Starbucks is one of the great marketing success stories of the past 10 years! They’ve created, delivered and marketed the “coffee experience” in a truly remarkable way and there’s much to learn from their success.
One of the things that we can all learn from Starbucks is the art of creating premium products and then romancing them with a compelling story that makes customers feel that they’re part of something very special.
Once a year Starbucks creates a “Special Reserve” coffee, then packages it beautifully and prices it at over $20.00 (Cdn) per pound. To put that price into perspective, according to a recent issue of Consumers Report magazine, you can buy a very good 100% Columbian coffee with “floral and earthy notes” for $6.00 (Cdn) a pound.
But here’s the wonderful story that Starbucks tells us about their premium coffee. Read this story and, as you do, see how you start to understand that this coffee is worth the 20 plus dollars a pound that they’re asking for it. Here’s what they tell us…
Once again, coffee farmers of the world participated in our annual Special Reserve competition by sending us their finest beans. Though many farmers experienced difficult growing conditions, hard work and perseverance helped them overcome the odds to present us with some truly remarkable coffees. From these we selected four that stood above the rest, then roasted them into StarbucksÒ Special Reserve Blend 2004 – a rare and enticing coffee we created to honor farmers for their dedication, and reward you with a wonderful experience.
This year’s StarbucksÒ Special Reserve is a perfect melding of four distinct coffees into one extraordinary blend:
From Kenya, a coffee that’s unusually full-bodied with striking grapefruit notes.
From Costa Rica’s Naranjo region, a coffee with stunning citrus notes and a delightful sparkle.
From Guatemala’s Huehuetenango region, a coffee that’s perfectly balance; and,
From Chiapas, in Southern Mexico, a coffee with a heady floral aroma.
Combined, they offer a phenomenal taste with unmistakable citrus notes, a luxurious mouthful and a seductive finish.”
OK, now go back and read it again. Be mindful of their choice of words…
So, what can you learn from this? What special, world-class, award-winning, premium product, service or total experience can you create? How can you package it distinctively and then price it accordingly? Then, how and where will you tell your wonderful story in a way that “grabs” the minds, hearts and wallets of your most discriminating or demanding customers?
Not only can these effectively marketed premium items make big money, they also create a wonderful “halo effect” that adds emotional value to your entire range of products or services. That’s why Chrysler has the Viper, why Nissan has the magnificent 350Z roadster… and why Britain still has the royal family. They class up the place!
Donald Cooper, MBA, has been both a world-class manufacturer and an award-winning retailer. He speaks and coaches internationally on marketing, management and business excellence. Donald can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org in Toronto, Canada. To read more of his articles, go to www.donaldcooper.com and click on “Free Articles”.
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