Starbucks Target Market (Marketing model, Target Audience + more FAQs)

Ever wondered what makes the Starbucks marketing model tick? Read this article to discover Starbucks’ Target Market, its audience, and more.

The Starbucks target market is made of the upper and middle class people comfortable with buying premium priced beverages in all the countries where Starbucks operates.

“Starbucks is everywhere I turn.” How many times do these words ring loudly in your head? How many times have you asked yourself what Starbucks does differently that makes the coffee house brand the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of buying a beverage drink any day? I have many such moments. I decided to satisfy my curiosity and find out the magic behind the effective marketing Starbucks has done consistently over the years. The findings I share in this article will help you to understand what is unique about the target market, the marketing model, and the target audience in Starbucks’s marketing.

Starbucks Target Market (marketing model, target customers)

Here is a deeper look at Starbucks marketing model and strategy examining the target market and customers.

Starbucks target market

The Starbucks target market is specific. It consists of the rising middle class that can comfortably purchase slightly high-priced quality beverages between the ages of 22 to 60. There is also the tech-savvy teen audience and the middle-aged demographic using smartphones to make life easier. The same case goes for the 50 and 60-year-olds. Age, purchasing power, and technology are at the center stage of Starbucks’ marketing model and campaigns. It uses a differentiation strategy of marketing that provides more beneficial products and services at a higher cost than the competitors.

Starbucks marketing model

Starbucks Marketing model

Starbucks uses a multi-channel marketing model. The website is the most predominant. They have also rolled out the Starbucks app for smartphone users who need more convenience. The model focused on promoting brand consistency and building and maintaining market loyalty in the face of stiff competition.

Starbucks is intentional about its brand consistency underlining why; the logo is still iconic and associated with them anywhere in the world despite undergoing four redesigns in 47 years. It is the obstacle they had to overcome in 2011 when they were expanding to 55 different countries. It needed a redesign consistent with its brand over the years but appealing to a broad audience across diverse cultures captured in the latest logo.

Starbucks also understands that the greatest asset for a business is the loyal customer. They have rolled out target-specific loyalty programs to keep their customers happy and reward them for good brand ambassadorship over the years. The loyalty programs are an effective marketing tool that generates impactful testimonials and drives one-on-one, face-to-face marketing to audiences Starbucks cannot reach directly through other channels. The loyalty program is personalized and segmented according to customer behavior to target them with the ads they relate to. The customers also earn points in a clear reward system that shows them they are appreciated.

The success of the Starbucks marketing model relies on three fundamental key points;

  1. The product – Starbucks puts a premium on the quality of their products with a promise to always fix what you do not like when you purchase to guarantee that you got value for your money.
  2. Strategic widespread promotion – Starbucks intentionally uses a multi-channel promotional strategy. The channels include; print and audio-visual media, social media, direct marketing, PR campaigns, sales promotions, events, and product displays at their stores. These promotions are an expensive necessary part of their business success creating more impact with lesser budgets than Nike, Apple, or other multinational corporations.
  3. The Pricing – Starbucks specifically markets its products to a target consumer that can buy their coffee at a premium price since the 90s. The target consumer base can purchase coffee at 25% higher than the price in the market. The marketing rides on exceptional drinks and food that people are willing to pay for in the face of cheaper options in the market. The strategy resulted in the Starbucks effect realized ad from 2000 when the premium coffee consumers rose to a staggering 40%

Starbucks target customers

Starbucks marketing is directed at the upper and middle classes with extra money to burn comfortably. The customers are specific on quality, don’t mind higher prices, and prefer using smartphones and technology to make work easier for them. The age demographic is between 22 to 60 years old. Teenagers are the new target as smartphones become more accessible and cheaper globally.

Below is a more detailed outlook on the defining qualities of the Starbucks target market.

High-Income, Big Spenders

Starbucks products target men and women from the middle and the upper classes. The big spenders have good money; they don’t fear spending it in exchange for a good time despite their hectic lifestyles and busy schedules. High income guarantees them the purchasing power for higher-priced beverages. Research done in April 2017 confirmed that Starbucks products target those comfortable with pricing at 25% more expensive than the other market options as long as they find it worth it. Starbucks marketing aims to convince them that they are getting value for what they spend on a drink or food.

Busy Suburbanites

Starbucks Target Audience

Starbucks has reengineered its marketing to target the urban population with hectic schedules at work and school. The Starbucks app and website reach out to them and provide them with much-needed quality beverages at the convenience of their locations through a laptop or a smartphone. The marketing notes that these people have money to spend but lack the time or the ability to walk to a store for a much-needed drink. Starbucks has since adopted an approach that provides a third place which translates to a safe space where you can enjoy your drink as you work on your laptop at their stores.

Technology Adopters

Starbucks moves with technology. They understand that the market they serve is technology-oriented in search of ease and efficiency. Starbucks rolled out the Starbucks app and an active easy-to-use website. The young-aged tech-savvy smartphone users use the app as the old guards use the website while learning the ropes of smartphone technology. Ordering and getting your drinks delivered at your location is convenient and emphasizes your status as a king when it comes to their business in their marketing approach. The premium value is placed on customer experience and satisfaction. Adapting to technology in the marketing approach guarantees that. Marketing campaigns have popularized online payment options.

Health-Conscious Professionals

Starbucks not only portrays itself as a company that puts a premium on the safety and health of the products they roll out to the market but also as a company where what you order is prepared by healthy people in health-certified environments according to market standards. The nutritional information appears in the marketing campaigns. The products also specify the calorie content based on standardized professional nutrition guidelines to tell you how much caffeine you consume in each product. They understand that their target market of the upper and middle classes are professionals addicted to the trends of a healthy lifestyle. Starbucks avails healthier options for their products that are gluten, caffeine-free or safe for those with lactose intolerance in their marketing campaigns.

Socially Aware People

Class is a key factor in marketing. Starbucks is acutely aware of the specific social class they serve. Their marketing language mirrors the acceptable behavior of the middle and upper classes of society. They carry out marketing campaigns that resonate with that target group without offending their subtle fine tastes or overstepping boundaries.

Drivers of Change

Starbucks marketing is driven by the goal to share the narrative of change. The message is that they are doing it differently. Change happens at a fast paced rate in our world today and Starbucks has embraced change to their advantage. Marketing campaigns pass the message that Starbucks is not afraid to innovate and adapt to change. They lead in driving change as their competitors follow.

FAQ section

Who is Starbucks’ competition?

Starbucks has over 20 competitors. The main notable ones are; Dunkin Donuts, Costa Coffee, McCafe, and Tim Horton’s

What is Starbucks’ target market age?

The Starbucks target market age is from 22 years old to 60 years old.

What makes Starbucks unique?

Brand consistency, quality service, and customer experience at a higher price than competitors make Starbucks unique.

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