Starbucks Marketing Sucks

Starbucks finally figured out that there are lots of people who don’t like their “dark roasted” coffee, but instead, prefer a milder blend.  So now Starbucks has finally introduced “Blonde” roast to satisfy those who prefer a non Starbucks taste. (Bold, bitter and burnt!!)
I’m no super genius, but I have hated Starbucks coffee for years because it was TOO strong and TOO bitter. And I know I wasn’t the only one out there.  Lots of people told me the same thing 
But if you wanted more quantitative data, all you had to do was go to several airports around he country and see the number of people in line for a Starbucks coffee vs. those people in line for a Dunkin Donuts’ coffee.  DD had almost  twice as many people in line as Starbucks.   
So why did it take them so long to figure this out? Several answers are possible.

1.   They simply didn’t have their ear to the ground and didn’t speak to non Starbucks customers.  “Who Knew?”
2.  They knew but didn’t think the market was big enough for this new product to scale.  “We didn’t think we could make money at this!”
3.  We didn’t want to corrupt our brand which stood for dark, bold, strong coffee.  “We were protecting our brand, maybe?”
4.  Our sales have fallen because of Dunkin Donuts and MacDonald’s selling breakfast coffee and our share was eroded so we had to do something. It seems like Blonde Roast is a good idea to try and get more market share.”   “We were losing money, what could we do?”
You know why they didn’t introduce this product earlier?

The answer, I believe, is “pure arrogance.” 

“Starbucks products are the best,” management probably thought, “why do we have to change?  Let the customer learn to like our existing products.”
Take note that you are not treating your customer the same way nor ignoring his wishes for new products.  They have been telling us about “wanting 6 to 8 week leagues”, and we have been telling you for a couple of years now!!
Are you listening to your customer?


About Fred Kaplowitz
Marketing is in my DNA. I love to solve problems and meet challenges head on and I have successfully produced results for hundreds of clients. I love what I do and love helping to make my clients more successful and happier. I am a husband and father, consultant, a coach, a teacher, a motivator, a copy- writer, and a speaker. I look forward to working with anyone searching for a proven methodology out of mediocrity. May I assist you in taking your business to the next level. Please call me now @ 516 359 4874 to review your business goals and strategies.

1 Comment on Starbucks Marketing Sucks

  1. I don't quite agree. They have been telling us they do not like 35 week leagues. That is true. But they have not told us they want 6-8 week leagues. I started an 8 week league and when it came to an end I actually got complaints because it was too short. Most people in today's world who join things simply want what is customary. Every sport except baseball and bowling are approximently 3-4 months long. All of their children's sports are similarly divided up into 3-4 month sessions.
    After much experience we have trimestered our bowling clubs. We never tell them how long when introducting the concept. We never call it a league. We call it a club and we start them in the Fall and end before Christmas. In the Winter and finsh late spring (April) and in May and tell them at the end of summer (August). We get 16-17 weeks and the complaining has stopped.
    My 8 week league started in September and ended before Thanksgiving. You couldn't start another one before the holidays and when we tried in January none of the first group came back. 6-8 weeks does not get them engaged and allows too much time before the next one starts.
    Just sayin'… Woodie

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