Starbucks’ Mission Statement & Vision Statement (An Analysis)

Starbucks mission statement, vision statement, coffeehouse and coffee business purpose, goals, corporate objectives analysis case study
A Starbucks café in Tokyo. Starbucks’ mission statement and vision statement reflect the business purpose and corporate goal of providing the best coffee in the global coffeehouse industry. (Photo: Public Domain)

Starbucks’ mission statement and vision statement strategically direct business operations toward leadership in the coffee market and the coffeehouse industry. The 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, the 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’ 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’ generic competitive 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 to satisfy its mission, vision, and purpose. This expansion brings the coffee company in competition with various firms. The company competes with Tim Hortons, as well as food-service businesses that offer coffee, food, and other beverages, such as Dunkin’, McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, and Wendy’s. The Five Forces analysis of Starbucks 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 to continue with the goals of its mission statement and vision statement.

Starbucks’ Mission Statement

Starbucks’ mission statement is “With every cup, with every conversation, with every community – we nurture the limitless possibilities of human connection.” This corporate mission depicts the company as a provider of coffee products and food service that facilitate connection among customers. Starbucks’ mission statement has the following components:

  1. Every cup, every conversation, every community
  2. Nurture limitless possibilities of human connection

Starbucks’ mission statement indicates a gradual approach. The “every cup, every conversation, every community” component shows that the coffeehouse business ensures meaningful impact on every employee and customer. In parallel, this part of the corporate mission statement means that Starbucks’ business purpose and goals involve continually and gradually growing the business, one place or community at a time.

Starbucks aims to “nurture limitless possibilities of human connection,” 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. This social environment relates to Starbucks’ organizational culture (company culture), which promotes openness and meaningful interactions. The same component of the company’s mission statement extends the small-company culture to customers at the cafés to facilitate positive customer experience. 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 nurture meaningful and warm relations among baristas and consumers to satisfy the goals and requirements of Starbucks’ mission statement.

Starbucks’ Vision Statement

Starbucks’ 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 reflects leadership in the coffee market and the coffeehouse industry. Starbucks’ vision statement has the following components:

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

The goal of being the premier purveyor means that Starbucks Corporation aims 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. The company competes with many coffeehouses, including local ones, in terms of coffee quality. Nonetheless, the “uncompromising principles” component of Starbucks’ vision statement is addressed in the coffeehouse chain’s operations. The company maintains these principles, such as ethical business conduct and a warm culture, as reinitiated during Howard Schultz’s leadership. Also, the “growth” component of Starbucks’ vision statement is satisfied through continuing global expansion of the business alongside new store locations and product development. The business competitive advantages and capabilities discussed in the SWOT analysis of Starbucks enable this business growth to satisfy the long-term goals of the company’s vision statement.

An Assessment of Starbucks’ Mission and Vision

Starbucks’ mission statement 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’ 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 and business purpose, the resulting mission statement needs improvement to satisfy ideal conventions. It is recommended that Starbucks add such pieces of information into its mission statement to improve it to provide a more holistic representation of the business, its operations, goals, objectives, and targets.

Starbucks’ 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 employees, including baristas. Moreover, the corporate vision is stable in terms of applicability to future business scenarios at Starbucks Corporation. 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 its vision statement. For example, tea, other caffeinated drinks, pastry, and merchandise (consumer goods) are now part of the product mix, as outlined in Starbucks’ marketing mix or 4Ps. These products are not yet included in the company’s vision statement. A recommendation to improve Starbucks’ vision statement is to add these pieces of information regarding the product mix, to make the vision statement more accurate in representing current business operations.