Starbucks and Big Data Essay

Total Length: 646 words ( 2 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 3

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Starbucks Knows

The business opportunity that Starbucks sought to pursue was to grow its market in the grocery space. By designing K-Cups that appealed to consumers’ tastes, Starbucks sought to compete with other companies, such as Proctor and Gamble and Smuckers. The idea was to get Starbucks brand ready-made drinks into peoples’ homes so that they could have them without having to go to the store. As Sarah Whitten noted, “It’s a way for [Starbucks] to expand a brand that’s already owning retail and bring it into consumer’s homes…So, they can almost double consumption because consumers are going to want to drink it when they go to the actual Starbucks locations and now they have the freedom to drink it at home.” By analyzing customer data, Starbucks was able to identify a variety of drink formulations that would appeal to the largest segment of consumers.

The analytical methodology that Starbucks used to solve the problem was to obtain “data from several consumer-research firms in shaping its new grocery product line” (Whitten). Data analytics in consumer research are helpful for “categorization, abstraction, comparison, dimensionalization, integration, iteration, and refutation” (Spiggle 491). The goal of this method is to identify patterns of meaning that can be both qualitative and quantitative and then develop a product in response to those findings so at to appeal to consumers.
It is a type of use of Big Data that is made possible by the use of technology, which can “capture rich and plentiful data on consumer phenomena in real time” (Erevelles, Fukawa and Swayne 898). Starbucks used Big Data to obtain information on how consumers prefer their drinks when they order at the counter—whether they add milk or sugar to certain drinks, whether they like tea sweetened or unsweetened, whether they add milk to iced coffee when they drink it in their own homes.

By understanding the preferences of their consumers, looking at the data, and relating it to sales and qualitative information gathered from surveys, questionnaires and consumer interviews, Starbucks was able to construct a clear picture of its target market consumer and what that consumer would be likely to purchase in the grocery store aisle. The goal of the expansion would be to compete outside of retail and double consumption rates. By getting consumers while they….....

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Works Cited

Erevelles, Sunil, Nobuyuki Fukawa, and Linda Swayne. \"Big Data consumer analytics and the transformation of marketing.\" Journal of Business Research 69.2 (2016): 897-904.

Spiggle, Susan. \"Analysis and interpretation of qualitative data in consumer research.\"  Journal of consumer research 21.3 (1994): 491-503.

Whitten, Sarah. “Starbucks knows how you like your coffee.” CNBC, 2016.

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