Vangelynn JOMEC Blog

Catching the Starbucks fever

Two months ago, my Starbucks manager conducted a meeting, because of the poor performance appraisal we received. Our scores had dropped from 100 to 76 percent, which he considered a huge decline in terms of customers’ satisfaction. One complaint by a customer accused our staff of not asking any particulars question which would allow her to customise her order. For instance, do you want skimmed or whole milk?

A decade ago, the Starbucks founder, Howard Schultz used the motto “Make it your drink”, so those customers would be able to personalise any beverage according to their taste. Moreover, Schultz sought to diversify its market by introducing a variety of products, from household appliance to seasonal gifts.

I agree new ideas should always be encouraged for successful business, in order to maintain substantial growth and expand both horizontally and vertically.

Yet, today, Starbucks is criticised for selling a wide range of products and offering 10,000 different drink combinations. A business expert from TIME exclaimed: “Now it’s [Starbucks] an overcrowded, under-designed mess.” It has been suggested that the firm is losing its charm in its ongoing expansion.

However, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the revenue is the case. Starbucks has attracted more customers in recent times as a result of its expansion policy and innovations. Its 12,440 stores worldwide authenticate this claim.

I think creating a unique experience is one thing; creating continuing growth is something else. If you want to grow, you cannot rest on your laurels. You need to be trying out innovative ideas. Starbucks has done that. Indeed, if you want to strengthen your competitive edge, you need to concentrate on the quality of your key product but also keep trying to develop the peripherals.


1.TIME – February 26 2007

2.TIME – December 10 2006


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