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Business culture of Starbucks

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?Starbucks', the word has become a household name and one of those which are apt to roll off the tongue of Americans, a permanent fixture in the vocabulary of millions for who a day without their normal fix of caffeine is a dreaded affair. So prevalent is the concept underlying Starbucks that it seems to have transformed into a novel mode of life. Its immense popularity would be comparable with that of the word ?Google' which became, in a few years, a word indicating that it was the number one search engine in the online universe.

It is obvious that Starbucks did not become the multinational firm which one knows today by offering the consumers a new concept, that of the ?coffee to go', thus positioning it as the precursor of an original and flourishing sector. With the great success of the company, it retained customers through new marketing discoveries that associated the Starbucks brand to modernity or a new trend in the minds of consumers.

More than marketing, these small innovations make the originality of the Starbucks brand reveal the existence of a true corporate culture within the company: image communicated to the public, the development of a specific environment that is common to all Starbucks chains, the organization of the work of employees and its relationship with its clientele are all the characteristics of ?Starbucks Coffee' and which manifests a true corporate culture.

The cultural sphere necessarily governing relationships within a given organization holds an important place in some companies. But if we stick to the definition of Claude Levi-Strauss, culture, unlike nature, is not in us "by biological heredity, but by acquisition" as every culture finds its limits, its boundaries when faced with another.

As part of its internationalization process initiated in 1996, Starbucks, largely imbued with the Western lifestyle has to face new cultural environments in which lifestyles diverge. Take for example the concept of "take away", very popular in the United States: how to make the ?coffee to go' also appreciated in countries like France or Italy, the cradle of the "bistro" culture or "coffee neighborhood "?

However, this apparent contradiction has not prevented the firm from expanding in both countries and across the globe at breakneck speed, creating more than five hundred coffee outlets per year. The concept invented by Starbucks runs so inexorably in France despite these differences: The number of Starbucks outlets is multiplying in Paris today and will soon win over the province.

This early success, confusing for those who would have liked to see a "made in U.S." coffee model failing in France, then demonstrates the effectiveness of the internationalization strategy of Starbucks. The expansion of the firm is not trivial: by moving abroad, Starbucks is also the ambassador of a country, a lifestyle and a very special type of consumer.

This cultural aspect is very real and is part of the company: when the firm "Starbucks Coffee" opens cafes abroad, does it apply the good recipes that have made it a resounding success in the United States?

Tags: Internationalization strategy of Starbucks, Business culture of Starbucks, ?Coffe-on-the-go' concept

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