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Starbucks Marketing Plan: A Detailed Report


Task: Provide a detailed report on the Starbucks marketing plan.


The Starbucks Corporation has sustained its marketing policy of focusing on the customer base of dedicated coffee drinkers. The company's management has always made an effort to bring the new section of the coffee drinkers under their business. The report would provide you with detailed insight into the Starbucks marketing plan. A particular company's marketing plan would only turn out to be effective if the appropriate focus is given on the associated theories. By referring to the Starbucks marketing plan, similar companies could make a prominent and successful entry into the unknown and foreign market (Tewell et al., 2006). The report would also provide insight into the financial aspects and the product line introduced in the market.

Starbucks marketing plan

Market analysis
It is the financially elite group of the society that is majorly targeted by the Starbucks corporation's management. The consumers coming under this division only prefer the coffee products with premium quality. The customers belonging to the elite class would prefer the products which are produced by following the natural process so that no detrimental impact is made on nature or the ecosystem (Aminattaheri et al., 2013). Because of its diverse range of coffee products, the company has included age groups like adults, middle-aged, students, etc. It is has been evident that the company targeted a particular division of the population. The company has faced a major setback since loyal customers' craving is not well satisfied with the products. The company's major competitors are Dean Food Company, Nestle, etc. (Moon & Quelch, 2003). Through various departmental stores and grocery stores, the products are distributed by a similar company to its customers. However, Starbucks' management has taken a different approach, where the products are distributed through its franchises and other specified outlets.

Application of SWOT Analysis in Starbucks marketing plan

- All the outlets and stores are installed with the latest technologies that have attracted a large customer community (Dominus 2006).
- The company's humungous brand image empowers to sustain its large customer base, even though a very limited level of innovation is made in it (Wrenn & Mansfield).

- The company has a history of appointing, very talented employees, management teams, and CEOs. The company has been able to make appropriate decisions at a crucial time.

- The rising cost of raw materials has coerced the companies to hike the overall price of coffee products. The indiscriminate increase in the cost of rent and dairy products has impacted the company to its extreme (Chernev, 2020).
- The outlets and franchises are found in clusters, and their high proximity would impact each other's performance (Michelli, 2006).

- The company should target the markets where the population is evenly distributed with wealth.

- The company could target China's local markets, where the new trend of coffee drinking is widely accepted.

- The modification of outlets into modern shops with a warm environment would attract a lot of other customers.

- The business should only be expanded after verifying the political stability of the particular company.

- The international market for coffee products is highly competitive. The emergence of new competitors has challenged the position of Starbucks in the global market.

Starbucks marketing plan

Application of Porter’s Five forces on Starbucks marketing plan
The threat of new entrants

  • The coffee industry is already saturated with a similar monopolistic organization which is posing large competition.
  • The investment required for a new entrant to start a business in the market is very less. The stores and other forms of medium investment could be easily done by the new entrants (Stevens et al., 2006).
  • There is a tiny barrier in starting the coffee business, and hence the new companies would find it relatively easy to infuse into the market. The lack of discouraging factors offers the new entrants a very amiable environment for the business.
  • The presence of already established companies like Starbucks and Dunkin is posing significant and potential competition to the Starbucks Corporation. The same factor makes it very hard for the new entrants to secure their permanent situation in the market. The situation would reveal that the competition is considerably low.

Threat of substitutes

  • The invention of new coffee making machines has opened the option for the customers to prepare their own coffee at home. It seems to be a fairly justifiable substitute compared to Starbucks' costly products (York, 2010).
  • The presence of substitute products for coffee products like energy drinks, fruit juices, tea, and other forms of beverages pose heavy competition in the market. Hence the threat of substitutes is quite large for the coffee company.
  • The customers could easily switch the beverages with cheaper products. Making a substitute for the Starbucks coffee products is quite easy, and hence the threat for substitutes is quite high for the company.

Bargaining power of buyers

  • The company has supplied to different customer bases with a specific type of products which results in a reasonably lower level of sales. The buyers' buying and bargaining power are quite limited in this case (Berry & Wilson, 2001).
  • The customer base of Starbuck is a very elite one, and hence they prefer buying premium quality products. The high pricing of the products would pose less sensitivity to the customers' buying option (Schultz, 2012).
  • The demand for price concession could not be raised to the company since it possesses a large customer base.

