Services and Service Relationship Marketing


Starbucks, the leading coffee shop chain in the world uses the phrase “everything matters” as their catchline. The chief of the company Howard Schultz says the huge growth of Starbucks is the result of the conscious implementation of the catchline. The interior decoration of the shops, the music, the coffee itself, and the way the employees behave have contributed collectively in spreading its strong wings such that now the coffee shop chain has 11000 shops only in the United States of America. Apart from America, it has shops in other parts of the world also. They have 5118 shops in the United States, 362 shops in the United Kingdom, 30 shops in Saudi Arabia, 64 shops in South Korea, and 27 shops in other parts of the world. A customer indeed has a mind-blowing experience when they enter a Starbuck shop (Tallontire 2009).


Starbucks is a perfect example of the “Service as Theatre” concept. This means all the sectors that work in the service industry, like coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, etc everybody are just like playing roles in a theatre. This makes their coffee so special and different from others that once a customer enjoys a “Starbuck Experience” in one of their shops, it becomes a lifetime experience for them. The surroundings of the shop, the atmosphere, and the service, sort of speak to the customer in a very personalized way (Carlin 2003).


When there is a play in a theatre, there got to be a stage, music, actors, and audience to experience the play. For Starbucks, the audiences are their customers, before whom the service providers act as the actors on the stage set by the décor of the shop with background music playing inside the shop. Everything is so picture-perfect that there remains no choice for the customers except falling in love with Starbucks, just as in the case of a good play. The experience goes beyond the taste of coffee; it reaches the heart and touches the mind giving it great peace. There remains no other choice than to come back (Grove, John and Fisk 2004).


The idea of presenting coffee the way Starbucks is doing is the outcome of the creative thinking of Mr. Howard Schultz, the head of Starbucks. He got the idea from the Italian way of presenting coffee in a homely and warm manner. The idea succeeded for him and is the result of collective contributions both from upper and lower levels of the company. The shop décor outside Europe is taken care of by Rebecca Burk, who considers the place where the shop is going to open in terms of culture there and of course, the people (Carlin 2003).


Starbucks has kept an employee who works on the music to be played in the shops. A perfect symphony is created by the ambiance, music, the service, and above all, the product, that is the coffee. When so much pampering is done, it is obvious that the customer would feel in harmony with the environment of the shop. They come back over and over again for not only the coffee but the relaxation they get there (Bernardez 2009).


Starbucks has shown when a company provides “Service as Theatre”, what that can do for them. If multinational companies work in a more humane and personalized environment like Stardust, they will get results like it as well. Starbucks has touched peoples’ souls, just like a good play, which makes the mind relaxed and fills it with happiness. Thanks to the collective effort and contribution made by the management and employees at all levels of Starbucks, people have got a lifetime experience to have and the company has touched the sky (Zimmerman 2001).


Bernardez, M., 2009. Minding the business of business: Tools and models to design and measure wealth creation. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 22 (2) pp. 17-52.

Carlin, J,. 2003. Ground Control. The Age. Web.

Grove, S., John, J., and Fisk, R., 2004. Services as theater: Guidelines and Implications. Service Marketing, 27 (6) pp. 192-198.

Tallontire, A., 2009. Top heavy? