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Post 1

Starbucks is one of the most recognized brands in the coffee industry worldwide with location in 30 countries and reporting revenue of $5.1 billion in 2006 (Pickett and Pickett, 2001). This is due to their unique way of communicating with their customers and offering a distinctive coffee experience to those who love their coffee. Their ethics codes and values centralize in creating an environment where everyone is welcomed, valued, and respected.

Starbucks target audience is mainly middle to upper middle class men and women. This can be deduced by the pricing of their items which tends to be higher than any other coffee shop such as Dunkin donuts. The environment inside their stores is also created to look aesthetic and calm, a place where people can go to have a good cup of coffee while also being able to sit down and work or study for hours. Starbucks uses this strategy as a way of connecting more with their customers and making them feel as if the store is “the third place” between home and work (Dollinger, 2008). Starbucks main focus has always been its customers so they use business to consumer marketing. Their incredible and strong marketing practices is what has led them to become what they are today. One of the main marketing strategies that Starbucks uses is the ways in which they connect with their customers at an emotional level. For example, in 2005 Starbucks donated $10 million dollars to countries that were not able to provide clean water to their citizens. As a result of this, Starbucks found a way to appeal to its customers emotionally by showing that they support the same causes as the customer (Howard 2005)  Applying its ethical values into social scenarios, the company has been able to place itself on a pedestal that makes the company seem as if their primary initiative is to make the consumers feel like Starbucks is there for them, both physically and mentally.

As mentioned before, Starbucks constantly shows their concern for the environment and always works forward to conserve it. Their goal is to give back to the planet more than they take, as stated in their website. Satrbucks has also set in place a system to reward customers who join them in their journey to create a more positive impact in the  environment.  Recently Starbucks announced their environmental goal of carbon neutral green coffee and to cut water waste by 50%. They also support farmers all around the world by buying coffee from more than 400,000 of them, creating a positive impact for those farmers and their communities.

When it comes to angry and upset customers Starbucks uses “empathy and humanity”. They deal with these customers in a way that makes them feel heard and understood. For example, when Starbucks changed their rewards programs, thousands of customers spoke about their disappointment in the change and Starbucks responded to more than half of those customers with a custom answer. Each customer was given a custom response which showed that they were heard by the company. In store complaints are also managed in the most calm way that will make the customer leave contact or much less upset. This is usually accomplished by rewarding the customer with a free drink or a reimbursement.

Over the years Starbucks has gained a sense of respect in the coffee industry that in my opinion is well deserved because the main thing that differentiates Starbucks from any other brand is the effort they put into making a unique  connection with each and every customer.

Resources

Pickett, S.H.K. and Pickett, J.M. (2001).

Internal control: a manager’s journey

. John Wiley and Sons.

Howard, T. (2005). Starbucks Takes Up Cause For Safe Drinking Water.

USA Today

. 160(9), 32-38.

Dollinger, M. (2012, July 31).

Starbucks, “The Third Place”, and Creating the Ultimate Customer Experience

. Fast Company.

Post 2

Since the beginning of PepsiCo Brand creation, it has remained as one of the brand giants in its perspective division of goods and services. In short, Pepsi is a soft drink brand like Coca-Cola, it is one of the most recognized brands in the world. Over the years, they have only gotten bigger by adding to their company portfolio by branching out an acquiring 22 other related brands like Gatorade and Tropicana, to only name a couple. Carbonated Soft drinks is commonly known to be unhealthy and harmful to the human body in the long run; PepsiCo faces an uphill battle in terms of marketing and ethics because the majority of their products are carbonated soft drinks. How has PepsiCo managed to navigate through this thin sheet line of ice when it comes to convincing a market to consume their harmful products? PepsiCo target multiple segments in the market, their catalogue is so expansive, it seems like a person of every age, region, gender and life stage enjoys one of their products either often or occasionally. While PepsiCo is enjoyed by all, its main target demographics are younger people, from the ages of 15-45, usually advertised with young adults from all social classes, from poor to wealthy, enjoying a party or gathering of friends or family with a Pepsi drink or as a refreshing beverage to have alongside a meal at a restaurant. Role theory considers people or companies play a role, like in movie, in their everyday lives depending on the circumstances of their current situation. PepsiCo’s role is to provide all of its consumers with a refreshing affordable beverage, in order to satisfy their customers.

When dealing with the kind of product that PepsiCo specializes in, all of its direct competitors like Coca-Cola, share a similar brand personality, which is brand excitement. As mentioned before, PepsiCo targets a youthful audience that is normally enjoying something currently in their lives, whether it is with a meal, a gathering with friends or with simple consumption, it creates excitement and a cheerful attitude. PepsiCo product are very involved in the business to business marketing. The company products are resold from retail convenience stores, franchises like Taco bell, Panda Express, KFC and through the marketing of big events for example the Super Bowl, as they once used to have B2B relationship before COVID-19. The brand communicates with its consumer through TV ads, retail store marketing and promotion/sales such as newspapers and magazines to market their products. Recently, they have also joined the wave of social media marketing through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. PepsiCo has several ways to process consumer complaints, they have customer servicer’s phone number, the headquarters address and email address are all listed on their company website.

PepsiCo Company does have sustainable processes and green marketing, one of the company’s biggest impact is to reduce the use plastic. PepsiCo created the world’s first petroleum free “green bottle” that makes it 100% recyclable. This change was first introduce in 2012 due to the company being attacked by environmentalist for the use of non-environmentally friendly. The company has been involved in high profile accusations of ethical misconduct with the promotion of obesity, There are several complaint that the company promotes product that are bad for the health of individuals. The company was also involved in a questionable commercial starring Kendall Jenner for the controversy within the Black Lives Matter movement. The company was trying to project a message of unity but used pictures from the Black Lives Matter protest and was highly criticize this was in 2017. Both incidents had a very negative public relations, the company has been very understanding of the incidents and has try to correct their errors and listen to the public in order to remain a top product. The commercial was pulled as soon as they were made aware of the situation and as for the health of the individual they also provide alternatives in order to enjoy their product with less sugar and/or products that provide less harmful substance such as diet Pepsi and Pepsi zero. As mentioned in the beginning, PepsiCo faces an uphill battle when it comes to keeping the market on their side especially since their product causes harm to the consumer but it has done an amazing job at that and remains one of the world’s most recognizable and loved brands.

  
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