Sunday, December 30, 2012

Starbucks is First Place not “third place”.

Legacy food retailers the ilk of Wendy’s, Chevy’s, KFC, Albertsons, Safeway and Rite Aid sputter to be a consumer relevant place; Starbucks has moved beyond the “third place” for consumers too everyplace for consumers.

When food retailers think success, they must think Starbucks.  In the beginning Howard Schultz wanted consumers to think of Starbucks as the “third place” home, work and Starbucks.  Howard simply did not stop there, today Starbucks is everywhere. 

Utilizing a local relationship with Seattle based Coinstar, Starbucks (Seattle Best Coffee division) will begin placing kiosks around the United States this summer positioning itself to sell coffee.  I say, LOT’s of coffee.

With 20% of sales now coming from food the addition of La Boulange will prove valuable in existing coffee houses but even more valuable as a new line of Consumer Packaged Goods. Starbucks will elevate this brand, educate the consumer and exploit a qualitative point of differentiation.

Just in case you missed it, Socialbakers a social media and digital analytics firm found that Starbucks is among the top five companies globally in terms of Facebook fans.

Watch for more in the area of sustainability, additional fare trade coffee, less packaging with prolonged shelf life and new marketing that will ask consumers to bring in a reusable cup.  These are not trends for Starbucks they are values.

Let us not forget the home.  Starbucks has shipped more than 230 million k-Cups since it began selling the pods last year at supermarkets and retailers. Then for home and on the go there are two new Frappuccino’s this spring. 

Many legacy food retailers continue to practice brand protectionism, stifle the brand while diminishing consumer relevance.  McDonalds and Starbucks are two companies that understand the consumer is dynamic not static.  Brands must be dynamic, evolving with the consumer.  Starbucks is growing its brand value with the consumer are you?  Do you understand vertical brand integration as well as Starbucks?

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, brand, product placement or positioning assistance.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Johnson, or 1-253-759-7869

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