Starbucks for Life is Back! [Super Secret Ways] to Play for Free & Win

Why is Starbucks so Popular

Here we go… Let’s jump right in with some of the primary reasons for what may provide some serious justification for as Why Starbucks is so popular. We have done some extensive research and pulled data from various resources to help bring some perspective on the popularity of the Starbucks Coffee brand. We even collected data via social media platforms and consumer feedback given from people who regularly visit Starbucks for their dose of caffeine or, as we will soon learn, some of Starbucks’ many other products or shopping experiences they provide. So let’s dive in and discover what makes Starbucks one of the most popular Coffee Retail Brands in the world.

1. The Coffee Itself

Starbucks opened its first shop in 1971 and started expanding outside the Seattle area in 1987. At that time, coffee connoisseurs were rare in the US, and espresso was seldom found outside of Italian restaurants. Very few people even knew the difference between espresso and coffee. At cafés, diners, and donuts shops across the country, people drank generic, mass-produced, and often weakly brewed coffee. With the introduction of the Starbucks brand across the nation, this was soon about to change dramatically.

Multiple generations of Americans have now grown up with Starbucks as a better alternative to their grandparents’ coffee. Food critics aren’t big fans of Starbucks’ coffee, claiming imperfect taste due to over-roasted beans – in fact, in blind taste-tests most people actually preferred McDonald’s – but the coffee is a definite improvement on what was standard before. It’s good enough, and that’s good enough for most people. However, where Starbucks outshines the competition is in its very wide range of menu items and diversified coffee beverages that get the public so buzzing over Starbucks Coffee.

We have seen people often comparing Dunkin Donuts with Starbucks, and that’s because they both offer some good coffee. Even still, the variety and ambiance of Starbucks win over coffee lovers more often than not.

2. Popular Specialty Drinks

For many customers, it’s all about the Caramel Latte, or the Frappuccino, or in the fall, the Pumpkin Pie Latte. It has to be said that the excessive roasting gives the espresso shots a flavor that works well with these sweet concoctions creating the right balance of flavors for each of Starbucks ‘ premium specialty coffee drinks. These drinks are so popular that other coffee chains have had to introduce similar products in order to compete.

Just be aware that some of these drinks can top 500 calories if you order the “venti” size, and more if you add whipped cream. After Covid has hit the industry, many people have tried avoiding going inside to follow social distancing. Which has made the Starbucks stores with drive-thrus heavily trafficked, with some very long lines of cars waiting for their Starbucks fix. So, if you are carving for these specialty drinks, we have some secret recipes by Starbucks to try at home so you can avoid the line. Speaking of secret recipes, true Starbucks coffee fans are well aware of their extensive “Secret Menu” filled with variations of concoctions typically found on their regular menu, which may provide a twist on your favorite Starbucks drinks if you know what to ask for. Another crowd-pleasing perk of this top-rated coffee chain.

3. The Brand – Major Reason Why People Love Starbucks

Above all, Starbucks has successfully branded itself as a little bit of luxury that almost everyone can afford. With its Italianized beverage names, it’s inviting décor, and even some of its unreasonably high prices, Starbucks feels like an indulgence or a reward. One that happens to be conveniently located, well pretty much everywhere. It’s easier to drag yourself to work on a Monday morning when you treat yourself to your favorite latte on the way. Many studies have shown that our enjoyment of foods and drinks, even our perception of how they taste, is enhanced by branding and clever packaging.

4. The “Third Place”

The rise of Starbucks has happened in parallel with some big changes in how people live, work and interact. Urban planners speak of a “third place” which is neither home nor work, but a neutral community space where people can meet on an equal footing. A cup of coffee may cost more at Starbucks than at McDonald’s, but you’re also paying rent on a pleasant, inviting living room where you can stay for a while and meet with friends or work colleagues. From a design and branding perspective, what Starbucks does is rather brilliant in fact.

In a country where the coffee choices used to be limited to “Regular or Decaf”, Starbucks has forever changed the way people consume coffee. Long gone are the days of Sanka and Folgers. You can find Starbucks cafés in most urban neighborhoods, shopping malls, and in many cities even when you travel abroad.

5. Social Media Presence

On social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, Starbucks has a high number of coffee lovers who are loyal to their brand. Their followers are people who visit both their social feeds and their retail stores regularly. They have a very high number of followers on these platforms and they do take those followers seriously. Their promotions follow a one-on-one principle which means, you have promotions specifically targeting your interests! This results in higher engagements, conversions, and returning happy customers.

6. The Starbucks App

The mobile app by Starbucks was launched in 2011 to provide another level of hassle-free experience to their regular customers.

This app allows you to order, pay, and pick up the drinks without waiting for them in the long queues. Just simply order your favorite drink from the app and it will tell you when your order is ready for pickup. You can even order using the app while you leave your home or office and by the time you reach the store, your drink will be ready. Talk about Easy and Convenient!

