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Posted by on Oct 23, 2009 in Branding | 0 comments

Starbucks and the Importance of Following Through

On my way to Philadelphia, as it was getting late, I stopped at a rest stop to pick up a Starbucks cappuccino. Of the past hundred of cappuccinos I’ve had, I’d say 20 fall in the 8-10 range on the quality scale. Of those 20, I’d say 18  come from Starbucks. The reason? I’ve never had a cappuccino from the café chain that didn’t fall in the 8-10 range. Likewise, I’ve stopped ordering cappuccinos from non-Starbucks cafes. With only two cappuccinos of other cafes able to deliver a premium quality cappuccino, I don’t test my luck anymore.

All numbers aside, brands can learn something from a quality cappuccino. It’s called consistently delivering on your value proposition. At first, the founders of Starbucks failed in their attempt to make a successful café in America. Dominating the landscape was Maxwell House and other coffee suppliers. Having journeyed to European cafes, the Starbucks founders decided to bring quality to the American coffee market. Impressed with the European coffee and espresso machines, the Starbucks founders imported the expensive hardware to the States.

With the brand value proposition that incorporates quality, Starbucks had the vehicle for which to deliver it with their premium café machines. Thus, America was introduced to exceptional coffee enjoyed by Europeans. And the rest is history.

After evaluating the market, you should have an idea of where your brand can deliver value. From here, you can develop your value proposition. The key is having a clear and simple way of following through. Are expensive coffee and espresso machines the way you’re going to follow through on your value? You must have the resources to deliver on your promise. If not, your brand will fall flat.

Often, brands are so aspirational they fail to keep their feet on the ground. To ground your brand, refine your value proposition delivery system. How are you going to get from A to B? At the end of the day, it’s all about follow through. Is your product going to hit the 8-10 range at a truck stop or down the road, in a different state?

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