Business, Finance & Economics

Starbucks launches new plan to rejuvenate international sales


Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz speaks at an event celebrating a new partnership between Starbucks and non-profit groups in New York City and Los Angeles to assist in offsetting government funding cuts to programs for children and education on October 4, 2011 in New York City.


Spencer Platt

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  • Starbucks announced its "Renaissance Plan" last month, which looks to rejuvenate its brand throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

    Now, it's using a non-traditional tactic to jumpstart the plan, reports Leslie Patton at Bloomberg Businessweek. It's going to advertise on TV.

    Starbucks has shied away from television spots throughout its existence, though it has dabbled at times (like this Frappucino campaign in 2010).

    Patton explains: "Unlike other restaurant chains, Starbucks has rarely used television — in the U.S. or abroad — to tout its brand, relying instead on word-of-mouth, social media and its cafes to market beverages and food. Recently Starbucks has moved beyond its traditional coffee business into areas including juice, single-cup beverages and a coffee brewer. Some of these are sold in grocery stores and may benefit from TV advertising."

    TV spots are the megaphone of advertising. It's the best way to go if you want to get word out to a mass audience, and Starbucks can certainly afford it. The company tells Patton this will be its largest-ever marketing investment in the region.

    Its Renaissance Plan is pretty grandiose, so this seems like an appropriate way to kick things off. Starbucks wants to be seen the same way in Europe as it is in Manhattan — on every corner, with a cup in everybody's hand.

    Even the name of its plan is ambitious. Coffee blogger and former World Barista Champion James Hoffmann at Jimseven writes: "I’m under the impression that their intended meaning of renaissance is to be a renewed interest in Starbucks — rather than them embracing the arts in any serious way beyond selling Bob Dylan CDs at the point of sale.  For a company mocked in the past for ubiquity, the posterchild of globalisation (and the window of choice to smash at any demonstration …), it seems a brave tactic to try and renew interest and consumer uptake by being ever more present when everyone already teases you for being everywhere."

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