Bargaining power of suppliers

  • Starbucks faces very little threat on behalf of the suppliers, and hence they have very limited bargaining power (Kennedy, 2006).
  • The major raw material used by Starbucks products is coffee beans which also include high-quality Arabica coffee. The same reason would impart the company with less cost in switching amongst the substitutes.
  • The company has a very firm position in the market and could take advantage of it while dealing with the suppliers. Conducting fair trade is very easy for the company, and thus the suppliers' bargaining power is considerably low.

Competitive Rivalry

  • The company holds an evident advantage when compared to other medium products. The presence of such companies offers only a medium extent of competition within the market.
  • Starbucks holds the largest share in its operational market hand hence poses a monopolistic competition in the market. However, the company is gradually losing a constant market share to its competitors, making incessant pressure on Starbucks' business.
  • The operational market of Starbucks is a very mature one and displays only a meagre rate of growth. Hence, the effort made by the other competitors could not abruptly acquire the market share of Starbucks (Macdonald, 2007).

Application of PESTEL Analysis in Starbucks marketing plan
The situation of the economic recession is continuously observed in the macroeconomic environment of the Starbucks Corporation. Thus the decreased purchasing power of the targeted customers has created a lasting impact on the business of the company.


  • The company's major operation market is the US, and it exercises a very large magnitude of scrutiny over the business organizations and their processes. The regularity constraints really create a detrimental impact on the ease of doing business.
  • Starbucks' raw materials are being majorly developed in the Western world, and it has to abide by their political principles. The company is strictly expected to meet the economic parameters and social measures that would help carry out fair trade and pursue the grounds laid by the national governments on the multinational companies (Tu & Chang, 2012).
  • The company should consider every particular law from where the raw material is being exported. A new level of political awareness has been developed among the countries, and the breach of such laws would attract serious setbacks.


  • The increased rate of wages for the employees and the cost of microeconomic production have significantly impacted the company's profit level.
  • The profitability and the turnover of the company have recently been impacted negatively because of the persistent global economic recession.
  • The common public is being highly affected by the current economic scenario. They are coerced to opt for low-cost coffee products, which would help reduce the overall expenses (Argenti, 2004).


  • The global communities are expecting much cheaper products from that of Starbucks. The same pressure and expectation have staged quite a big challenge for Starbucks management.
  • The company has the ability to provide customers with products that are much cheaper; they have to compromise the quality of the product. It would backfire on their intention to acquire a larger market share.


  • The company's management could bring modern techniques like effortless payment in the form of a mobile app to enhance the customer experience. The primary stages of it have been reported to be started in the US.
  • The attractive discount coupons are being generated by the company in association with the Apple company.
  • To attract a wide range of customers to its outlets, the company has installed free wifi. It would help in developing a new coffee culture for the younger generation. The whole approach would help in augmenting the brand value of Starbucks (Lemus, 2015).


  • Starbucks' business practices have come under the criticism of many international advocates of environment conservation and customers. The company should focus on this aspect to gain the trust of the customers who are concerned about the environment.


  • The company accepts the raw materials from a wide range of countries and should consider the respective laws very seriously. Any breach in it would heavily cost the company's sustenance (Patterson, 2010).

From the PESTLE analysis conducted in the report, it has been determined that Starbucks is operating in a stable environment. The major reason for the stability of the company is the fact that the company's product comes under the category of Food and Beverage. The company should devise a strategy to somehow reduce the cost of the product without compromising its quality.

Market Demographics
It is majorly the four different sections of the population targeted as viable customers by Starbucks' authority.

Loyal of Starbucks
The majority of the coffee drinkers, i.e. the 75% of them prefer to prepare their coffee at their home itself. The market share of the company could only be estimated to the magnitude of 15 %. Of this, 67% of the customers prefer the creamer type of drinks. The company has the potential to acquire an estimate of 7.3% of the whole coffee industry (Chuang, 2019).

