1. In this case study you can read the four reasons why gazing has become an important trend. Why is it important for companies like Starbucks to know the reasons behind this trend?
In the case author states four reasons why gazing became an important trend:
Fast pace life and time pressure leave no time to cook and leads people to eat on the go
People spend much more time driving and eating in their cars
Lack of family life leads to unstructured life of teens affecting their eating habits
"Small households typically cook fewer meals" In the USA this number increased to 60 percent.
It is important for companies like Starbucks to know the reasons behind this trend because of the following. First of all this trend has an impact on strategic planning. It is crucial to take in to account uncertainties of changing market while assessing external environment (customers, industry, competitors, etc) and internal strength and weaknesses of the company. This trend influences company's formulation of objectives and business strategies.
Secondly, understanding reasons facilitates formulation marketing strategy. More specifically, the company formulates marketing concept and builds brand reputation by understanding customer's needs. For example, after analyzing customers eating behaviors and finding that only "35 percent of Americans eat two or fewer "square" meals daily" Starbucks sell only high quality coffees along with variety of pastries and few sandwiches in the "coffee bars."
Thirdly, taking into account reasons helps develop a customer oriented mission (what are we doing now? and visions (what do we want to achieve in the future?). The company tested four Café Starbucks in Seattle area, where they were serving meals. However, Cafés were soon closed as customers come to Starbucks to gaze rather than eat. Therefore, understanding the reasons behind this trend helped to identify the vision of the organization to stay a "coffee bar" rather than Café Starbucks.
To make best business and marketing decisions is only possible when acquiring all the possible knowledge about the current trends and the reasons behind it.
2. Suppose the marketing manager of Starbucks wants to use the information in this case as input for a strategic marketing plan.
a. Which information in this case should be part of the customer analysis?
Customer analysis includes potential customer's attributes, needs, and perceptions about the company. In the case author distinguished different segments of customers.