7. Popular Celebrities + Starbucks

This popular and very hip coffee retailer can be frequently found with celebrities’ enjoying their day out as well as their favorite Starbucks beverage of choice! These celebs often post their experience of Starbucks or simply post selfies on their social media pages resulting in high engagement further increasing the brand’s popularity.

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This sharing of Starbucks on social media by celebs is nothing other than magic for the brand and that is why Starbucks isn’t known for collaborating with celebrities for advertisements as many are already promoting them without asking. Frankly speaking, celebs have made Starbucks into something of a status symbol.

8. The Ambiance

With the rise of the Internet, more people are working from home, and what better way to deal with the isolation than to spend part of your day working from a coffee shop? Free high-speed Wi-Fi, in a lounge-like atmosphere, fresh with the aromas of freshly brewed coffee, is another secret to Starbucks’ success.

The ambiance they provide not disturbing and is a perfect place for meeting people or working for a while. With its blend of luxury and familiarity, and with the popularity of its signature drinks, it’s no wonder that Starbucks dominates the American retail coffee landscape.

9. The Starbucks Store

Apart from providing a good ambiance and coffee, the brand also has an array of things to offer in the cafe and this might also be the reason why people love Starbucks. One can also prepare coffee like them at home with a host of products by Starbucks. From Coffee beans to Coffee Makers; Coffee Cups to some of the best Coffee thermos, they sell many things to keep their customers engaged.

The Social media presence of Starbucks is solid, and they often leverage this app to provide users with amazing deals and discounts on the various items they sell in their store locations. The social media team behind this tries to take care of each customer and that brings them a lot of repeat business that become loyal customers for life.


Adapting to local culture

Starbucks makes it a point to carry out extensive research on the history, culture and the locals’ taste preferences before it decides to partner with coffee companies and participating stores available locally.

Their market research is done before they start to build their participating stores in the target location. Starbucks formulates their menu to fit the needs of the locals without compromising their signature brand.

Its localization strategy is a mix of local products with innovative store designs, so they are able to fully adapt to the culture of the location. Here are some examples.

Starbucks maintains 18 design centers worldwide, which work to understand and conceptualize store designs to reflect the local market.


In Japan, local buildings have low roofs and most of them have indirect references to Shintoism, which is the country’s religion. The company hired local designers in order to create the right atmosphere in participating stores.

For example, the store in Fukuoka used 2,000 wood blocks that interlock to give a forest-like feel to the place and honor nature, in reference to the religion. The store in Meguro looks like a local craft store, with the style of a traditional Japanese teahouse.

The shops offer localized food and drinks, such as the matcha (green tea) frappucinos. The servings are smaller and less sweet than the items sold in American stores.


The rising middle class in China favors Starbucks, which has made the consumers yearn for consumables that are considered status symbols. Starbucks became an aspiration brand in participating  stores in China. The company also used innovative designs for their stores in China, hiring Kengo Kuma, a well-known Japanese architect.

Because Chinese consumers love to meet in large groups, the stores in China have tables that can be put together to accommodate groups. But before they started selling coffee, Starbucks first started serving tea, allowing the consumers to enjoy the different environment, working on the ”aspiration” feel. Once the Chinese market became comfortable with the brand, they started offering their signature products.

Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, the logo of Starbucks in participating stores and overall branding had to be changed because the topless mermaid in the company’s logo was viewed as pornographic. Therefore, the logo was changed into a crown with waves, foregoing the mermaid. The stores also have separate sections for men, while the women are served in the family section.


The French coffee consumers were haughty at first, thinking that Starbucks served coffee of low quality that was overpriced. In response to this, Starbucks served Vienesse coffee, a hot coffee or chocolate served with cream), along with offerings of continental items in participating stores, such as foie gras and brioche sandwiches and red fruitcake.

These are just some of the many innovative ideas Starbucks used to create market superiority in all the locations they are in around the world.

What are The Prizes?

Like I said, there are 2.5 million prizes. In addition to 10 people winning Starbucks for Life, here are some of the other large prizes.

  • Starbucks for Life (10 Winners)
  • Starbucks for You for 1 year (30 winners)
  • Starbucks for 6 months (50 Winners)
  • Starbucks for 3 months (75 Winners)
  • Starbucks for 1 month (100 Winners)
  • 15,000 Bonus Stars (50 Winners)
  • $100 Starbucks Card (700 Winners)
  • Ravensburger Puzzle (2,250 Winners)
  • Starbucks for Life Tumbler (2,740 Winners)
Some of the Smaller Starbucks for Life Prizes Incl

Some of the Smaller Starbucks for Life Prizes Include:

  • Starbucks for Life Beanie
  • Starbucks Reserve Coffee
  • Starbucks for Life Holiday Card Set
  • Bonus Stars (From 5 stars to 150 stars)
  • Starbucks Food & Drinks (Enjoy Your next coffee or bakery item at participating stores could be free!)


Overall, it can be concluded that overwhelming success of Starbucks can be explained by complex, well-thought tools and strategies. Their approach is not just to increase sales by opening many shops in all available places, by paying high costs for marketing, but it has more qualitative and sustainable approach. As has been discussed in the paper, the company’s growth strategy, pricing and HR management strategies, and significance they place on retention of customers by providing high quality product and services demonstrate the reasons for gaining such popularity all over the world and sustainable success can be easily expected.

