Starbucks Corporation’s International Marketing


Starbucks is a recognized leader in the coffee industry due to its successful business model, which accurately considers a modern person’s psychology. For example, introducing the theatre and romance of coffee drinking as a USP brand earned people’s recognition and trusted worldwide. Thus, the phenomenon of Starbucks is explained not so much by the quality and assortment of coffee but by the atmosphere of each establishment, for which consumers are willing to overpay (Expect more than coffee, n.d., para. 1). The paper’s author analyzes the theatre and romance of coffee drinking, compares and contrasts approaches used by Starbucks, and discusses four important vital lessons.

The Theatre and Romance of Coffee Drinking as Unique Selling Proposition


Coffee drinking based on theater and romance at Starbucks was essential in the USA. According to Andrew Linnemann, coffee making at Starbucks is a “ritual” with a gentle approach that customers want to look at (Peiper, 2018, para. 5). Many individuals like to watch how a barista grinds grains or monitors the exact timing shots. The eradication of this practice led to the fact that the company was distracted from its core competence — maintaining a high quality of service (Sawo, 2018, para. 11). Nevertheless, considering such drastic changes, Starbucks remains the leader in preparing delicious coffee with an individual approach, partly referring to the bygone USP.

USP for China

Additionally, the case study analysis confirmed that excellent products, quality of service, and brand attributes are the competitive advantages of Starbucks in China. Hence, using the USP should be considered necessary to preserve the brand’s integrity and gain confidence in the firm’s products (Boyd, 2022, para. 24). For example, more than 75% of Chinese people drink at least one cup of coffee daily (Karl, 2020, para. 12). Accordingly, buying expensive and high-quality Starbucks coffee, made with love and care, is a normal phenomenon in the region (Gupta et al., 2018, p. 6). It is noteworthy that Eastern customers appreciate and respect the principles of making coffee in the company in the spectrum of theater and romance since they focus primarily on exclusivity and originality, regardless of prices (DeVault, 2018, para. 11). Therefore, it is evident and apparent that the USP in some sense is a special “highlight,” attracting the attention of residents of the country to buying coffee from Starbucks.

USP for India

It is essential to highlight that most Indians did not accept this practice so cordially and warmly due to several cultural and social norms, values, rules, customs, and traditions. For instance, this population, in particular, expresses a vivid predilection for different varieties of tea drinks (Karl, 2020, para. 9). Nevertheless, according to reliable and trustworthy information from the case study, Indian citizens prefer filtered coffee, which requires manual labor, not automatic (Gupta et al., 2018, p. 6). It is no secret that Starbucks had to make some sacrifices and change the “standard” menu almost completely, adapting to the local context. Hence, “the theatre and romance of coffee drinking” were far from the first procedure for maintaining the company’s competitive position in the market. From this, the author must conclude that the USP did not have the intended and desired effect on the perception of Indians regarding the drinks.

USP for a Global Context

Without any doubt, the theatre and romance of coffee drinking is a significant practice from a global perspective; in particular, it is most widespread in Western countries. For example, Italy has had its own unique coffee culture for many years, which is hard not to fall in love with (Thomson, 2022, para. 1-3. Notable that these traditions inspired the creator of Starbucks to implement the USP in their coffee shops (Robson, n.d., para. 22). Nonetheless, this USP seems to be something special and unique; there will always be lovers of such impressive features, especially if they live in more developed countries.

Comparing and Contrasting Starbucks’ Approach in China and India

Primarily, Starbucks’ entry into Eastern markets was a relatively first experience getting to know Eastern cultures. India and China adhere to tea-drinking traditions to a greater extent, unlike Latin America, France, and Italy. In addition, Starbucks has equally focused on presenting new drinks and food as an initiative to minimize potential risks and adverse consequences for the company. Nevertheless, for example, the firm added green tea, juices, and a wide selection of Chinese cuisine to the menu of Chinese coffee shops. In Indian establishments, the organization introduced dishes based on local gastronomic preferences like Alphonso Frappuccino. Furthermore, Starbucks was serious about the design of coffee shops in both India and China, taking into account oriental tastes and preferences. However, Starbucks establishments in India tend to be located in more prestigious areas, and their interior illustrates cultural peculiarities and respect for social roots. Hence, entering the brand’s coffee shops, people can relax in a cozy atmosphere and enjoy fragrant coffee. At the same time, coffee shops in China are designed in such a way that clients can not only sit in pairs with each other but relax in a company.

