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How has Starbucks changed the way we drink coffee?


When I first traveled to Europe, I was amazed by the number of Starbucks around. It felt like every block had one – always filled with people inside. At that time, I didn’t understand the hype. But soon enough, I witnessed many shops opening in Brazil as well, quickly becoming a success.

No matter the place (Paris, Denmark, Italy, Brazil), I always had the same experience in every shop. That made me wonder… how did a small coffee bean shop from Seattle managed to open over 29.000 cafes in more than 80 countries around the world? What was their secret?

This week we talked in our studio about how branding can deliberately change a company from its competitors. Starbucks is the perfect example of that.

💡 There were many coffee shops around before Starbucks, but none offered more than coffee. Starbucks saw the opportunity to change the experience and expectation the customers get when they buy a coffee.

Back in the 70’s/80’s, coffee wasn’t consumed outside home or work, and coffee shops only sold beans. Thinking outside the box, Starbucks chose to be a place in between, where people could have coffee drinks in a cozy and welcoming environment – which immediately made them stand out.

From there, they made sure their branding was on point in every shop they opened. It worked out. With a strong brand, their iconic logo became a reference, and their expansion went full-on.

And they have been doing that for 50 years now. 🚀

👉 Like I always say, knowing what makes your business unique allows you to intentionally choose your next branding action. Starbucks knew what made them different and capitalized on that.

👁️ How about you? What makes your business unique?

hello@jms-design.com

Creative Partner & Founder at JMS Design.