Starbucks a bid to maximize on profits and reach a wider clientele, Starbucks decided to do a brand extension by opening up new branches in India. It inaugurated its first store on the 19th of October 2012 in a historic building in southern Mumbai, the Elphinstone Building which is in the Horniman Circle neighborhood of south Mumbai which is also strategically near the vast Hermes shop and a stately local park. India had been at the time, for a long time a renowned tea drinking society and thus opening a coffee joint was quite a new thing (Gopalakrishna, 93).
The article, by Reuters press regarding Starbuck’s infiltration in the coffee industry in India, brings out a few key issues. In this paper, I will address some of the key issues. Some of the issues include but are not limited to; Market research, Marketing strategy, competition, Partnerships and brand extension among others.
According to the article, Starbucks took six years to study the local market before setting up their first shop. Market research for any business is essential. It provides the investor with a preview of what to expect in terms of income, competition as well as ethical issues and hence helps in drafting the budget and action plan. India being the 3rd largest economy in Asia forms an ideal destination for investors. Again, India culturally being a tea drinking society, introducing something new would elicit excitement from people. The market research offers a preview on the best locations to set up shop.
However reputable is the Starbuck’s international brand, there is imminent competition from other coffee traders. The competitors comprise of both and international brands such as; Café Coffee day, Gloria Jean’s and Costa coffee among others. The main factor that plays to Starbuck’s disadvantage, is the fact that their prices are little higher than the rest (Srivastava, 2012). This however, has also worked to their advantage as it places Starbucks at the Premium end.
The article provides a brief discussion on the particular marketing strategies that Starbucks adapted to capture a wider market. To begin with, they chose strategic locations for their premises. The shop’s set up is also an intriguing one, with a shrine like look which not only captures the locals but also provides a comforting ambience. The menu also reflects both local and western tastes; which then offers a variety to choose from. The cap it all, the shop has Wi-Fi which is by far a great attraction to customers.
Recommendations and Conclusion
Starbucks to a great extent enjoys the international brand fame. It however, should find a way to bridge the gap between the well off and the less fortunate economic wise. It should also embark on customer appreciation programs and community social responsibility which not only helps in marketing but also works towards making the world a better place (Armstrong, 2015).