Suzanne's Second Estate

A web log of my thoughts, activities, life....

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ripped Off and Loving It

USA Today published a cover story this weekend on the "Starbuckszation" of America. Starbucks has conquered the coffee industry (24 percent of its customers visit 16 times per month - and sadly, I think I bring that average up), and it now plans to move on the music and entertainment industries. I have no doubt it will succeed. Starbucks has done a tremendous job in branding itself.

The article mentioned several ways Starbucks has changed culture:

  • It has changed what we'll pay for coffee. "We live in a society where people think $5 is $1 because of Starbucks," says Marian Salzman, trends guru at JWT Worldwide.
  • It has changed how we order. Starbucks made custom ordering chic, says Brad Blum, former CEO of Burger King, now a restaurant industry consultant. "People take a sense of ownership when their order is personalized." (Suz says: This reminds me of that funny scene in "You've Got Mail.")
  • It has changed how people meet. "There's a sense of security when you go there, " psychologist Joyce Brothers says. It has given people a "safe" place to socialize, she says. (Suz says: coffee shops are also low commitment for first dates - you can later pass it off as a "friend thing" if you need to.)
  • It has changed cities. Starbucks is influencing urban streetscapes. In brochures for high-end apartments near New York City, it's not uncommon to see "near Starbucks" as a selling point. A Starbucks in the neighborhood is "definitely an indication that an area has arrived," says Doug Yearley, a regional president with builder Toll Brothers. (Suz says: Go Aberdeen!)

I've known it for a long time. Starbucks is taking over the world. But it's a great example of a company (like Mary Kate and Ashley) that has taken every opportunity to brand itself and be cutting edge. And, of course, the fact that their product has addictive properties doesn't hurt.

(Excerpts of this article, "Starbucks Nation," were taken from actual paper; I could not find the article online.)


At 5:19 AM, Blogger Ashleigh said...

I love Starbucks! Although, I'm normally drinking the mocha frappuchinos that I buy at the store and keep in the fridge in bulk! Gotta have my Starbucks!

At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Dr. Ransom said...

If Starbucks and Google were to forge an alliance, I fear the West's only remaining option will be the use of tactical nuclear weapons.

At 11:05 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

You've got that right.


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