Sample Marketing Paper on Starbucks



The initial Starbucks’ location was opened in 1971. Its name was motivated by Moby Dick’s first mates, which were inspired by the love of the sea from Starbucks’ original location in Seattle Washington. Beginning as a single shop focusing on high quality coffee and brewing products, the organization has grown to be one of the largest multinational coffee chain stores. Starbucks has experienced rapid growth with several locations around the globe, for instance, in the United States, Japan and Singapore. Additionally, a countless number of people in the world walk into Starbucks every day for their cup of coffee. Nonetheless, it is more than the overpriced coffee that attracts people day after day to the Starbucks’ stores worldwide. Starbucks provides a positive environment and a friendly and helpful staff to assist customers with any inquiry or problem they might have with the coffee or service. Many people buy Starbucks because of what it represents and the status symbol that comes along with it.

Every person in one way or another is involved with the environment. Regrettably, the contemporary environment is being destroyed by people or organizations that care less about our planet through aspects like increasing pollution around the world and wasting water. Nonetheless, organizations are going for the ecofriendly products for several reasons. Firstly, they enhance the reservation of life and ecosystem balance. Secondly, ecofriendly products replace natural resources, such as solar cells hence limiting the use of fuels. Ecofriendly products also create harmony between an organization and the society through building confidence in customers that it cares for them. This also enhances organizational profits.


Starbucks Green Marketing Strategy

Starbucks’ green marketing strategies began in 2004 through the use of recyclable cups, napkins and paper bags in its coffee retail outlets. Initially, the organization’s corporate social responsibility policy had already been created, but it was not applied predominantly as a marketing strategy. Starbucks’ corporate social responsibility policy focused on three main extents, which were energy conservation, renewable energy, advocacy and collaboration. Among the first developments of the organization in realizing the goals was sourcing coffee bean supplies from sustainable farmers that enabled it to obtain its coffee beans from ethical farm growers.

Nonetheless, as a result of the farmers’ plight that was underscored, particularly because of the prevalent poverty and unequal distribution of wealth, the coffee industry permitted the Fair Trade Act in 2004. This allowed the organization to purchase coffee from suppliers who conformed with the Fair Trade Act. Therefore, the organization’s decision to purchase sustainable coffee besides paying a premium in the world market strengthened its assurance and repute in the industry as a corporation that cares about the environment and its people, hence seen as an ethical development. This was a high promotional enhancement for the organization as it reaped praise and prestige for its willingness to sacrifice profits in favor of the universe and its people in its milestone decision of buying from sustainable coffee farm growers only. This action also implied that the organization would be unable to decrease production costs and the prices of its products would remain the same (Schultz & Gordon, 2012, p. 67).

Currently, the organization has also partnered with Conservation International that assists in developing coffee production in rural areas and rain forests. Furthermore, Starbucks has also taken an active role in the coffee production process to ensure that coffee growers utilize reduce-waste procedures as well as conservation methods in energy and water supply. This coffee production assists in sustaining the local biodiversity in conservation methods that have minimal damages to the environment.

Starbucks also utilizes blogs, online ads and social media networks to link with its customers on a global scale. The organization’s adeptness in utilizing this medium has enabled it to promote its green practices more visibly and effectively unlike other brands. Furthermore, Starbucks’ outlets have also employed sustainable practices as a way of enhancing their green marketing strategies. For instance, the organization has installed water and electricity saving technology across its retail stores aimed at reducing its wastages. The former used gallons of water in cleaning utensils and large amounts of electricity for operating machines. Nonetheless, the company has now collaborated with U.S. Green Buildings Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) with the aim of employing green building practices across its retail outlets. Despite the fact that the organization is yet to fit in all its outlets with the technology, most of the stores have been LEED certified. Currently, a huge amount of the total electricity consumed in Starbucks outlets in the United States and Canada originate from the renewable sources. The organization has also capitalized on energy efficient lighting and HVAC systems (Schultz & Gordon, 2012, p. 146).

As a way of conserving the environment, Starbucks has also reduced the use of plastic cups by utilizing coffee mugs for in-store consumption. The organization has also enabled its customers to come along with their own tumblers when making orders from the stores. To encourage this practice, customers who are involved in this program receive a ten percent discount of bill upfront. This practice enhances the organization’s conservation efforts. Mainly, Starbucks; green marketing strategy has focused on encouraging recycling practices and the ethical purchases of consumer goods (Enquist & Haglund, n.d).

Other ways in which Starbucks organization has enhanced both its actual green bona fides and its image as an environmentally friendly company include the usage of re-usable sleeves at affordable prices, implementation of the use of recycling bins, application of compost or otherwise recycle food waste and motivation of using financial incentives to recharge plastic Starbucks cards instead of purchasing new ones. All these developments have maintained Starbucks’ corporate responsibility image, thus, differentiating the organization from its competitors (Enquist & Haglund, n.d).

Eventually, as the organization seeks to analyze and improve its coffee products persistently, going green also needs to be a continual process. All Starbucks’ stakeholders need to be encouraged to recommend environmentally beneficial initiatives. In conclusion, the organization’s management also needs to make continuous improvement a priority, besides appearing only on the organization’s green logo.


Enquist, B., & Haglund, L. Starbucks with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Schultz, H., & Gordon, J. (2012). Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul. Rodale.