Although after researching for PR, marketing or corporate communication jobs at Starbucks I have not found any openings, I have stumbled upon their benefits. Starbucks is definitely a company I would love to work at. Not only because of their benefits, but the location is great. Seattle is a great city that Starbucks is very proud to be based in. There benefits include: insurance: medical, prescription drug, dental, vision, life, disability; adoption assistance, emergency financial aid, referral and support resources for child and eldercare and the best one… A POUND OF COFFEE EACH WEEK! HELLO!
If Starbucks knows anything (besides making the perfect latte) it is engaging their consumers via social media. They have mastered how to create an interactive community on Facebook. They are open to comments fans make and do not ignore what is written to them. They allow consumers to engage with each other online through interactive posts like:
But they also allow people to engage in political topics. Starbucks is also known for their political involvement and when they have stated their support for controversies like same sex marriage the fan response is anything but non-existant:
“On January 25, Starbucks posted on its Facebook Page, “We are proud to support Marriage Equality legislation in the Washington State Legislature,” with a link to an article in the Seattle Times. It was followed the same day with: “MARRIAGE=ONE MAN + ONE WOMAN FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God made Adam and EVE not Adam and STEVE!” from a user named Rebecca Curry DeMent of Goshen, Indiana. February 6 and 7 highlight posts from two pro-gay marriage groups urging, in one case for people to declare: “I’m going to Starbucks BECAUSE they support the right thing,” and in the other, to sign a “thank you letter” to Starbucks.”
Twitter is another great way Starbucks benefits from social media. With product announcements, Instagram pictures and other updates, Starbucks has learned how to engage their followers on a more personal level.
Customers also engage with Starbucks with tweet mentions to their beloved coffee makers!
Starbucks published a press release announcing the winner of Seattle’s Best “Red Cup Show Down” (Seattle’s Best is owned by Starbucks, btw). Their newsroom provides the original press release and after looking online for the article, the story appeared the exact same on Yahoo’s site as the release was written on the Starbucks site.
Although Starbucks is one of the top food companies in the world, this doesn’t mean they do not face challenges. Starbucks is one outstanding company and has a great reputation because of the way they deal with complaints and challenges.
One challenge they have less grasp around is their competitors. Starbucks has been faced with new competitors with the open of McCafe in the last few years. Dunkin’ Donuts, Nestle and Tim Horton’s are their top competitors.
“It is predicted that specialty coffee will follow the pattern of other fast-foodsegments, in which a few dominant chains gobble up weaker business, but a full-scaleshakeout is still far off (Scarpa).”
Starbucks is also facing challenges with oversees stores. Their market, although strong, is affected by difference and currency and cultural standards. They lose a lot of their profit in the exchange of currency. Dealing with culture, Ireland is great example of the effect of the sales because of the culture,
“Some of the stores may be overpowering to the cultures they merge into. Forexample, in their Dublin store in Ireland, local coffee shops open mid to late morning,while Starbucks opens much earlier. Some people feel that this takes away from thelaid back atmosphere of the Irish culture (Hammonds).”
The market affects the sales of coffee because of higher gas prices, minimum credit card payments and a slow housing market are things that can and are affecting Starbucks. But I truly believe, even in times of financial struggle, people still want coffee and are willing to pay money for quality over quantity!
Coffee is something we can’t deny the addiction to, but who is Starbucks really targeting? Some think that teens and young adults are addicted to Starbucks too early in life, but only 3% of their sales are from teens ages 13-17. Their target audience is adults ages 25-40 making up 49% of the company sales. Adults ages 18-24 follow closely with 40% of the sales (Small Business).
“Urban areas have themost coffee drinkers because it is where most of the educated professionals are located as well as the large universities. More and more individuals are becoming educated whichshows that there will be a growth in the market of coffee drinkers.” Starbucks Campaign Market Analysis
Starbucks attracts this demographic because of the support and creativity they have in the realm of music and art. Starbucks not only satisfies their coffee needs, but it stimulates their creativity.
Starbucks has a great way of dealing with PR crisis and has a great online presence. Their success leads me to think they use Grunig & Hunt’s two-way symmetrical model for their company’s PR. Starbucks is great at listening to their consumers when things go wrong. For example, a close friend of mine had a poor experience at a Starbucks and put out a few tweets and a submitted formal complaint to the company and shortly after she was apologized to and got a few free Starbucks drinks out of it.
They could have easily put their defenses up and responded poorly. This model shows they not only talk, they listen.