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Starbucks: It’s Not About Coffee Anymore (Digital Experience-Website Analysis)

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Starbucks is the most successful coffee chain in the world. I used to live in Seattle for five years, and I am a loyal fan of Starbucks. When Howard decided to join Starbucks, he defined Starbucks as “A place for conversation and a sense of community. A third place between work and home.” (Starbuck Company Infomation)

Actually, he is right. Starbucks is absolutely my third place between work and home. When I study, I choose Starbucks; When I meet friends, I meet them at Starbucks; When I want to relax, I still feel Starbucks is the right place.

Last week, I visited Starbucks Reserve Store, which is the only reserve store in NYC. For me, I feel it is an isolated place in this crowded city. The whole shop is decorated in a pastoral style. Several couches set in the center of the shop for people to relax. With a simple cup of specialty coffee, we start tasting our life.

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Starbucks is definitely a Coffee Experience Entrepreneur. From my Starbucks experience, I feel that coffee is not its main selling point anymore. The unique coffee culture and experience become its new selling points. No matter Seattle Starbucks Roastery  or  New York Reserve store, the company uses creative ways to build a new coffee world and draw its coffee story.

starbucks-roastery-store
Starbucks Roastery at Seattle (Image from Google)
How Does Starbucks Build Its Brand Story?

Starbucks build their story by delivery two main experiences: Online digital experience & Instore experience.

Starbucks Digitial Experience First Look: Website Analysis

Website home page is the front door for every brand. When people search a new brand, the first and fast way to know this brand is to visit its homepage. What is this brand about? What is this brand culture? What is this brand story? What is this brand main selling?

No matter how you design your brand home page, it should be able to show your brand personality and tell your brand story. These two things will let people decide whether to care about your brand. 

How does Starbucks build its online story?

  •  Simple navigations point you to the right direction
starbucks-homepage
screenshot from Starbucks.com

On Starbucks homepage, the top bar shows very clear and simple navigation. We can easily know what this site is about. When we want to explore some information, a straightforward navigation helps us find the right direction. 

starbucks-coffeehouse
screenshot from Starbucks.com

Under each main menu, it contains many related topics. It gives you an overview of this topic and directly links to the right page. If you want to find its products, you can visit its “Coffee” or “Menu” page. If you want to learn Starbucks culture, “Blog” and “Coffeehouse” are the right place to go. If you want to purchase some gifts online, please “Shop” here.

starbucks-end-navigation
screenshot from Starbucks.com

When you scroll down to the end of the homepage, it displays more informational navigation with easy-to-read structure. Trust me, you won’t spend “forever” to scroll down the page to the bottom. It only takes a few seconds.

  • Seasonal promotion updates bring you new desires

Starbucks always updates its new product promotion every season or holiday. It will let people feel refresh and encourage them to try its new coffee drinks. For example, in this Fall, Starbucks is promoting its new Chile Mocha. What kind of taste will that mocha look like? For customers, who always like to follow new trends, are more likely to accept this” challenge” than others.

  • Meaningful contents tell you new stories
share-coffee-culture
screenshot from 1912pike.com/column/cool-stuff-now/

In Starbucks blog, it includes many different categories such as “Cool Stuff Now”,“How to”, “People”, and etc. We can always explore new stories and learn different sides of Starbucks. As I said:”Starbucks is not about coffee anymore”, it seems like our knowledgeable friend who loves sharing stories.

coffee-social-media-promotion
screenshot from 1912pike.com

For people who don’t know much about coffee, Starbucks write creative contents to tell you coffee stories.Simple words make people get the point easily. Even some people who already know coffee very well, they can still find many new things to learn from the blog. After you read its coffee articles, you will become a coffee master.

  • Surprise pop-up window won’t let you miss any new stories
newsletter
screenshot from 1912pike.com

From my observation, the newsletter sign up window doesn’t pop up all the time. Only when you check its blog, the sign-up window will pop up. Starbucks assume that people who check its blog page are more likely to follow up with its newsletter than others who check other pages.

Starbucks understands customer behavior and feelings very well. It delivers the most related pop-up windows on the right page to reach potential customers. If customers close the window, it won’t show up anymore even when you re-visit this site on the same devices. When a brand pushes too hard, customers will feel scared and annoying. As the result, they will leave immediately and never come back! I believe this won’t happen at Starbucks.

  • Double share icons remind you to share your learnings with others
remind-people-to-share
screenshot from 1912pick.com

Sharing brand stories on social media can help a brand reach more potential customers. Starbucks won’t ignore social media power–people’s voices. When you start reading any of its stories from the top of the article page, it automatically pops up four most popular dark social media icons-Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr. Next to social media icons, it also has e-mail option to let you email the article to yourself or others.

When you read the story until the end of the page, it shows those sharing options again in their unique brand colors. The color icons are more eye-catching than the dark ones. No matter what, it is definitely a good and effective way to remind people to share its brand stories to more people.

After you read my Starbuck website insight, how do you feel? Do you want to open Starbucks online front door? Do you feel that Starbucks is amazing? I hope so. Of course, Starbucks story is not ended yet, I will bring you more Starbuck experience in my future posts.

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