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Comparing Costa and Starbucks

One of the biggest and most effective growing sectors today is the caffeine industry. This industry basically includes individual cafes, hotel cafes and retail chains. On this study, we will be concentrating on the Retail Chains that belongs to the organized sector. The retail outlets share a particular brand and have similar kind of management, with standardized business procedures and tactics. The major players today covering market talk about all over the world are Starbucks Coffee, Barista Espresso, Cafe Espresso Day, Costa Espresso, etc.

For this analysis, the two suppliers - Starbucks Coffee and Costa Espresso are chosen because of their identical structure of working and expansion. They are the two major players in the caffeine cafe industry, and their customers consider them both as interchangeable brands. That is why it is important to study how these brands identify themselves from one another, and try to improve brand loyalty amongst the clients.

Objectives of the Study

By doing a comparative review of Starbucks Espresso and Costa Caffeine, we shall analyze why one merchant is more successful than the other, and how the performance of the suppliers can be better. Studying the characteristics, history, performance and marketing strategies followed by both companies, and the customer's perception about both is the centre point of the research. The goals of the analysis can be summarized as below:

  • To compare and analyze the 4P's, namely Product, Price, Campaign and Place, of Starbucks Coffee and Costa Espresso.
  • To understand how these cafes have positioned them in order to differentiate them in the market.
  • To find out the customers perceptions and tastes about both these cafes and what motivates the customer to visit these coffee homes.
  • To identify the areas where both organizations are carrying out well and areas where they need to improve.

Research Methodology

The methodology for the study includes:


Collection of Data



Formulation of Questionnaire

Collecting principal data from the clients visiting Starbucks Espresso and Costa Coffee and the employees of the business through observations, filling of questionnaires as well as interviewing them. The sample size is very small, i. e. only 5 customers, each owned by a different age group and record.

Collecting relevant secondary data from various resources like magazines, books, journals, internet, and Company's website.

The data so gathered shall be categorized, tabulated and analyzed through graphs and pie charts to extract studies from the collected data. Based on the relevant extra and most important data, a comparative examination will be achieved to be able to find out the areas of brilliance and areas requiring improvement.

In the light of these results, critical aspects shall be evaluated and tips and recommendations will be provided for the entire improvement of the Starbucks Coffee Company.

Knowing Starbucks Caffeine Company

Starbucks Coffee Company (Starbucks), one of the world's top roasters and retailers of specialty caffeine, has travelled a journey beginning from opening just a thin, single store in Seattle's historic Pike Place Market in 1979, to more than 17, 000 stores in 50 countries today.

Starbucks offers one of the best possible and fresh-roasted coffee beans on the planet. The coffee customers of the company personally happen to be the coffee farms in Latin America, Africa and Asia to choose the very best quality 'Arabica' coffee beans, which is roasted into a combine only for Starbucks by the Starbucks experts, who bring out the rich taste of the coffee beans.

Mission Statement

"To inspire and nurture the real human spirit - one individual, one glass and one neighborhood at a time. "

Starbucks - Products

Starbucks offers a number of products, which range from hot & wintry drinks to eatables like sandwiches, salads, wraps, glaciers creams, etc. Remember medical and wellbeing of its customers, it offers another menu for low-calorie food and drinks, along with its nutritional data. Understanding that some of its customers may be allergic to certain ingredients, the business offers products under Food Allergens section, specifying the food and beverages which do not support the ingredient the customer is hypersensitive to. The products are well designed, and are served in different steps, not on the basis of quantity, but according to the affordability. They also provide bottled drinks, which can be refrigerated and used at home down the road. Moreover, there's a distinct menu for kids remember their preference and health.

Starbucks - Price

Starbucks has a 'skim pricing plan'. They started with a higher price, and skimmed the cream of the marketplace. With the progress in the amount of outlets, came the great things about economies of level. As a result of this, they have been able to gradually lower their prices, and charm to different segments of their marketplace. The primary factors that influence their charges are their cost of goods sold, which is quite high because imports form most its products.

Starbucks - Place

Starbucks focus on their target market with situated near commercial establishments outlets at main marketplaces, malls, and family entertainment centers. The stores are believed to be developing a warm and inviting atmosphere whether for conference friends and family, or enjoying time together. There remain 8870 company managed stores and 8139 qualified stores.

Starbucks - Promotion

Starbucks bears out mass promotion campaigns, mainly by means of promotions on the Printing, Television set and Radio Medias. At the moment, they do not rely intensely on advertising, but rely more on sponsorships and tactical alliances with other organizations. It also participates various sales campaign activities to help increase sales at their retailers, some of that happen to be Sponsorships, Collaborations, Tie-ups, Starbucks Regular membership Card, etc.

