Starbucks key of success is the ability to change the concept consumers had about drinking coffee. With more than 6000 outlets across the world (2003 numbers) and the intention of increasing them in the near future, the company has transformed coffee into a lifestyle accessory with as much elegance as the latest fashion. However, their way to success was not so easy and if we go back in 1971, we will find that coffee didn't look like it was a great business. There were no signs of getting better, either. Coffee consumption in the United States had peaked in the 1960s, but by 1971 it was on the decline. Most Americans drank something called "coffee" that came ground up very finely in vacuum-sealed tins. Nevertheless, there was appeared tiny Seattle based chain with innovative idea of how to do business that in a few years changed the vision about the process of drinking coffee not only in USA but worldwide.
Starbucks has evolved into a great success due to their implementation of Integrated Marketing Communications.
What is integrated marketing communication? For many, IMC is concerned with the harmonization of customer oriented promotional messages. Duncan and Everett (1993) suggest IMC has been referred variously as orchestration, whole egg and seamless communication. It is regarded by some as a means of combining the tools of the promotional mix in a more efficient and synergistic manner. Increasingly IMC is seen to include all consistent interactions a stakeholder has with an organization (Shultz and Schults 1998) and therefore any definition needs to include or refer to concepts such added value, relationship marketing, corporate blending and with it, the blending of internal and external communications.
One of the primary motivations why Starbucks moved towards IMC was the reduction in costs that it was possible...