Starbucks’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’s 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 Company) mission statement and vision statement represent the company’s emphasis on leadership in the coffee industry and the coffeehouse market. A 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 includes the philosophical purpose of the business. On the other hand, a 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 coffee 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 coffeehouse business to streamline its operations toward following the corporate mission statement and satisfying the corporate vision statement.

Established in Seattle, Washington, Starbucks continues to grow and expand its business internationally. This expansion brings the coffee company in competition against various firms. For example, the company competes against Dunkin’ 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 food service industry environment. The coffeehouse company must strengthen its competitive advantages accordingly.

Starbucks’s Corporate Mission Statement

Starbucks’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 coffee company does to keep its business running. It is clear that target consumers (e.g., coffee and merchandise buyers) and employees are given emphasis in this corporate mission. The following components of Starbucks’s corporate mission statement influence strategic management in growing the business:

  1. Inspiring and nurturing 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 coffeehouse 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 customer experience, such as by extending the small company culture to customers at the cafés. For example, employees’ and customers’ first names are used at Starbucks coffeehouses. Also, the design of these coffeehouses aims for warmth and coziness. These approaches inspire and nurture meaningful and warm relationships among baristas and consumers. 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 coffeehouse business ensures meaningful impact on every employee and customer. In parallel, this part of the corporate mission means that Starbucks plans to continually and gradually grow the business, one place or neighborhood at a time.

Starbucks’s Corporate Vision Statement

Starbucks’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 coffeehouse business:

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

Aiming to be the premier purveyor means that Starbucks Corporation wants to achieve leadership in providing its products, especially coffee of the best quality. The company achieves this objective of its vision statement by continuing its multinational expansion as one of the largest coffee and coffeehouse 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. McDonald’s and Dunkin’ directly compete against Starbucks in terms of coffee quality. Nonetheless, Starbucks addresses the “uncompromising principles” component of its corporate vision statement. The company maintains these principles, such as ethical business conduct and a warm culture, 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. Thus, the coffeehouse business effectively addresses its vision statement.

Some Recommendations for Improving Starbucks’s Corporate Vision & Corporate Mission

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 coffee company presents a facet of its business philosophy, the resulting corporate mission needs improvement to satisfy ideal conventions. It is recommended that Starbucks add such pieces of information in its corporate mission statement to improve the statement to provide a more holistic representation of 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, including baristas. Moreover, the corporate vision is stable in terms of applicability to future business scenarios at Starbucks Corporation. For example, the “premier purveyor” component is applicable in the long term, as the business continues to build its food service and merchandise operations. However, the coffeehouse 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. A recommendation to improve Starbucks’s corporate vision is to add these pieces of information regarding the product mix, to make the vision more accurate in representing the business.


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