You have a global brand. But, to maximise its strength in global markets, you need to take account of the local customer needs and wants. That is the essence of the concept of “localisation” and this approach is helping Starbucks from a global brand to local markets!
Starbucks represents number one global coffee company. Then what are the factors that makes Starbucks an successful global firm. Well, there are a lot of factors, however, I think the most important part that makes them to be a global coffee leader is brand localisation.Starbucks started their international expansion by entering Japan and followed by many other Asia like Korea and China in the later years and made a huge success!
At the first time when they entered into international market, Starbucks was challenged with some serious setbacks due to home country’s pressure and insufficient understanding
of international culture. For example, Chinese market was one of the hardest markets to crack for Western companies because they do have own tea culture!
But, think about now! In 2014, there were 1,367 Starbucks stores in China.Starbucks has different menus for each country as well as offering more options among its international offerings. Starbucks in China, one can find traditional Chinese cookies on the menu. This example shows the Starbuck’s obvious effort to offer customers more options in localization.Also in China, customers tend to come to Starbucks in large groups. Store designers have accommodated by adding more movable furniture that customers can rearrange to sit together. In contrast with Americans, who tend to favour fast service that allows them to quickly get on with their day, the Chinese like to sit and relax for a while. So Starbucks is now building larger stores in China!
Some people say that localization of adding local food and drinks to the menu would lower Starbucks’s brand image as McDonald’s or any other ordinary cafe.However, by brand localisation, Starbucks also succeed in winning business in many different countries!
What do you think about it?
Does brand localisation play a key role in Starbucks’ success in other countries?
Is brand localisation important for global brand?
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