With more than $24 billion in revenue, 31,000 locations worldwide, and countless promotions and menu items that vary regionally, Starbucks is an indisputable behemoth in the coffee industry. Over the past year, Starbucks’s internal creative team has been refreshing the brand system that makes up everything from its in-store signage to its promotions on Instagram. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson talks about what makes the brand successful with customers on CNBC.
Technology is pervasive in the Starbucks universe, and is one of the key tenets of it’s customer engagement plan according to Johnson.
“Well certainly 32 years in the tech industry and 16 years at Microsoft and Juniper two things: number one modern-day retailers have to create an experience in the store and they have to extend it with a digital customer relationship. And at Starbucks when I join the board over a decade ago we started on a journey. And today in the US we have over 17 million active loyalty members who use the app regularly. 42% of our tender is from loyalty members, you know payment on that mobile device. So the importance of that customer connection. But then most recently we’ve been using technology to help automate administrative tasks in our stores that free up our partners in the stores and focus on the customer,” explained Johnson.
Johnson also understands the importance of global interaction and working with other foreign companies like Alibaba.
“The same way we built this great global coffee alliance with Nestlé, we have a very important strategic partnership with Alibaba, our China digital partnership. And over the years I’ve gotten to know Daniel Zhang and his leadership team very well. They are great partners to Starbucks and we are very optimistic about the strategic value they bring and how we can work together. You know that said you look at the geopolitical situation and everybody recognizes that it’s better for all nations and for all merchants to be able to have, you know, a good global trade environment. And I believe we’ll get there,” he added.
Investors looking at allocating to the coffee giant could consider an ETF like the VanEck Vectors Morningstar Wide Moat ETF Large Cap Blend Equities (MOAT), or the iShares Evolved U.S. Consumer Staples ETF Consumer Staples Equities (IECS), each of which has a healthy heaping of the stock in its holdings.
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