What were the benefits for Starbucks?

First, there’s the obvious benefit: empowering customers to make suggestions for product improvements meant that Starbucks had access to new, and potentially very valuable, ideas. Many of these were things that would only have occurred to dedicated customers.

The "My Starbucks Idea" platform created significant benefits for Starbucks.

Besides the simple value of these ideas, however, the platform also helped generate a lot of media attention and free advertising. By encouraging die-hard fans to engage online, Starbucks created a new way to market their products to their most valuable customer segment.

The platform also served as a market research tool, too. Many thousands of fans signed up to submit their ideas, and in doing so provided the company with demographic information. This allowed Starbucks to build detailed customer profiles.

The benefit didn’t go just one way, though: Starbucks customers also got plenty of value out of the platform. By engaging with the company, customers experienced a greater sense of inclusiveness, with the platform helping to build a real community.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, however. As significant as the benefits were for both Starbucks and its customers, the "My Starbucks Idea" platform still created a number of risks to be managed.

Trip to Milan and some changes

Howard Schultz, the new marketing director of Starbucks went to Milan on a buying trip in 1982. He saw several coffee bars situated in almost every street in the city. The cafés served very good espresso. But the shops were also meeting places, especially in the mornings, as Italians love their morning coffee.

Upon his return to the United States, Schultz tried to convince the owners to open coffee shops because he believed that it was the way for Starbucks to be more profitable and successful. They opened a pilot shop in 1984, but the owners were not open to the idea of implementing the concept across the company because they refused to go into restaurant operation.

Schultz resigned from Starbucks and opened his own concept coffee shop. He named it Il Giornale, which served espresso Italian style and ice cream. Customers were treated to the sound of Italian opera when they are at the shop. In 1987, the original Starbucks owners offered to sell the company, and Schultz immediately grabbed the opportunity.


Starbucks is most known for their quality coffee shop items such as coffee, teas, and favorites such as hot chocolate. All of their menu items may be ordered in one of three sizes.

They offer a Tall size which is a small, a Grande size which is a medium, and a Vente which is a large. Most of these items start at the low end of a dollar and go up to about $3.50. The price is obviously dependent on the size and style you order. The prices for Tall size vary from

$1.35 to $2.70, Grande size $1.65 to $3.25, and Vente size $1.75 to $3.50 according to the Table below.

For example a basic cup of hot brewed coffee is one of the lowest priced items while more complicated drinks such as the Vente Chai Tea Latte will be a bit more expensive. As you can see from the menu below each item such as coffee and tea comes in a variety of flavors and styles.

Starbucks uses a high quality Arabica beans in its coffee brewing process. Thus, it is the Starbucks’s pricing strategy to charge premium prices for the premium products. Quality plays akey role in setting prices. That is why Starbucks maintains strict quality controls in its coffee sourcing as well as in its customer service and peripheral products to justify its costs. People always are willing to pay high prices, even without trying the product, because they associate the Starbucks name with high quality.

Also Starbucks considers local market costs, including infrastructure investment, real estate and labor costs while setting the product prices. In countries where the currency overvalued, a dollar does not go as far. It would takemore dollars to buy a Starbucks latte in a country with a strong currency, like Norway, than in one with a currency that has less buying power, like in India.

This measure – known as purchasing power parity – is crude way to compare the relative strengths of currencies. Below the prices of a Starbucks grande latte worldwide, measuring approximately 473 ml, converted to US dollars using rates of Feb 23, 2013, tax included when applicable.

There is a high competition with brands such as McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts. Such competitors capture those consumers in the market who are less interested in the premium beverages offered by Starbucks. During the economic downturn customers continue to buy Starbucks’s products, in spite of the fact that it raises the prices for the premium products. In several stores in the US the prices of specialty beverages were increased by up to $0.30.

Especially considering also nice welcoming design of stores, clean and hygiene image adds to strong image of Starbucks as 83% of customers rated cleanliness as highly important ( Such design intended at reaching human soul and making customers comfortable in enjoying ultimate coffee experience. Moreover, Starbucks also promotes image of supr e m a i n t h e s a m e ) . ( h t t p : / / porting local communities by being a good How-Starbucks-Uses-Pricing-Strategy-for-ProfitMaximization).

Another strategy that Starbucks uses to maximize profit is to differentiate its products and continuously improve its service and technology. Starbucks spends a lot of time to and energy in the design of its coffee shops, the music played there and the types of products it sells. Starbucks makes sure to keep current on the latest technology, often times being the first to introduce the newest advancements to its customers. 

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We are so glad you are here. We created Global Munchkins to inspire families to travel the world together- both near & far! We believe that life is made in the moments we disconnect from society and reconnect together. Here you will find travel inspiration, parenting tips, and strategies to create your dream brand so that you can live the life you’ve always dreamed of. Remember we only get 18 summers with our kids- let’s make them count! – Amber