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Grounds Zero: A Starbucks-free Italy. Bloomberg Businessweek Research Paper

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Updated: Jul 9th, 2019

Doing business means being ready to face some highs and lows. Even among the titans of the modern here is hardly a single entrepreneurship that has never experienced a failure or at least lacked success among certain type of public. However, when it comes to such a famous company as Starbucks, one could have hardly believed that there are places in the world where there are little to no people who know about the company.

Still, the sad truth is that in Italy, most people have no idea about what Starbucks is and what services it offers. According to the conclusions in the article written by Stephan Faris, Schultz, the company director, the company should try promoting their production among the Italian people, yet the attitude of the latter towards coffee as a quick drink made in between work can ruin the entire campaign.

One of the basic complexities concerning the situation is that when entering the Italian market, Starbucks will have not one, but several obstacles to overcome. The first and, perhaps, the least significant problem for the company is that at present, there is hardly a single person in Italy who is aware of the company’s existence, not to mention the services that it provides.

However, with a decent promotion campaign, Starbucks will quickly become well-known among the local people. What is going to motivate people to choose Starbucks instead of their traditional cheap coffee is a more difficult question. Hence, it is necessary to develop an advertisement that will emphasize Starbucks’ advantages as compared to other coffee-producing companies.

Finally, the fact that the Italians do not understand the culture of “flow food” (Faris, 2012) might become an obstacle. Hence, Starbucks will have to come up with a decent legend of their drink. While the widely accepted image that the Starbucks has, i.e., beverage that one can savor to taste the entire palette, will most probably not suit the values of the Italian people, a legend with a more energy in it is likely to do the trick.

Nevertheless, one must admit that the company has a certain strategic advantage for entering the Italian market, and that advantage must be used for the Starbucks’ benefit. First of all, it is necessary to keep in mind that the Starbucks’ products have the finest quality, which cannot be considered the feature of the traditional Italian coffee companies.

Putting the emphasis on the specific taste and the gourmet flair, Starbucks can possibly become rather successful in the Italian market. However, as the article mentions, low price is what exactly attracts clientele to the Italian coffee producing companies. Therefore, it will be reasonable for Starbucks to offer a more flexible pricing policy in the Italian market, with a focus in quality that one cannot see in other companies.

Judging by the above-mentioned, to conquer the Italian coffee market, Starbucks will have to come up with completely new strategies and develop new maneuvers. One of the most obvious moves at present is to shift the emphasis from the coffee being an elite drink to a tasty drink. Therefore, the social strata that consume coffee the most will realize that the delicious product is actually marketed for them.

However, rethinking the key methods that can be applied to the promotion of Starbucks in Italy, one must mention that in the given case, a more subtle promotion campaign will probably do a better job. As it has been mentioned, Italians have a different vision of world and its pleasures, and a traditional Starbucks approach towards advertizing can confuse the Italian target audience even more.

Hence, a less pompous and more casual-style commercial will have a better effect. According to the recent news, a home-made commercial of Starbucks coffee has been much more successful than all the advertizing campaigns held so far by Starbucks in Italy: according to the recent news, “the advertising poster announcing the imminent arrival of a Starbucks store last week in Milan” (Lawrence, 2012) has been spotted.

However, it was soon revealed that the latter “was just a prank by a design student” (Lawrence, 2012). Hence, it seems that there are reasons to promote Starbucks in Italy again. Changing the strategy a bit and adjusting to the Italian market, the company is likely to succeed. Aiming for the public other than the traditional Starbucks elite, the company will definitely win the clients’ preferences.

Starbucks definitely has chances in Italy; however, the legend behind the drink must be modified somehow to fit the vision of the Italian people. Following on the heels of a traditional Italian perception of a coffee break as a two-minute long quick warm-up before getting down to work, the whole Starbucks image can fall flat.

Developing a more flexible idea of their trademark, on the other hand, can become the company’s trump card, and they will be able to play it most efficiently when the advertizing campaign is over and people are thrilled about the new experience. Thus, Starbucks will be able to cross the finishing line and reach ultimate success.

Reference List

Faris, S. (2012). Grounds zero: A Starbucks-free Italy. Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved from ProQuest.

Lawrence, J. (2012). Web.

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IvyPanda. (2019, July 9). Grounds Zero: A Starbucks-free Italy. Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/grounds-zero-a-starbucks-free-italy-bloomberg-businessweek/

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"Grounds Zero: A Starbucks-free Italy. Bloomberg Businessweek." IvyPanda, 9 July 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/grounds-zero-a-starbucks-free-italy-bloomberg-businessweek/.

1. IvyPanda. "Grounds Zero: A Starbucks-free Italy. Bloomberg Businessweek." July 9, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/grounds-zero-a-starbucks-free-italy-bloomberg-businessweek/.


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IvyPanda. "Grounds Zero: A Starbucks-free Italy. Bloomberg Businessweek." July 9, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/grounds-zero-a-starbucks-free-italy-bloomberg-businessweek/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Grounds Zero: A Starbucks-free Italy. Bloomberg Businessweek." July 9, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/grounds-zero-a-starbucks-free-italy-bloomberg-businessweek/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Grounds Zero: A Starbucks-free Italy. Bloomberg Businessweek'. 9 July.

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