Starbucks - People

The people at the stores have to endure a training procedure so that they produce an in-depth knowledge of the company's products and have the ability to provide best customer support. All employees are cured as partners and provided with comprehensive coverage of health and stock in the company through the 'Bean Stock' program to inculcate a sense of possession and motivate them to perform their best.

Starbucks - Process

The order and delivery process at Starbucks is based on personal- service, where a customer goes up to the counter-top to place the order, and goes back to the counter to choose the delivery once it is ready. The company is convinced that though it is just an instant, where one hand getting over-the-counter to provide a cup to another outstretched side, but it establishes a connection between the company and its own customers. (Starbucks Coffee, n. d. )

Knowing Costa Coffee

Costa espresso was created in 1971 at 9 Newport Street, London, by Sergio and Bruno Costa. World's best 'Arabica' and 'Robusta' beans, sourced from Central and South America, Africa and the Far East, are blended to make a unique flavor and aroma from its own mixing company (Mocha Italia). Costa was the first UK-based caffeine retail chain which operates the entire caffeine making process - from sourcing, mixing, roasting, milling and making coffee.

Costa Espresso - Products

Like many other brands, Costa Coffee also offers an array of products in its shops which include hot chocolates, teas and infusions, iced coffees & frescato. The USP of the company is its customized products without the extra demand. It prepares its espresso according to the exact dependence on the customer, where the customer can point out its inclination in terms of caffeinated or decaffeinated espresso; skimmed, full fat or soya dairy; variety of syrups; flavors of vanilla, hazelnut or caramel, etc. Furthermore, the store offers a nutritional content chart and lists of allergens in their food and drinks because of its health-conscious customers.

Costa Espresso - Price

The pricing plan of Costa Coffee's is not to touch the top cream of the society, but to penetrate the market. Hence, price of its products is lower than that of Starbucks'.

Costa Caffeine - Place

The location of Costa Espresso outlet stores is in the areas where there exists maximum youth movement. It really is found generally near schools, stores, petrol pumps, and areas which are easily visible and approachable. Additionally it is located in any way 57 Moto motorway services around UK. This shows the availability and availability of the Espresso Cafe Day shops for drive in customers.

Costa Coffee - Promotion

Costa Coffee will not believe that much in media offers. But like other brands, it also has Costa Coffee Team Card. Its campaign techniques are unique. For e. g. - it provides points when a customer would go to a Moto motorway services.

Costa Coffee - People

The people at Costa Coffee are characteristically trained to be enjoyable, polite and positive with the customers. They ensure that the clients have a memorable visit.

Costa Espresso - Process

The order and delivery process at Costa is not based on home- service. The employee fetches the order to the desk of the customer. (Costa Caffeine, n. d. )

Findings and Recommendations

  • Starbucks has an extremely strong brand image nonetheless they need to work hard on increasing their quality of product as preference plays a major role in espresso industry.
  • Starbucks should make its communication program in such a way so it changes customers' conception and makes it an affordable brand.
  • A majority of Costa outlets are situated in the posh areas. Starbucks must open up some outlet stores near domestic areas to be able to increase its market coverage.
  • Starbucks should think about an alteration in its delivery process. It must change to a far more convenient format where a cafe attendant offers the merchandise to the table. This change may seem to be insignificant but it also improves customer satisfaction.


Our study made us reach the conclusion that both, Costa Caffeine and Starbucks Caffeine, enjoys equal customer desire. Although price and promotional plans influence your choice of folks, but the preference of espresso is an essential element in deciding the store to go to. Costa coffee has a distinctive taste which draws in the customers. Additionally, people wish to sit in the wonderful ambience provided by Costa espresso. The guests in Starbucks' shops are basically professionals and elite course, whereas Costa Caffeine is preferred by young ones. As far the prices were worried, our research led us to the final outcome that the Costa Espresso offered low prices as compared to Starbucks Caffeine and Starbucks can invite more crowd if indeed they reduce their prices, along with providing offers.


Coffee Market. (n. d. ). Retrieved May 4, 2011, from http://www. maketradefair. com/assets/english/CoffeeMarket. pdf

Costa Caffeine. (n. d. ). Retrieved May 4, 2011, from http://www. costa. co. uk/

Starbucks Caffeine. (n. d. ). Retrieved May 4, 2011, from http://www. starbucks. com/

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