The father of modern corporate management, Peter Drucker, once said that “a business is not defined by its name, statutes, or articles of incorporation. It is defined by the business mission. Only a clear definition of the mission and purpose of the organization makes possible clear and realistic business objectives.” (Ireland & Hitt, 1992, p.1) In very simple language, Drucker emphasized the importance of mission statement which is not simply a proclamation of the corporate goals and objectives.
The mission statement serves also to motivate, inspire, lead and give direction to the company. In simple sense, it is the soul of every business organization. Similar to a living being who cannot exist without his soul, no business organization may exist without a mission statement. Strategies, on the other hand, must be aligned to the company’s mission statement. Every company must strive so that they are able to position themselves differently from their competitors without going against its mission statement (James Surowiecki, 1999, p.136).
This essay seeks to analyze Starbucks’ Mission Statement and determine whether its strategies are aligned with its Mission Statement. The purpose of this paper is to prove that it is essential for every company to ensure that its mission statement is aligned to its strategies and that any company which deviates from its mission statement risks suffering the same fate as Starbucks.
Starbucks Mission Statement
Starbucks’ mission is to inspire and nurture the human spirit— one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time (“Our Starbucks Mission,” 2009, p.1).
The company also lives by the following principles: that it is passionate about the quality of its coffee and that it aims to source the finest coffee beans, roast them with great care and improve the lives of people who grow them; that it embraces diversity and seeks to create a place where each person can be himself; that it seeks to connect with, laugh with and uplift the lives of its customers; that its store is the haven from the worries of its customers; that it wants to become partners with the community; and that it recognizes the contribution of its shareholders and seek to reward them for their investment (“Our Starbucks Mission,” 2009, p.1).
Starbucks is currently one of the world’s biggest coffee companies. It is known for its up market image and the great coffee experience which attract young professionals (Rupert Cornwell, 2008, p.1). Despite its high profit margins and expensive coffee, Starbucks gained the loyalty of its customers and became one of the most successful coffee companies in history. According to Andy Serwer (2004), Starbucks is the most dynamic new brand and retailer to be conceived within the past two decades (p.1). In 2007, its Chairman and CEO announced that it planed to triple its sales by 2012 to $23.3 billion and put up 40,000 stores worldwide (B Helm, 2007, p.56).
To be able to sustain this rapid growth, Starbucks adopted two main strategies: it opened many new stores and introduced many new products in the market. At first glance, this strategy may seem to be in line with the company’s mission statement. Starbucks coffee initially appealed to clients who are attracted to its relaxed and cozy atmosphere where customers can enjoy their cup of coffee, read a book and meet with friends or simply to hangout and enjoy the fresh aroma of hot coffee being served by the friendly baristas.
The necessity for sustained growth meant that it needed to attract a different clientele – the grab-and-go customers who wanted to grab their coffee and enjoy it inside the comforts of their own car or office or school. Catering to these second customers meant that they needed to change the store format. The solution it found is in the use automatic espresso machines. These tall espresso machines catered to the needs of the second kind of customers.
The second strategy it used is product expansion. At the time, diversification seemed to be a good idea as it offered the advantage of catering to clients who may have different tastes and preferences aside from coffee. For this reason, it offered its clients many choices of beverages and pastries to choose from. It also offered other products such as apples, chocolates, salad and yogurt. It has even ventured into selling of notebooks, CDs and breath mints (BusinessWeek, p.1).