Starbucks Corporation

Abstract

The current paper analyzes the performance of Starbucks, which managed to become an outstanding leader in the world of business. The company needs a thorough examination in order to see the approaches used on the way to their success. The paper starts by analyzing the company’s mission, vision, and goals. These elements formulate the core of the company’s strategic plans.

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Further, the paper goes on to discuss five forces of competition and the results of SWOT analysis, which reflect the company’s position in the environment full of competitors. In addition, the paper offers a reader several recommendations aiming to improve the company’s advantages, reduce disadvantages, and increase competitive position. By the end of the paper, the reader receives a picture representing an improved communications plan, corporate governance mechanisms, leadership strategy, and corporate social responsibility strategy of Starbucks.

Keywords: performance, strategy, success, achievement.

Introduction

The contemporary world of business represents the diversity of the companies, which have their specific environments for success achievement. It is obvious that every company has its history and experience in the development of their business strategies. The current discussion is a reflection of the performance of one of the most outstanding companies – Starbucks. The company is a unique example of combining its advantages and disadvantages in the myriad of opportunities, which the company managed to use for its benefit.

The following passages provide the description of Starbucks, its mission, vision, five forces of competition, SWOT analysis, strategies of increasing strengths and minimizing weaknesses, strategies of maximizing competitiveness, communication plan, and leadership. All these elements represent a comprehensive analysis of the company, which became famous for its outstanding ability to develop at the same pace as digital evolution.

Mission, Vision, and Stakeholders

Quality is the main objective of the performance of Starbucks, and it regulates every process. The company aims to meet the requirements of the most demanding customers by providing them with the appropriate service and high-quality products. According to Starbucks’ official website, the company’s mission is the following: “to nurture and inspire the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time”. Starbucks has always been setting a wide range of goals from the perspective of long-term success in order to be capable of providing customers all over the world with fresh coffee and high-quality beverages.

The company’s vision is to grow, to provide the world with the highest quality coffee, and to follow the company’s principles of the performance. The company’s willingness to grow transformed into the engine of rapid development, which provides the company with an opportunity to change the customer’s perception of coffee. Starbucks aspires to quality as the main secret of long-term success and reliable business relations with partners and suppliers. Partners, suppliers, and customers are the main stakeholders interested in the company’s success. They formulate the core elements of the company’s performance, which regulate the further implementation of the strategic plans.

Five Forces of the Competition

Starbucks is the company that managed to increase the customer base with outstanding bargaining power. Customers are open to new offers from the company, which explains the success of seasonal promotions. The company’s competitiveness forms due to the customer’s role in shaping the company’s financial sustainability and success. Starbucks values each customer as a stakeholder interested in the company’s productivity leading to the enhancement of quality. Loyal customers reflect the results of the company’s efforts to improve its products and services.

However, there is a threat of substitutes, which can replace the company’s products if it does not take care of its further business evolution. A myriad of substitutes includes coffee drinks, tea, juices, soft drinks, water, energy drinks, bagels, donuts, cookies, cakes, and other bakery products. It is possible to find them in various cafes, coffee stores, restaurants, bakeries, bars, and pubs, which represent the main competitors of Starbucks. Suppliers of Starbucks also have an outstanding bargaining power, which has the same influence on the company’s performance along with the customers.

It is easy to understand this phenomenon by paying attention to the fact that coffee beans are one of the highest demands in the world. The suppliers know that coffee beans are unique, which means that companies cannot replace this raw material. It provides suppliers with an ability to regulate the level of prices in accordance with their needs. These factors contribute to the development of Starbucks and outline its position in the market. In general, it is possible to outline the company’s ability to generate an appropriate influence on the myriad of external factors.

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SWOT Analysis

The main strength of the company is its stable leading position on the market of the coffeehouses, which means that company has a unique ability to regulate its growth and development in accordance with its resources. It allows Starbucks to take the right direction in order to reach the goals of the strategic plans. Another company’s strength is operating efficiency, which helps to ensure that every plan finds enough investment in order to continue the company’s development.

However, the main weakness of the company is that it cannot regulate the pricing strategy in accordance with the needs of customers. In fact, suppliers have a significant influence on the regulation of the company’s pricing strategy, which depends on the supplier’s prices on coffee beans. Furthermore, the company is not as popular in Europe as it is in the USA. It is a problem, which does not allow Starbucks to open its stores at the same pace.

The main opportunity of Starbucks lies in the expansion of emerging economies. Technological advances can also help Starbucks to improve its performance. However, the main threat of the company hides in the competition. The market has an extremely large number of fast-food restaurants, bars, pubs, and cafes, which can provide customers with the same products. In addition, it is only a matter of time before customers start paying attention to another brand, which means that the second threat hides in advertising.

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Strategy to Increase Opportunities and to Minimize Weaknesses

According to the analysis of the company’s performance and its strong and weak aspects, it is possible to state that the most significant elements include product line, international markets, raw materials, coffeehouse chain expansion, and distribution of products and services. These elements represent the core of strategic planning, which means that Starbucks needs to consider each element in the decision-making process.

First, it is possible to reflect the primary options, which can help to strengthen the company’s position. International mergers can become the key to the company’s evolution, transformation, and further expansion. Thus, it will be possible to contribute to the implementation of the company’s plans by obtaining new opportunities from mergers. In particular, it will become possible to intensify the company’s dominating position in the international arena.

Secondly, the company needs to analyze its external environment on a regular basis, which will prepare the company for possible changes in the performance of the competitors. In addition, the company will be capable to remain one-step ahead of its competitors. The company cannot remain in the continuous search of the suppliers with better pricing strategies. In fact, the company can add new options for coffee drinks and beverages, which can motivate the customer to purchase their product thinking about the fair pricing strategy of the company. Thus, it will be possible to maintain the same level of quality and increase the company’s productivity.

Strategies to Maximize Competitiveness

It is necessary to admit that Starbucks managed to obtain its leading position due to the ability to integrate its strengths into opportunities, which can help to achieve success. However, the company needs to continue developing various options aiming to maximize its competitiveness in terms of contemporary globalization. First, the company needs to think about a discount system beyond seasonal promotions and offers.

For example, the company may offer its customers to taste and drink for free after purchasing 5 cups of coffee. This system should become an appropriate motivating element in the expansion of the range of customers willing to purchase the products of Starbucks. Customers should feel the privilege of purchasing products at Starbucks. Thus, the company will show its gratitude to every visitor. In addition, it will show that the company does not reduce the quality of products while offering the most attractive pricing strategies.

Furthermore, the company needs to think about alternative ways of prompting customers to purchase products. Electronic payments penetrate the contemporary world of business in every store regardless of the field of its activity. Starbucks introduced the Square application, which helps customers to avoid crowded stores and purchase products without needing to wait. However, the company needs to ensure that every employee is aware of the payment options available to every customer.

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In addition, it is important to consider the latest payment options, which can help to meet the needs of every customer. Then, it will become possible to optimize the system of payments, increase the number of satisfied customers, and avoid crowded stores, which their competitors can hardly achieve because of a lack of technological and innovational background.

Another problem with Starbucks is the slow customer service, which still has a negative influence in some stores (Sozzi, 2014). It makes customers leave in search of better places to have a business lunch. Employees should have enough training in order to be capable of working in crowded stores. Starbucks places coffee machines and cups for a barista to reach the needed shelf quickly. However, the problem is that new baristas need more training in order to serve customers without any delay. Excellent performance can make customers feel valued.

Finally, Starbucks should look for cooperation with other companies, which can help to boost the company’s penetration of the international markets. In fact, Starbucks needs to breathe in the fresh air of the companies working in the same field, which can be beneficial for the company’s upgrade. For example, Starbucks may start cooperating with the companies working in the innovational and technological fields. Then, it will be possible to offer their customers different options for beverages of outstanding quality (Keenan & Evans, 2014). Regular meetings with partners can help to optimize the existing processes in Starbucks, which will provide new opportunities for the transformation of the common techniques of making products or serving customers.

