This humble little coffee joint has come a long way. Starbucks started out a strictly as a place selling coffee beans, but it is now a MNC(multi-national company) with 6, 200 stores worldwide, and an estimated 3 stores opening daily. A great example of how globalized Starbucks is that it can now be found in China’s most ancient and historic place: the Forbidden City. Also, we can now see Starbucks in bookstores and even in films, with the recent launch of Starbucks Entertainment.
Starbucks’ titanic rise doesn’t just say something about consumer preferences; it also says something about global society. The corporation’s green and white logo – the mermaid – has come to represent more than Starbucks’ stores; it has become an icon of globalization itself. Starbucks symbolizes the rising role of corporations, service industries and flexible wage schedules.
Now, what makes Starbucks so successful in its bid to become globalized? Firstly, it is the warm feeling of camaraderie among the baristas, waiters and customers alike. Although Starbucks’ coffee is not something to die for, many people patronize its outlets in order to feel accepted by society’s norm. Starbucks is more than a coffee chain, it is a symbol of wealth and affluence, and therefore this is a major factor in its success in globalization.
Another factor is that Starbucks is able to adapt and localize where needed. For example, menus are in the local language, while special beverages and pastries can only be found in certain countries to suit the local taste. The Moka Praline can only be found in France and Spain, while the Marshmallow Mocha is unique to Japan.
Although sources are varied, we can conclude that Starbucks aims to open a few hundred more stores in China alone in the next few years to come, depending on customer response. This is an indication that Starbucks is far from done globalizing the world, and has probably only just begun.