Overview of the Selected Brand
The selected brand for the subsequent analysis is Starbucks. The brand is an American multinational retail of coffeehouses based in Seattle, Washington, DC. Currently, Starbucks is one of the largest coffeehouses globally, with impressive brand recognition and awareness. Established in 1971 by Jerry Baldwin, Gordon Bowker, and Zev Siegl, the company has transformed into a household name in the global coffee industry. The mission and vision of Starbucks Company is to maintain its position as a premier brand for the finest coffee in the world. After buying the company from its founders, Howard Schultz has succeeded in helping Starbucks to create personal connections with the customers. The evolution of the logo (figure 1) into an iconic symbol has helped the company to maintain its global brand awareness. The brand is marketing itself as a clean, modern design capable of understanding and satisfying the varied needs of its consumers. From the authentic and aesthetic atmosphere of its coffeehouses to its digital content, Starbucks is undeniably a success story. Customers can maintain this consistency through regular interaction with the brand on various digital platforms. Starbucks has been successful in developing a consistent brand because of its robust marketing principles and processes. For instance, the evolution of the internet as a communication medium is an exciting opportunity for businesses such as Starbucks to strengthen their brands, enhance their engagement with consumers, and drive market agenda. Currently, Starbucks is using digital marketing concepts such as relationship marketing and marketing mix to remain competitive and viable in the contemporary marketplace.
The Relevance of The Selected Digital Marketing Principles or Concepts
The primary objective of relationship marketing is to enhance the relationship between the customers and the company. The companies can generate high return on investment; generate positives reviews and honest perspectives from the consumers through relationship marketing (Shah & Nayak, 2016). The marketing method is customer-centric, can help a company to understand customer behaviors, and needs within the target segments. The company can also use different channels to deliver relevant communication and services about its products to improve its relationship with the consumers and identify their varied needs and preferences.
Correspondingly, the concept of marketing mix describes various processes involved in value exchange. The idea facilitates the implementation of different marketing elements of product, price, place, and promotion. Marketing mix is relevant because it can provide a valuable guide for resource allocation and multiple processes involved in the promotion of a brand (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019). Notably, by defining its marketing strategies and options in terms of price, place, product, and promotion, Starbucks can satisfy the specific customer needs and demands. The integration of the stipulated elements can help the company to attain its overall marketing objectives and strategies.
Alternative Strategies and Justification
Starbucks can also rely on different forms of relationship marketing such as comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) to sustain its market leadership. The primary objective of relationship marketing is to attract new and retain old customers to the brand (Shah & Nayak, 2016). The marketing concept focuses on improving customer loyalty and sustaining long-term customer engagement or retention. Relationship marketing concepts are also effective in helping the company to create referrals and brand awareness. In particular, through relational marketing, a company can generate word-of-mouth referrals and important leads. The marketing method recognizes the long-term value of a company’s relationship with customers beyond the normal advertisement and promotional messages. The primary objective of this marketing strategy is to create robust and emotional customer connections (Shah & Nayak, 2016). Notably, the advent of modern technology such as new internet and mobile platforms are common forms of relationship marketing. Through these platforms, the company can engage the customers in more collaborative and integrated environments.
Thus, Starbucks should enhance its use of digital communication technologies and platforms to promote its sales and encourage continued engagement with the consumers. These platforms may include databases, personalized web messages, email, and social media marketing processes (García et al., 2019). Through relationship marketing, Starbucks will benefit from the extensive customization of its marketing messages, appropriate customer responses, and effective communication of detailed information about the products.
The company can also redefine and improve its marketing mix to sustain the integration of its relationship and digital marketing campaigns. For instance, Starbucks should sustain its market reputation for high quality products in the coffee industry. Some of the standard products offered by Starbucks include different flavors of coffee, tea, frappuccino beverages, smoothies, pastries, sandwiches, and snacks (Starbucks Company). Starbucks is implementing various product improvement strategies to maintain the excellent reputation of its brand name. Since the company’s customers are willing to pay for premium coffee products, Starbucks is using the quality of its products as an exceptional marketing strategy. The company can communicate these changes in product quality through various social media platforms to sustain its relationship with the consumers. Starbucks is also using its premium prices to strengthen its relationship with the consumers. The exceptional quality of the company’s drinks and food products implies that customers are willing to purchase at premium prices or even more. Starbucks can maintain higher rates above value brands if the quality remains high. Besides, Starbucks’ coffeehouses are fundamental to the successes of its relationship marketing campaigns. The shop provides unique platforms and spaces where customers can interact with the company’s products while hanging out and relaxing. Starbucks relies on such platforms to interact with its consumers and to understand their varied needs and preferences.
Similarly, Starbucks should continue using different digital platforms to market its products as part of its relationship marketing campaigns. The digital platforms are helping the company’s brand to remain recognizable and consistent in the market. The company applies different marketing strategies and methods to retain its large market share in the coffee industry (Starbucks Company). For example, the company has a unique loyalty program offering special incentives for its customers. The incentives include free-in-store refills and free products after spending a certain amount on related purchases. The company’s mobile app also makes it easier for customers to make advanced payments (Starbucks Company). Starbucks also relies on its branded websites to market most of its product mixes. In particular, consumers can access the range of products offered by the company from such online platforms. The company’s website also provides detailed information on product information facilitating rational decision-making and the selection of individual product preferences.
The company also uses other digital platforms to promote its commodities and leverage market popularity. Some of these channels include; Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, among other related visual platforms and tools (Starbucks Company). For example, Starbucks uses its Facebook page (figure 2) to provide constant updates about its products and services. The company can also review posts and comments from the customers about its coffee products and foods. Some customers can seek responses to their orders and quality specifications. The company also uses its Instagram page to conduct product reviews. The platform is useful in product promotion and the generation of appropriate responses and digital content. Through such engagements with the consumers, Starbucks can promote increased sales and subscriptions.
Starbucks should focus primarily on improving consumer experiences through its premium-pricing model, high product quality, and exceptional customer service under its relationship marketing plans. In particular, the digital marketing campaigns should rely on the outcome of the situational analysis and marketing mix. The vision is to develop marketing messages resonating with the customers’ value proposition. Another digital marketing objective is to achieve and retain customer loyalty and repeat purchases, which is crucial in enhancing its market share and successes. Excellent customer services are critical to the company’s survival and market performances. Other digital marketing activities that Starbucks should rely on include enhanced search engine optimization and increased presence in different online social networking platforms. The company will execute these digital marketing activities using its marketing and information technology professionals.
Chaffey, D., & Ellis-Chadwick, F. (2019). Digital marketing. Pearson UK.
García, D. A., García, S. C., Blanco, T. P., & Sánchez, J. (2019). Integrated marketing communication in the digital environment. Advertiser attitudes towards online communication techniques. Estudos em Comunicação, 1(29).
Shah, B., & Nayak, K. (2016). A Study on Marketing Mix in Digital Environment. International Journal of Marketing and Technology, 6(7), 29-41.
Starbucks Company. About the Company. Retrieved from https://www.starbucks.com/about-us/company-information