80,000 Variations

An article a few years back claimed that Starbucks offers more than 80,000 drink combinations. At Starbucks, you can apparently have your cake, and eat it, too.


But, you can’t negotiate the price of any of those 80,000 variations. In fact, the price for your grande, half calf, no whip, 2% peppermint mocha is not up for debate.


Nor is Starbucks willing to share what their ingredients cost, or the profit % they have added on top of everything. Yet, the local Starbucks I frequently visit is not lacking in customers.


Most aren’t.


How does Starbucks continue to thrive?


They don’t have the cheapest coffee. In fact, they have a reputation for being the most expensive fast-food coffee you can order.


Nor is the coffee the best. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy their dark roast. But I also would not be caught saying “Starbucks has great coffee” in front of a coffee aficionado.


Is it their service?


What about the ambiance? (Remember Caribou? Didn’t they mostly copy Starbucks’ ambiance and still fail?)


Or, what about the value of accepting all walks of people?


None of these are the answer.


The real answer is value.


Please understand, everything listed above matters immensely, because every element of the business leads to the overall perceived value of the product. It is the combination of the above —with every component being done extremely well —that leads to the overall value.


Just think…


At Starbucks you can have your drink 80,000 different ways, made from quality ingredients, and served by Baristas that will not only learn your name, but also will engage with you personally. All this happens in an environment that is open, clean, and accepting to all.


No wonder I don’t bat an eye when they charge me close to $3 for a Venti Dark Roast.


The value is worth it.

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