The Starbucks Brand Experience

May 28, 2002

Starbucks Coffee Co. is further advancing the Starbucks coffee clutch culture with its latest product launch, a new board game. “Hear Me Out!” will be available in 800 of Starbucks’ larger stores in the United States and Canada this week. The game will be exclusively available through Starbucks for three years and will retail for $34.95.

Although coffee drink sales drive Starbucks’ revenue, 75 percent of last year’s sales of $2.2 billion, the dollar amount of its non-coffee merchandise, nearly $90 million last year, including everything from coffeemakers to compact discs, is far from negligible. And persuading customers to take home the Starbucks feeling has effects that go beyond the bottom line, reports the Associated Press.

“They want to promote this idea of a coffeehouse where people congregate as a kind of surrogate living room,” says Peter Gurney, managing director of Seattle-based Kinesis, a customer-relations research consulting firm. “And anything that is going to support that kind of club that they develop, that club mentality with their marketing is of great value to them.”

Moderator Comment: What lessons can other retailers learn from the Starbucks branding experience? [George
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