Communications Plan

The company’s communication plan is an outlining part of its performance, which helps to regulate the activity of all departments. Every employee should coordinate any transformation within the company’s system of communication. It is important to conduct a meeting and discuss new transformations with the top managers, who will present the requests of their subordinates regarding the communication scheme.

For example, it is possible to introduce a communication plan based on the active usage of social networks. Thus, the employees will be capable to share information with the help of the internal system of communication with any contemporary device. In addition, it is necessary to have the weekly reports of the performance of every department, which can help to optimize the productivity of every employee. Moreover, it will help to fix every mistake as soon as it occurs. It may also minimize the distance between the company’s goals and its actual status of the performance.

Corporate Governance Mechanisms

From the perspective of the performance of Starbucks, it is possible to outline both external and internal sources of corporate governance mechanisms. A group of internal mechanisms includes independent internal audits, oversight of management, segregation of control, and policy development. Hence, it is possible to regulate the company’s performance in accordance with the standards of quality and principles of the company’s policy.

External agencies regulating the company’s performance include the financial institutions, government, and audit agencies. These external sources regulate the company’s performance in accordance with the rules set by the government. In addition, the company has an obligation to make its performance transparent in order to meet the needs of the governmental stakeholders. The external agencies continuously evaluate the performance of the company in order to ensure that it performs in accordance with the common rules and principles.

Leadership

Leadership formulates another valuable part of the performance of Starbucks. The company is interested in training its employees in accordance with the terms of leadership, which helps them to build their careers (Freeburg, 2012). Starbucks managed to become a global leader thanks to its outlining ability to lead and motivate employees to contribute to the company’s success. It is a fact that Starbucks provides employees with equal opportunities, which can help to obtain a top management position starting with a barista’s job. The rising number of stores equals the rising opportunities of the employees to build their careers thanks to the dedicated work in Starbucks.

Various pieces of training help Starbucks to develop professional skills and techniques for every employee. Nevertheless, leadership remains the primary link between the top management and coffee stores, which work in a team in order to provide the customers with high-quality products and services. In general, the company can improve its leadership by including a dashboard reflecting the success of the employees. For example, it is possible to create such dashboards in every department to help recognize the achievements of every employee.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

The most recent Starbucks’ Global Responsibility Report contains various elements of the company’s success in the international arena. A farming sector, youth, and environment form the core elements of the focus of the company’s performance. Thus, the company takes care of social development, which should promote the evolution of the next generation.

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Starbucks’ obligation is to invest in the farming sector by providing farmers with jobs and support. Farmers, in their turn, provide Starbucks with high-quality products, which the company further transforms into drinks and food. This way the company meets the needs of both unemployed farmers and demanding customers.

The environment is another part of the company’s CSR plan. The Starbucks’ 2012 Global Responsibility Report states, “Our comprehensive approach to reducing our environmental impact means looking at all aspects of our business, how they intersect, and how we can integrate new solutions to create meaningful and sustained change.” It explains the company’s efforts aiming to improve the environmental issues on the global level. The company decided to use its global market penetration for the benefits of the environment. For example, the company increases the green territory next to every store, which is supposed to set a good example for other companies.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is possible to claim that Starbucks deserves being a global leader. It has enough resources, experience, and business intelligence, which can improve the business environment. In addition, Starbucks proves that any business can develop in the global network due to leadership, reasonable goals, effective training of employees, and the ability to negotiate. Starbucks has many competitors, which strive to replace it.

However, the company’s performance proves that it is a difficult task. Starbucks continues to grow, innovate, and invest in the most useful spheres of its performance. Moreover, Starbucks is a socially responsible company, which respects the world beyond business. All these factors prove that Starbucks is a reliable company, which takes care of both its customers and employees.

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