Q] Take us through the brand’s latest campaign – ‘A feeling called Starbucks’. What is the insight behind it, and how do you plan to amplify it?
At Starbucks, we are grounded in our mission to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time. Our campaign, ‘A feeling called Starbucks’ is reflective of this mission. Considering the current times we are going through, it is more important for brands to be a beacon of hope and joy. Iconic brands make a place in people’s hearts by making them feel special. This film celebrates everything that makes Starbucks special for our customers. Be it the love for good coffee, warm smiles and the fact that we always go the extra mile. It recognises that the greatest joy is in people being seen and heard as they truly are. Our customers visit the stores for the coffee, stay for the warmth and return for human connections. We ensure that every initiative we undertake honours this connection and reiterates our commitment to the highest quality coffee and towards our customers and communities. Conceptualised and executed by Wavemaker India and directed by Pratap Dhulap, the film celebrates the ubiquitous Starbucks experience. We amplified the film digitally and in stores via an exciting social media contest which further strengthened our bond with our customers and brand advocates. We received many heart-warming entries from our social media followers expressing their fondest memories and cherished connections they have formed at our stores.
Q] With the F&B sector largely hit during 2020, what is the kind of recovery you are seeing at Starbucks? And what steps are you taking to drive consumer confidence?
We are seeing very strong business performance across dine in, take away and delivery. We have taken a host of measures to ensure that we meet our business objectives and deliver the perfect Starbucks experience to our customers. The pandemic has given rise to a newfound consciousness in terms of safety and hygiene within the consumers. They have become more aware, conscious and prudent about their choices. The importance of personalisation of physical spaces and hyper personalisation of offerings has heightened. Our transition to the new normal was fairly smooth as we were already aligned with global standards of hygiene and safety. We drove consumer confidence while retaining the signature third place experience through various initiatives. We innovated our product line with the launch of our one litre delicious and freshly brewed value packs which gave our customers access to enjoy their favourite beverage from the comfort of their homes with their loved ones. We introduced Mobile Order and Pay and WhatsApp payments providing the unique Starbucks experience conveniently and on the go. We also recently expanded our menu through a special collaboration with Chef Sanjeev Kapoor and Tata Sampann. We are also constantly innovating our food menu and experimenting with localisation of global flavours to suit Indian palates.
Q] The past year also saw the emergence of several boutique coffee brands and homegrown ventures. Do you view these as competitors despite their relatively smaller size?
The emergence of new entrants is a healthy, positive indicator of the growing demand for the sector and highlights the shifting preference of consumers for coffee as their primary choice of beverage. This presents an opportunity for us to continue providing the cherished Starbucks experience to our customers. It showcases the consumer’s growing acceptance and willingness to experiment with the unique and exciting offerings we have in the pipeline for them.