Research Paper: Starbucks Christmas Blend Coffee

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Starbuck's Christmas Blend Coffee

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) is known globally for its exceptional channel management, new location planning, research & development, and fair trade supply chain practices (Starbucks Investor Relations). Over the history of Starbucks' existence, there are products that quickly gain a strong employee following and become favorites inside the company before being launched to customers through the hundreds of stores the company operates. This is exactly what happened with the Starbucks Christmas Blend which continues to a favorite of employees and has become one of the best-selling coffees in the company's history (Starbucks Investor Relations). Starbucks has successfully been able to successfully interlink specific drinks or products with the experience in their stores and the holiday season. The Starbucks Christmas Blend is exceptionally successful because in the minds of consumers it is interlinked to the experience of enjoying a visit to Starbucks while enjoying the holiday season and its many opportunities to socialize (Allison, 8).

Starbucks Christmas Blend Marketing Mix Analysis

The product, pricing, promotion, place or distribution and packaging (or packing) of the Starbucks Christmas Blend is analyzed and critiqued in this area of the paper. The fact that the Christmas Blend coffee brand has a long history within the corporate culture of Starbucks can be seen from Figure 1 Winter, 1985 Internal Company Announcement, the first known internal announcement of the blend to employees in writing. Figure 2: Winter, 1994 Announcement to Channel Partners and Store management is more formalized and communicates the market position and unique value proposition for resellers and channel partners. The final image, Figure 3: 1996 -- 2000 Ad Campaign Aligning Christmas Blend and Winter, shows how effective the Starbucks marketing strategies have progressed with the St. Bernard, the international symbol of rescue on the slopes of the Austrian Alps, with a fresh bag of Christmas Blend under his collar. If one looks at the progression of messaging in the appendix it is evident the direction from the utilitarian and functional to the trusted has happened with the messaging around the Christmas Blend. For employees Christ Blend is synonymous and one of the symbols they rely on to define the holiday season for themselves and their friends. Starbucks has ironically done an excellent job of marketing Christ Bland within the company so it is synonymous with the holiday experience as well.

Product

The product has long had a reputation for having a taste that evokes memories of holiday eggnog and cinnamon-flavored drinks, as is mentioned in the first printed materials released throughout the company in 1985 and seen in Figure 1. The product has since gone through several product generations, with each subsequent modification to the coffee to align the best-selling blend to the Fair Trade practices that pervade the Starbucks supply chains (Starbucks Investor Relations). Starbucks is known for having one of the most focused and highly efficient research & development (R&D) process, with a strategy of completing testing globally to ensure a continual launch of season-specific products. The testing of the Frappuccino in Australia during their winter for launch in the Northern hemisphere during summer is a case in point (Starbucks Investor Relations). The strategy of around-the-globe development is one of the factors that also contributed to the exceptional success of the Christmas Blend Coffee (Scott, et.al.).

Price

Starbucks has experimented with low-price products during the recessionary periods of 2009 and early 2010 to counter the drop in same-store spending they were noticing over time (Rowe, 3, 4). The company quickly realized that many of their products are inelastic and do not increase in volume with price reductions, counter to what often happens with more commoditized products. On a bright note, senior management at Starbucks has ascertained that they have a unique market position with Christmas Blend and can actually use it for bundling and substantiating price increases on the most popular product bundles (Starbucks Investor Relations). Once Starbucks senior management realized this relationship between price and volume, their sales have ironically skyrocketed on Christmas Blend coffee and products associated with this best-selling coffee. On December 2, 2010, Starbucks sold more bean-based coffee than any other day in their history, led by heavy promotion of Starbucks Christmas Blend (Engleman, 122).

Promotion

Starbucks Marketing has defined a series of best practices that make their multichannel marketing strategies among the best in the coffee retailing and food retailing industries. The pervasive use of in-store displays and pervasive use of in-store placards, counter placards, and the use of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Starbucks Christmas Blend Coffee.  (2010, December 13).  Retrieved December 9, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/starbucks-christmas-blend-coffee/2176922

MLA Format

"Starbucks Christmas Blend Coffee."  13 December 2010.  Web.  9 December 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/starbucks-christmas-blend-coffee/2176922>.

Chicago Format

"Starbucks Christmas Blend Coffee."  Essaytown.com.  December 13, 2010.  Accessed December 9, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/starbucks-christmas-blend-coffee/2176922.