Ranking 5th on the World's Most Admired Companies list by Fortune, the commitment to consistent branding has made Starbucks a huge success today. Spanning 70 countries worldwide, this American multinational chain of coffeehouses has come a long way in its journey. The Starbucks marketing strategy constitutes a blend of social media marketing, digital marketing, search engine optimization, and right post-marketing analysis. 

Replicating the entire Starbucks marketing strategy is nearly impossible for brands with low budgets. However, learning and implementing the core principles and the idea behind the Starbucks marketing strategy can benefit even startups. 

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What Is the Starbucks Target Market?

By knowing exactly who its target audience is at any point and catering to a specific set of people, Starbucks has been able to stand apart from its competitors like Costa and Cafe Coffee Day. 

Being a premium coffee brand, Starbucks has most of its customers belonging to the upper economic segment. It targets youngsters and people who seek a peaceful space to drink coffee. Its high-end customers fall in the 22-50 age group, both male and female. Thus, the Starbucks target market constitutes:

  • High-income spenders
  • Health-conscious professionals
  • Technology early adopters
  • Coffee-addict youngsters

The Rewarding Marketing Strategies of Starbucks

The Starbucks marketing mix segments its customers on a socio-economic level. The distinguished offline experience and consistent online marketing efforts have made the brand exceptional. 

Marketing Mix

Starbucks' marketing mix very well incorporates the four P's

  • Product: High-quality products justify the premium pricing. They ensure that the coffee tastes better than its competitors. Their Barista Promise of fixing your drink if you don't like it has attracted the masses. 
  • Price: Starbucks sells their coffee at least 25% higher than other brands. It offers its customers exceptional drinks and food, charges more, and the people are willing to pay.  
  • Promotion: From social media to TV to ads– the company uses various channels for marketing its products. The mix of marketing media makes them stand out. Compared to other major global brands like Apple, Starbucks spends the least on their marketing but can still make an impact. Why? The robust Starbucks marketing strategy has made all the difference. 
  • Place: They create a similar premium relaxing environment in every Starbucks location which lures the crowd. 

Key Takeaway: Your brand can charge a higher price by providing a premium experience and delivering better products than the competitors. 

Digital Expansion

The Starbucks marketing strategy incorporates digital interactions with customers by implementing new ways to attract digitally registered customers. It offers mobile order services and Wi-Fi sign-ins at its stores. The ability to go cashless with Starbucks cards has further accelerated its business. 

Starbucks Social Media Strategy

Starbucks' social media accounts exhibit distinctive branding, visually appealing content, and interactive posts that enhance user engagement. The diverse content range has eye-catching photography, videos, recipes, articles and more. In addition to the visual appeal, the Starbuck marketing strategy for social media breaks down the stream of content into a series of campaigns. 

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Starbucks Campaigns 

The Starbucks campaigns fall into the following three categories, creating a greater sense of brand awareness

  • Starbucks Product-based Campaigns: The company promotes unique and fan-favorite beverages. It has even created social profiles for customers' favorites -Frappuccino and Pumpkin Spiced Latte. They publish relevant memes for their audience. Utilizing the power and sentiments attached to consumer images, the brand often re-shares them on its official channels. 


Starbucks Frappuccino

  • Starbucks Corporate Social Responsibility-Based Campaign: Using social change as a marketing tool, Starbucks positions itself as inclusive and open-minded. Its #The ExtraShotOfPride campaign gained popularity by supporting the LGBT+ community.
  • Community-based campaigns: Another important facet of the Starbucks marketing strategy is its emphasis on highlighting communities and individuals. They rely on storytelling to depict acts of kindness in communities while localizing the content.

Festive Marketing

Innovative ideas have been the strength of Starbucks. The company initiated a whole-bean coffee campaign– #StarbucksDiwaliBlend as a tribute to Karnataka's rich coffee heritage and expertise.


Starbucks Diwali Blend

Its #SketchTheBlend campaign was launched on Diwali, where customers were urged to share their creativity on the Diwali Blend cup. The best ones could bag five free beverages.


Starbucks Facebook Post on #SketchTheBlend

Key Takeaway: Involving customers via festive marketing is a strong part of the Starbucks marketing strategy too. You can also leverage the opportunity and enhance customer engagement. 

How Strong is the Starbucks Digital Marketing Presence?

Targeting the elite class, Starbucks understands that its audience is technologically advanced. Starbucks' digital marketing provides it with an opportunity for two-way communication, unlike leaflets, magazines, and television, which are more of one-way communication. It has considerable traffic on its social media accounts, including 

  • Facebook: 36 M+ page likes
  • Instagram: 17.8 M followers
  • Twitter: 11 M followers


Starbucks Instagram Handle

Consistency is the key to a successful Starbucks marketing strategy. It extends the same to social media handles by posting daily. It has challenges and games that engage its customers and enhance its fan base. 

Also, the company publishes engaging posts and connects viewers from one platform to another. Take the following Instagram post as an example. The bright and clean picture is reflective of the Starbucks brand. The caption describes their new espresso shot in a conversational tone. 


Starbucks Instagram post

Now any consumer interested in the product would probably like to know more and find the landing page for Starbucks’ blonde espresso


Starbucks Website Image for Blonde Espresso 

The website satisfies the intrigued customer with more information on the blonde espresso and why Starbucks has launched the same. Scrolling down, you would come across videos and several other images. Thus, the company smartly employs marketing tactics to lure its customers and delight them with amazing products.

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Marketing During Covid-19

As the Covid-19 pandemic took over the world, Starbucks geared up with marketing tactics to sustain itself in these unprecedented times. The company constantly improvised, mitigating the economic impact via the following measures:

  • Expansion: Starbucks announced launching drive-thrus and home delivery to stay connected with their customers in tough times. They also launched their app in India to help customers easily navigate and purchase their key offerings.
  • Starbucks Social Media Campaigns: Seizing the opportunity to expand its user engagement, the company launched the #ReconnectWithStarbucks campaign. They asked their followers to share ideas of reconnecting amidst the pandemic. They also urged them to share their favorite Starbucks memory via Instagram with the hashtag #ReconnectWithStarbucks. Another popular campaign was the “Half Cup Full”. The customers had to comment on their favorite beverage on the Starbucks post, and then to remind the customers of the in-store experience, they sent them voice notes of baristas calling their names along with their favorite beverage.  

Starbucks’ Strategic Alliances That Enhanced their Reach 

As a part of the Starbucks marketing strategy, the company makes smart associations that enhance its reach and experience. 

Merchandise Launch With Flipkart


Starbucks Merchandise Launch with Flipkart

Taking advantage of the growing dependence on e-commerce during the pandemic, Starbucks partnered with Flipkart and launched Starbucks Signature Merchandise on the platform. It offered a range of products, including custom mugs, cold cups, tumblers, coffee brewing equipment and more. Thus, enabling its customers to order from the comfort of their homes. 


A well-crafted Starbucks marketing strategy is one of the prime reasons why the coffee-chain company has a dominating global presence and leadership. Additionally, to stay true to its word, they provide an arguably different atmosphere, unmatched service, and a welcoming environment to every customer who visits their brick-and-mortar stores.

You can establish your business with a stellar marketing strategy and employ the best digital marketing practices. Start your journey in upskilling yourself by enrolling on Simplearn’s PCP Digital Maketing Program in collabration with Purdue University. Boost your career with a unique 6-month course and a placement guarantee. 

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