The element helps the company focus on the attributes of attitudes, lifestyles, and values while focusing on the customer base. The belief system and the thought process of the people would vary continuously through various nations.

The population between the age group of 35 and 54
Around 67% of the market is comprised of the age group between 35 and 54 age group. It is majorly the employed population which prefers the coffee products of Starbucks. This particular demography is fond of premium quality products, no matter how high is its price.

The company is focussing on international sales by expanding its geographical market. The approach has helped the company in understanding the potential of various local markets.

Youth between the age of 18 and 24
Coffee consumption is observed to be increasing among the youth population and is developing as a campus culture. The group is considered to be very potential by the company since they could turn out to be the company's loyal and persistent customers.

The Starbucks corporation is still observed to be dominant in its operative market. The Starbucks marketing plan has proven to be effective in the growth of the organization. If the company endorses more effort in the aspects of strategic management, the higher heights could be secured in the aspect of international market growth. Other organizations could utilize the Starbucks marketing plan as a very potential business model to make sustainable growth in the respective market. The company needs to create strategies more responsively.

Aminattaheri, K., Sorooshian, D., & Aghabakhshi, V. (2013, April). Marketing Plan: Starbucks marketing plan. In EROS 2000: International Conference on Business Knowledge for African Development.

Argenti, P. A. (2004). Collaborating with activists: How Starbucks works with NGOs. Starbucks marketing plan. California management review, 47(1), 91-116.

Berry, T., & Wilson, D. (2001). The Target: A Book on Marketing Plans: How to Develop and Implement a Successful Marketing Plan. Starbucks marketing plan. Palo Alto Software, Inc.

Chernev, A. (2020). The marketing plan handbook. Starbucks marketing plan. Cerebellum Press.

Chuang, H. J. (2019). Starbucks in the World. HOLISTIC–Journal of Business and Public Administration, Starbucks marketing plan. 10(3), 99-110.

Dominus, S. (2006). The Starbucks Aesthetic. Starbucks marketing plan. The New York Times, 22(06).

Kennedy, D. S. (2006). The Ultimate Marketing Plan: Find Your Hook. Communicate Your Message—Starbucks marketing plan. Make Your Mark. Simon and Schuster.

Koehn, N. F., Besharov, M., & Miller, K. (2008). Starbucks coffee company in the 21st Century. Starbucks marketing plan. Harvard Business School, Case Study, 9-808.

Lemus, E., von Feigenblatt, O. F., Orta, M., & Rivero, O. (2015). Starbucks Corporation: Leading Innovation in the twentyfirst Century. Starbucks marketing plan. Journal of Real Perspectives in the Social Sciences, 7(1), 23-38.

Macdonald, M. (2007). Finding justice within coffee supply chains and Fair Trade, Starbucks and the transformation of supply chain governance. Starbucks marketing plan. Third World Quarterly, 28(4), 793-812.

Michelli, J. A. (2006). Starbucks experience. Starbucks marketing plan. Tata McGraw-Hill Education.

Moon, Y., & Quelch, J. A. (2003). Starbucks: delivering customer service. Starbucks marketing plan. Harvard Business School.

Patterson, P. G., Scott, J., & Uncles, M. D. (2010). How the local competition defeated an international brand: The case of Starbucks. Starbucks marketing plan. Australasian Marketing Journal (AMJ), 18(1), 41-47.

Schultz, H. (2012). Pour your heart out: How Starbucks Built a company one cup at a time. Starbucks marketing plan. Hachette UK.

Stevens, R. E., Loudon, D. L., & Wrenn, B. (2006). Marketing planning guide. Psychology Press.

Tewell, K., Odom, B., & Snider, K. (2006). Starbucks Marketing Plan.t

Tu, Y., T., & Chang, H. C. (2012). Corporate brand image and customer satisfaction on loyalty: An empirical study of Starbucks coffee in Taiwan. Starbucks marketing plan. Journal of Social and Development Sciences, 3(1), 24-32.

Wrenn, B., & Mansfield, P. M. (2014). Marketing planning guide. Starbucks marketing plan. Routledge.

York, E. B. (2010). Starbucks gets its business brewing again with social media. Starbucks marketing plan. Advertising Age, 81(8), 34.


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