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1. Choose a company / organization that, in your opinion, represents a successful example of strategic marketing.

2. Describe and explain how your chosen company / organization has developed its marketing and brand / brand name strategically and what has been successful and in what way. Motivate your answer well.

3. Show which / your chosen company / organization and brand / brand name has been affected by digitization and new media. Discuss and explain what strategic challenges and possible crises this has led to and give concrete suggestions how these have been bridged and managed in the future.

4. Provide suggestions on how you think the chosen company / organization should work with its strategic marketing and brand / brand in the future. Motivate, describe and explain your strategic choices and decisions for the future.

5. Use seminars, lectures and the articles, models and methods that you find appropriate in the course literature to strengthen and explain your analysis.

About the company

The primary aim of the report is to evaluate the recent theoretical concepts and models which relate to the subject of strategic marketing in order to ensure that the theoretical knowledge is converted to practical experience (Abratt and Bendixen 2018). Hence, through this report, the case of Starbucks shall be analyzed as it presents a successful case of marketing in an organization. Moreover, the manner in which the different activities of the organization have been affected by the digitalization will also be discussed. Lastly, the latter half of the report will represent certain recommendations based on which Starbucks can improve its operations and increase the brand value in the future.

The Starbucks Corporation is an American coffee organization and coffee house chain store. The firm was found in Seattle in Washington in the year 1971. At present, the company operates around 28218 locations around the globe. Earlier, the company distinguished itself from other coffee houses with respect to quality, taste and the customer experience while making the concept of darkly roasted coffee very popular (Starbucks.com. 2018). However, presently, the firm makes use of automated espresso machines in order to ensure efficiency and the safety of different operations. The company serves various cold and hot drinks, whole coffee beans, and instant coffee, expresso, and caffe latte as well as tea products. Recently, with respect to the health consciousness trends, various fresh juices, Frappuccino beverages as well as other chips and cracker items will also be offered.  Since its inception, the brand has grown considerably, and opened in various locations outside of North America as well. Over the years, the brand has changed its positioning in the market and has been often said to have lost its charms.

The marketing activities of the Starbucks can be stated to be quite extensive in nature with the differentiation strategies like quality based differentiation having been used. Moreover, as believed by Boncheck (2016), a support to the different marketing strategies, the company makes use of excellent customer service. The main aim of the company is to provide a consistent brand experience to the different customers (Proctor 2014). Hence, in order to ensure success in the long run, the brand tends to use an unconventional technique for branding as well as marketing (Collis and Montgomery 2008).

Moreover, the main differentiation offer which is made to the customer is made on the basis of the excellent brand merchandise whereby the firm provides a wide range of offers to the different customers. In addition to this, the brand maintains an ethical image of its products in front of the different customers and indicates on the creation of a real customer value (Taecharungroj 2017). Earlier, the organization was making use of the traditional means of marketing, however at present it tends to make use of a mixed strategy whereby it ensures that it makes use of both social media techniques as well as the traditional techniques (Boncheck 2016) 

In the social media perspective, Starbucks is aware of the power of the media and for this reason it has taken considerable moves to ensure that the organization has made adequate presence in platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (West, Ford and Ibrahim 2015). Additionally, Collis and Montgomery (2008), has mentioned that Starbucks despite the change in the social media platforms and other marketing techniques believes that the word of mouth is the best technique of marketing and that the good quality products as well as services of the company will speak for itself. 

About their marketing activity

Starbucks owes it success to its popular business techniques which it has applied over the past few years and the change in its marketing strategy can be stated to be the most sophisticated in nature whereby it converted a commodity to a destination (Payne and Frow 2014). The firm makes use of multiple forms of the media to build the loyalty of the different consumers at large and has portrayed the image of the coffee shop as a place which fills the gap between the house of a person and the work. One of the most popular strategies of Starbucks is the creation status of a third place. According to Porter (2015), this means this is a comfortable hangout possibility for the people and displays the place as an area for conversation and a sense of community. For this purpose, the place has painted its stores and other destinations in a similar manner and categorizes it as a zone for coffee and some quality time.

