Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Chapter 10: Product Concepts

A product is everything, whether it is favored or not by the consumer, that a person recieves in an exchange.  Even though Starbucks coffee is not quite as inexpensive as let's say the corner cart, since Starbucks merits little shopping effort and it has wide distribution areas in order to sell large quantities of it to achieve profit goals, I would say it fits the mold of a convenience product.  Also, Starbucks coffee, among other products sold at Starbucks, are specialty products because many loyal Starbucks customers are very reluctant to accept alternatives.

Starbucks has a vast product mix (all the products a company sells) such as coffee, tea, breakfast and lunch products, as well as espresso and coffee machines.  As time progresses, more innovative ideas come about.  Some of the product mix is shown in the image below:
Source - Janice Ho's Blog: http://sites.cdnis.edu.hk/students/001771/2012/02/21/classifying-starbucks-products/

As a brand, Starbucks has built their company to differentiate from the competitors.  According to the Starbucks website, I've provided a bit of history on their brand mark (logo), which is the elements of the brand that cannot be spoken.  "Back to 1971, when Starbucks was first coming to be, in a search for a way to capture the seafaring history of coffee and Seattle’s strong seaport roots, there was a lot of poring over old marine books going on.  Suddenly, there she was: a 16th century Norse woodcut of a twin-tailed mermaid, or Siren.  There was something about her – a seductive mystery mixed with a nautical theme that was exactly what the founders were looking for.  A logo was designed around her and their long relationship with the Siren began." Their logo, which has been renovated to commemorate their 40th anniversary (video to the left; picture at beginning of post shows evolution of the logo), maintains their heritage and now Starbucks has dropped the "Starbucks Coffee" from the logo and has let the woman come out of the circle.
History and Information on the Starbucks brand mark

Also, Starbucks has made it a point to take its successful offline branding strategies and begin them online.  Their online image and messages have stayed consistent with their brand values, which are honesty, sincerity, and connecting with its consumers on a level unlike any other brand. The offline, more personal Starbucks culture has taken to the airwaves of the internet and social media.

Lastly, Starbucks is a global brand since it does obtain at least a third of its earnings from outside the U.S. and it is recognizable outside of the U.S. to other consumers.  It was number 88 in the top 100 best global brands of 2012, according to Interbrand.