Key Learnings for Starbucks as It Expanded Internationally

Emphasis on the strength of the brand, the support of employees, the creation of a cozy atmosphere in establishments, as well as the need to maintain trusting relationships with consumers through the study of culture, history, and local tastes are the four main lessons that Starbucks learned as it expanded internationally. Firstly, Starbucks is one of the most famous companies worldwide for its unique approach to the targeted audience. The corporation takes into account this circumstance in order to promote its products. Secondly, any difficulties and troubles in the internal systems force Starbucks to take clear and reasonable measures to avoid unpredictable misunderstandings. For example, the business promptly and correctly responded to the staff turnover in India by hiring competent people and creating favorable working conditions. The mechanics of this method are simple: workers are satisfied — customers are also happy because they see the positive attitude and smile of employees who like their work.

Thirdly, the firm assumes the interests of populations, whether Americans or Chinese. This is vital that they feel comfortable being in Starbucks coffee shops, leave happy, and come back again (Bergstrom, 2018, para. 16). For illustration, having no experience setting up coffee shops in India, the company did not let the situation take its course but tried to find a way out of the problem and did it perfectly. Fourthly, to remain competitive, the corporation makes active attempts in every possible way to establish warm relations with buyers from different countries, for example, by introducing unique dishes that they will be interested in.


Summing up, one should underline that Starbucks is a world-famous company experiencing a period of exceptionally high development rates every year due to competent and correct marketing companies. Thus, appealing to the theatre and romance of coffee drinking as its USP allowed the firm to create the value and uniqueness of Starbucks products. The organization is constantly striving to expand, carefully entering new markets. Accordingly, due to the brand’s strength, the support of employees, the creation of unique interiors, and the establishment of good customer relations, Starbucks managed to adapt to new conditions without fear of competition.

Reference List

Boyd, C. (2022) How to create a unique selling proposition (USP). Web.

Bergstrom, B. (2018) Starbucks marketing strategy: create a remarkable brand. Web.

DeVault, G. (2018) How Starbucks brought coffee to China. Web.

Expect more than coffee (n.d.) Web.

Gupta, P., Nagpal, A. and Malik, D. (2018) Starbucks: global brand in emerging markets. Bingley, West Yorkshire, England: Emerald Publishing Limited.

Karl, M. (2020) A case study of Starbucks in India, China and the UK. Web.

Peiper, H. (2018) Starbucks nostalgia: celebrating 10 years of Starbucks Pike Place Roast. Web.

Robson, D. (n.d.) How the world came to run on coffee. Web.

Sawo, M. (2018) The success & failure of Starbucks’ service innovation. Web.

Thomson, R. (2022) Coffee in Italy or 101 facts about Italian coffee culture. Web.

Make a reference

Pick a citation style


PapersGeeks. (2023, September 25). Starbucks Corporation's International Marketing.

Work Cited

"Starbucks Corporation's International Marketing." PapersGeeks, 25 Sept. 2023,

1. PapersGeeks. "Starbucks Corporation's International Marketing." September 25, 2023.


PapersGeeks. "Starbucks Corporation's International Marketing." September 25, 2023.


PapersGeeks. 2023. "Starbucks Corporation's International Marketing." September 25, 2023.


PapersGeeks. (2023) 'Starbucks Corporation's International Marketing'. 25 September.

Click to copy

This paper on Starbucks Corporation’s International Marketing was created by a student just like you. You are allowed to use this work for academic purposes. If you wish to use a snippet from the sample in your paper, a proper citation is required.

Takedown Request

If you created this work and want to delete it from the PapersGeeks database, send a removal request.