Holt (2016), has mentioned that another transition as adopted by Starbucks is its increased importance provided to the customer loyalty. Starbucks understands, that as competition between the different organizations have increased considerably, it thereby becomes very important for all the firms to ensure that they make an offering to the consumer which is unique and inspire loyalty (McDonald 2016). Hence, Starbucks has an access to a large number of loyalty programs for its customers whereby a free item is provided after every 12 transactions, it ensures that customers visit the store regularly. Moreover, in addition to this, according to Dobbs (2014), Starbuck`s marketing strategy has been greatly impacted by digitalization and the company has had to make the use of various social media marketing techniques to give out complementary messages to the different customers and to enable them to share their Starbucks experience with the different customers. 

Although Starbucks has focused its marketing strategy well however, due to the transition between the traditional marketing techniques to the present, it has been impacted in the following manner:

  • Complaints: Sharing of complaints against the company has become relatively easier on the social media platforms due to the rise of the digitalization and new media and hence, if any complaint is received on a platform like Twitter against the firm, its effect can be witnessed throughout the firm (Kotabe and Helsen 2014). Hence, the complaints have been a common problem and impact.
  • Competition: Secondly, Dobbs (2014), states that originally through the word of mouth advertising technique used by Starbucks, would be beneficial and sufficient but as the digitalization and the use of new media has expanded the information available to the customers to a greater extent, the competitors like Café Nero and other brands have become popular too.

Therefore, the following ca be recommended to Starbucks:

  1. Ensuring a supportive support system at the Social Media

Holt (2016) states that when any firm is marketing with the help of a social media technique, it is required to take considerable steps in order to ensure that it is successfully able to plan ahead and ensure that it does not receive any backslash (Chernev 2018). Hence, the posts of the consumers need to be analyzed and provided a response to immediately.

  1. Make use of the digitalization techniques

 With the changing times, it becomes important for the business to adjust and hence, in a similar manner starbucks is required to ensure that it engages in the usage of various digitalization techniques which shall ensure the success of the firm in the long run (Banerjee 2017). It can make use of visual reality and extensive new media influencers so that the popularity of the stores can be maintained (Porter 2015).

Conclusion

Therefore, from the given analysis it can be rightfully stated that marketing forms an essential aspect of any organization and in order to be successful, the firm is required to ensure that it engages in extensive marketing practices which shall ensure that the firm is being successfully able to conduct its business. The report undertook the example of Starbucks as a firm and traced its marketing journey throughout the years with a special reference to the problems it has faced due to digitalization and the new media. Certain recommendations have been provided.

References

Abratt, R. and Bendixen, M., 2018. Strategic Marketing: Concepts and Cases. Routledge.

Banerjee, S.B., 2017. Corporate environmentalism and the greening of strategic marketing: Implications for marketing theory and practice. In Greener Marketing (pp. 16-40). Routledge.

Chernev, A., 2018. Strategic marketing management. Cerebellum Press.

Kotabe, M. and Helsen, K., 2014. Global marketing management. Pearson

McDonald, M.A.L.C.O.L.M., 2016. Strategic marketing planning: theory and practice. In The marketing book (pp. 108-142). Routledge.

Payne, A. and Frow, P., 2014. Developing superior value propositions: a strategic marketing imperative. Journal of Service Management, 25(2), pp.213-227.

Proctor, T., 2014. Strategic marketing: an introduction. Routledge.

Starbucks.com., 2018. The Best Coffee and Espresso Drinks [online]. Available at: ://www.starbucks.com/ (Accessed on : 29 Sept. 2018).

Taecharungroj, V., 2017. Starbucks’ marketing communications strategy on Twitter. Journal of Marketing Communications, 23(6), pp.552-571.

West, D.C., Ford, J. and Ibrahim, E., 2015. Strategic marketing: creating competitive advantage. Oxford University Press, USA.

Porter, M.E., 2015. March 1979 How Competitive Forces Shape Strategy. Harvard Business Review https://hbr. org/1979/03/how-competitive-forcesshape-strategy accessed February, 16.

Dobbs, M., 2014. Guidelines for applying Porter's five forces framework: a set of industry analysis templates. Competitiveness Review, 24(1), pp.32-45.

Holt, D., 2016. Branding in the age of social media. Harvard business review, 94(3), pp.40-50.

Collis, D.J. and Montgomery, C.A., 2008. Competing on resources. Harvard business review.

Boncheck, M., 2016. How to build a strategic narrative. Harvard Business Review, pp.1-3.

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