The american firm selling coffee all around the world was born in Seattle in 1971. Founded by three friends, Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegel and Gordon Bowker, it took only thrity years for the firm to develop worldwide and become one of the strongest american icon in terms of food and drink. Nowadays, the company is the biggest seller of coffee in the world and enjoys a symbolic and cultural representation in people’s mind.
We can deduce that the growing popularity of the brand followed its development in the world as the graphic illustrates it :
But how does Starbucks represent an American Icon ?
First, when non-american people purchase a coffee in a Starbucks store, they instantly feel like genuine american, almost living in Manhattan. They are actually adopting the american way of life as they can have the representation of it in the medias. The concept that we can find in these stores is also quite representative : the american way of selling products, with their own goodies (mugs, spoons, etc.), their own music radio and of course the well-known manner with the employees write the name of the customers on their mug.
It’s important also not to forget that Starbucks has been the first brand to offer to their customers to possibility to take a coffe-to-go, allowing them to drink their coffee in the streets and not being stuck in the store. By this mean, the firm as the possibility to spread the brand in the streets freely because of the logo printed in all their mugs.
Nevertheless, the major mean that Starbucks uses to broadcast their brand and their concept is the product placement. The famous logo is everywhere on TV, in movies, even in News Channels.
The representation in the medias of the brand adds a sort of desire from foreigners to embrace the american way of life. It appears to be cool to purchase a coffe-to-go in Starbucks and to walk in the streets with our mug. And that is why when foreigners think about United States’ food and drink icons, they firstly think about Starbucks.
To conclude, Starbucks has built its popularity and its image of american icon by spreading it all around the world with the multiple logos printed everywhere and their important presence in the diverse medias.