessed an increased amount of online buzz among people with a Starbucks connection. Most of the tweets and Facebook posts I have come across is from people who have either experienced the Starbucks brand directly during one of their overseas trips or have just admired the brand for what it offers. And this despite the price of a coffee being relatively expensive to buying a coffee from a dispensing machine.
What is it that makes some brands iconic, talked about and outstanding? It is a difficult question to answer but most brands that have carved a niche for themselves are those that made a promise and stuck to it. When two school teachers and a writer got together in 1971 to start the Starbucks outlet they wouldn’t have imagined that in 2012 the brand would be present in the world’s 2 most populous countries and selling at a price point that will make it a luxury for many.
Starbucks is not just a coffee but an experience, a place where people can connect to the world, connect with each other and connect with themselves. It is a lifestyle brand and a brand that people in developing markets aspire to engage with. It is not simply that people are in awe of this coffee chain which means many things for many people.
I’m not a coffee drinker but I don’t miss the opportunity to visit a Starbucks outlet to meet friends, to unwind and to just buy my favourite Naked orange juice from. After all it was in a Starbucks at State Street in Chicago that Chuck Kaiser interviewed me for over an hour that was one of the factors that landed me my job in the USA. Here’s to a thousand Starbucks in India and I’m glad I spent a few moments last Saturday at the world’s first Starbucks in Seattle.