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STARBUCKS' STRATEGY: IS STARBUCKS' KNOWLEDGE A SOURCE OF SUSTAINABLE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE? Starbucks began in 1987 as a modest nine-store operation in Seattle, Washington state, selling what might

STARBUCKS' STRATEGY: IS STARBUCKS' KNOWLEDGE A SOURCE OF SUSTAINABLE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE? Starbucks began in 1987 as a modest nine-store operation in Seattle, Washington state, selling what might be considered a commodity product - Coffee - and grew quickly to become a suc- cessful global multinational. The global financial crisis in 2009 had a significant negative impact on OPENING MINI CASE STUDY . Starbucks . In response, senior executives changed its strategy and introduced a series of transfor- mation initiatives to improve the customer experience, including: Conducting a special retraining programme for all store employees aimed at reigniting their emotional attachment to customers and refocusing their attention on the details of delivering superior customer service and pleasing customers Sharing best practices across all stores worldwide Refreshing menu offerings at Starbucks stores Introducing improved and more environmentally friendly designs for future Starbucks stores Providing additional resources and tools for store employees, including laptops, an internet- based software for scheduling work hours for store employees, and a new point-of-sale system for all stores in the USA, Canada, and the UK Insisting that the entire Starbucks organization put renewed emphasis on product innovation and differentiation. (Thompson et al., 2013: 19ETNSect7Case24) . . . These initiatives worked and Starbucks had a strong recovery and accelerated its new store growth globally. Starbucks' business model aims to differentiate itself from other coffee retailers. Aspects of its business model include ownership, culture, and human capital. Its culture includes employees in decision making, requires management to be open and honest with employees, and seeks to build a company with soul. Its strategy is based on an innovative culture which gets employees to enthusiastically communicate their knowledge about coffee to customers, and to exude a passion about Starbucks. It does this by having employees memorize recipes, learn procedures, and follow rules in making coffee/espresso drinks. Employees are encour- aged to constantly come up with new ideas, new products, and new experiences for customers to enhance the Starbucks experience. Starbucks sought to continually challenge the status quo, stressed innovation on an ongoing basis, and challenged store managers and employees to display passion and enthusiasm for delivering truly first-rate customer service, and devise with new ways to make visiting a Starbucks store appealing, Starbucks truly felt they had a 'mystique which made them different to other coffee shops or cafés and which was the key to their suc- cess. (Adapted from Thompson et al., 2013)

Apr 13 2021 View more View Less

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