Starbucks Coffee’s Mission Statement & Vision Statement (An Analysis)

Starbucks Coffee corporate vision statement and corporate mission statement coffeehouse and coffee business case study analysis
A Starbucks café in Tokyo. Starbucks Corporation’s (Starbucks Coffee) corporate mission statement and corporate vision statement reflect the company’s culture and expansion plans in the global coffeehouse and coffee industry. (Photo: Public Domain)

Starbucks Corporation’s (also known as Starbucks Coffee) mission statement and vision statement represent the company’s emphasis on leadership in the coffee industry and the coffeehouse market. A company’s corporate mission statement is an indicator of what the business does for its target customers. In this business analysis case of Starbucks, the corporate mission focuses on the philosophical purpose of the business. On the other hand, a company’s corporate vision statement reflects the strategic direction of the business in terms of what it wants to achieve in the future. In this case, Starbucks’s corporate vision focuses on leadership in the industry. The company’s success in responding to its competitive environment depends on the effectiveness of implementing these corporate statements. This implementation influences Starbucks’s generic strategy and intensive growth strategies. Corresponding strategic objectives enable the business to streamline its operations toward following the corporate mission statement and satisfying the corporate vision statement.

Established in Seattle, Washington in 1971, Starbucks Coffee continues to grow and expand its business internationally. This expansion brings the company in competition against various firms. For example, the company competes against Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s, as well as other food service businesses that offer food and beverage products, such as Burger King and Wendy’s. The Porter’s Five Forces analysis of Starbucks Corporation shows that these competitors and related industry factors and market factors combine to create the strong force of competitive rivalry in the industry environment. The company must strengthen its competitive advantages accordingly.

Starbucks Coffee’s Corporate Mission Statement

Starbucks Coffee’s corporate mission is “to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.” This mission statement reflects what the company does to keep its business running. It is clear that target consumers are given emphasis in this corporate mission. The following components of Starbucks’s corporate mission statement influence strategic management in growing the business:

  1. Inspire and nurture the human spirit
  2. One person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time

Starbucks Coffee “inspires and nurtures the human spirit,” starting with its employees. To address this component of its mission statement, the company maintains a small company culture, where rapport and warmth are important. In this way, the corporate mission is a direct determinant of Starbucks Coffee’s corporate culture. In addition, the same component of the company’s mission statement pertains to customers’ experience. The business extends its warm and small company culture to its customers. For example, employees’ and customers’ first names are used at Starbucks cafés. Also, the design of these coffeehouses aims for warmth and coziness. These approaches inspire and nurture meaningful and warm relationships involving employees and customers. Another factor to consider in Starbucks Coffee’s corporate mission statement is that it indicates a personal and gradual approach. The “one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time” component shows that the company ensures meaningful impact on every employee and customer. In parallel, this part of the corporate mission means that Starbucks Coffee plans to continually and gradually grow the business, one place or neighborhood at a time.

Starbucks Coffee’s Corporate Vision Statement

Starbucks Coffee’s corporate vision is “to establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles while we grow.” This corporate vision statement has the following components relevant to the business:

  1. Premier purveyance
  2. Finest coffee in the world
  3. Uncompromising principles
  4. Growth

Aiming to be the premier purveyor means that Starbucks Coffee wants to achieve leadership in providing its products, especially coffee of the best quality. The company achieves this component of its vision statement by continuing its multinational expansion as one of the largest coffeehouses and coffee companies in the world. However, it is not yet clear if Starbucks effectively addresses the “finest coffee in the world” component of its corporate vision. Analysts and critics point out that coffee from McDonald’s or Dunkin’ Donuts may be better than Starbucks coffee in some aspects. Nonetheless, Starbucks addresses the “uncompromising principles” component of its corporate vision statement. These principles include ethical conduct and a warm culture. The company maintains these principles, especially during Howard Schultz’s leadership as CEO. Also, the company satisfies the “growth” component of its vision statement, as manifested in the continuing global expansion of the business through new Starbucks locations. The company now has more than 28,000 locations around the world. Thus, the business effectively addresses its corporate vision.

Starbucks Coffee’s Corporate Vision & Corporate Mission – Recommendations

A good point about Starbucks Coffee’s mission statement is that it is sufficiently abstract to make it applicable to future business scenarios. However, this corporate mission does not satisfy many of the conventional characteristics of ideal mission statements. For example, Starbucks’s mission statement does not inform about target customers, types of products, and target markets. While the company presents a facet of its business philosophy, the resulting corporate mission needs improvement to satisfy ideal conventions. Thus, it is recommended that Starbucks add such pieces of information in its corporate mission statement to improve the matching of the statement with the business and its operations.

Starbucks Coffee’s vision statement is concise, clear, and inspiring, especially in terms of achieving and maintaining the premier status in the coffeehouse and coffee industry. This focus on leadership is a motivator that challenges management and other members of the company’s human resources. Moreover, the corporate vision is stable in terms of applicability to future business scenarios at Starbucks Corporation. For example, the “premier purveyor” component is expected to remain applicable in the long term. However, the company fails to include new business operations and products in the corporate vision statement. For example, tea, pastries, and merchandise (consumer goods) are now part of the product mix, as outlined in Starbucks’s marketing mix or 4P. These products are not yet included in the company’s corporate vision statement. Thus, a recommendation is to improve Starbucks’s corporate vision by adding these pieces of information regarding various products, to make the vision more accurate in representing the business.

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