Starbucks' 5 core principles for success

What's the secret behind Starbucks' phenomenal success? A new book, The Starbucks Experience - 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary, details the core principles that have made the mega-coffee merchant a household word around the globe.

To supplement our story above about factors of restaurant success and failure, we thought we'd take a look at what Starbucks thinks is important to their success.

The Starbucks name is now synonymous with coffee. Some 40 million customers visit Starbucks weekly, and the most loyal customers visit an average of 18 times a month. Moreover, the company's employee turnover rate is 250% below the industry average. The company now opens an average of five new locations every day of the year.

In the book, The Starbucks Experience -- 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary, author Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D., shows how employee motivation, excellent customer service and satisfaction, and community involvement all go together to build a great company. it"Whether you're the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a part-time entry-level worker, a middle manager, or the owner of a small business, Starbucks' five core business principles can be applied to your career, workplace, and company," explained Michelli.

In summary, the five core success principles used by Starbucks described in the book are:

  1. Make it your own Starbucks "partners" (employees) think about customer service in a way that allows each of them to connect with their customers on a very personal level. According to Starbucks chairman, Howard Schultz, "We are not in the coffee business serving people; we are in the people business serving coffee."
  2. Everything matters Paying attention to absolutely every detail gives Starbucks a competitive advantage because it builds loyalty among patrons. "Managers have to constantly put themselves in the shoes of their customers, seeing everything from the other side of the counter," explained Michelli.
  3. Surprise and delight Starbucks insists that it is critical to deliver consistent product and service to delight customers. But on top of consistent quality, Starbucks' partners look for ways to surprise and engage consumers in a process of discovery. In an example of the importance of surprise, Starbucks gave out free cups of Calm tea April 15 in anticipation that their customers would be frazzled by their federal income tax deadline.
  4. Embrace resistance Starbucks encounters many forms of resistance from communities, international organizations, and at times, customers. Both at the leadership and front-line levels, Starbucks has benefited from criticism and used it to become stronger and better able to meet the needs of those who share their input.
  5. Leave your mark People want to do business with and work for companies that are socially conscientious. In addition to its corporate philanthropy and grant-giving program, Starbucks encourages employees to be more involved in their community by matching cash contributions in support of their local efforts. Furthermore, Starbucks leadership makes business decisions in accord with their own social values.