Current Marketing Strategy Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Current Marketing Strategy

The marketing strategy followed by Starbucks before 2009 will be critically analyzed through marketing mix:


The product offered by Starbucks has always been its unique identity. The company offers a variety of coffee flavors to its customers, which are selected from the best coffee beans around the world. Once the company made a reputation for the number one coffee house, it eventually turned itself into related diversification where the coffee house offered sandwiches, croissants, etc.


The prices of Starbucks products have always been higher than the competitors. The reason is simple, Starbucks is perceived to be the best coffee house in the world for which it charges premium prices. They have recently lowered the prices because of the recession in the global market; however the prices are still higher.


Starbucks initially started its operations in the United States, however, with the passage of time they have entered global markets. Now Starbucks is 6,737 stores in 63 countries around the world.


Starbucks has looked to promote itself through various modes. Such as television, BTL and ATL activities. Starbucks has also promoted itself by promoting different documentaries also.

Current Strategy

Target Market

      Age group 25-40    professionals

In 2009

      Age group of 20-60 students and professionals.


      High end market or premium brand

In 2009

      High end market plus value pricing and economical pricing

Marketing Mix current

      Coffee, sandwiches, croissants

      Premium pricing

      Global market

      In store relationship

In 2009

      Coffee, sandwiches, express coffee

      Premium pricing and value pricing

      Global market

      Print Ads and social media campaigns

Future Strategy for Starbucks

Since Howard Schultz has rejoined Starbucks as the CEO, things are looking to improve. Although the share price of the product has been on an all time low, but still his personality and love for coffee brings the driving force and a positive attitude in company. The investors have taken this move by the board of Starbucks to bring back Schultz as a positive thing for the company, and they believe he will be able increase the share price of the company. Along with this, with the reinduction of Schultz it is also expected that the market share will also rise eventually. To actually make this happen, a market strategy needs to be planned where Starbucks can follow it to revive its market share globally.

Product Differentiation:

Starbucks in the future should look to shift their focus on product differentiation strategy. Currently, Starbucks has followed the strategy of focused differentiation where the company has looked to target specific market with its products. However, since the global market has been struck with recession, people spending patterns have changed and they are looking for products that are cheaper with added features and benefits. Starbucks has always placed itself for the high end market. The prices of the products have been high. But since the patterns and consumer behavior has changed, Starbuck should look to focus on the larger segment of market who are looking for low priced products.

Therefore, Starbucks should introduce new product line for coffees and sandwiches which can be offered at a lower price. This will eventually increase the market share and more people will come over to the outlet to have a cup of coffee. Along with this product differentiation strategy will also help Starbucks introduced new product line with innovative taste and quality. Since the beans used by Starbucks premium quality, the company should explore this opportunity and introduce new products in the portfolio.

Starbucks Drive-Through

To increase and to make Starbucks coffee easily available for the customers, the company should look to introduce drive-through points at Starbucks outlets. The reason it can be a move which will eventually increase sales because, the busiest hours at Starbucks are generally mid morning where people rush in before office to have a cup of coffee or breakfast, where sometimes people have to wait for long duration to get their orders.

To reduce the wait time and to serve more customers during the rush hours, the company should introduce drive-through points at selected outlets. This will make the sales increase because people will directly purchase and coffee and drive through to work. To actually make this campaign a successful one, Starbucks should introduce a new product with the name Starbucks Express, this will be the main product at drive-through. A new product will be launched and eventually people will find drive through spots at Starbucks stores across the globe. This can be a strong move to increase the market share and presence of Starbucks in the market.......................

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