Week 2 Team C Assignment
Innovation Focus Proposal and Process Assessment
The story behind the powerhouse company named Starbucks begins in 1971 in Seattle, Washington. Its success stems from their ability to be innovative and create a new café experience that expands across the globe. The products offered include coffee, tea, fresh food, engineered beverages, and branded merchandise. Their brands include Starbucks Coffee, Tazo Tea, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Evolution Fresh, Teavana, and La Boulange and Torrefrazione Coffee ("Starbuck Company Profile", 2014). Starbucks has made innovative strides in products/services, processes, and strategy. While many have been incremental to their business, others have been radical and breakthrough impacts on the industry. Starbucks has achieved their goals and objectives of expanding to global markets, new developed beverages, and consumer experiences.
The 2014 goals and objectives Starbucks have created are based upon the expansion into the tea and juice beverage industry, innovative customer engagement and experience, and introduction into new markets. Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world. The purchase of Teavana Tea Lounges is one first step in expanding innovation through incremental products (Butler, 2013). This will expand the range of consumers Starbucks services and possibly gain market share in the coffee industry. The development of a new process available to consumers through smart phones, innovative speed -paying technology, and Starbuck smart phone app introduces a breakthrough process that will enhance the consumer’s experience, improve efficiencies, and improve customer service. There are over 30,000 transactions made every week for beverages alone (Rudarakanchana, 2014). The business strategy to expand in other global markets is a radical level of innovation that will increase the company’s growth. While Starbuck has over 20,000 coffee shops in the world, there are many other markets with the potential for development.
There are seven steps within a successful innovation process: strategic thinking, portfolio management, research, insight, innovation development, market development, and selling. Constant successful innovation is key to an organization staying ahead of their competition. In using Starbucks as an example, the innovation process begins with a desire to stay ahead of the competition and provide products, atmosphere, and service that are unique to the Starbucks brand, singling them out from their competitors. Starbucks has a variety of drink choices that they offer, but not all drinks are available year round. This is part of their strategy. It keeps their customers coming back through the different seasons to obtain their favorite beverages and keeps their customers from getting bored with the same offerings. Starbucks must continue to innovate, coming up with new, unique, and also appetizing menu options. They must also listen to and meet the demands of their customers. As a growing trend shifted to health food and healthy options, Starbucks had to meet this need in order to maintain their customer loyalty. They began to offer, not only pastries and cookies alongside their coffees, but also healthy options such as oatmeal, yogurt, and salads. The company must continuously research and innovate new ideas to keep their customer base happy and loyal to their brand.
The innovation process is utilized as well through the products that Starbucks offers and to the atmosphere that they create. They must continuously stay on top of what their customer demographic is and what their needs are as well as changing trends. For instance, the environment and conservation is a growing focus amongst the middle class and upper class populations that Starbucks markets to. In an effort to innovate, and stay in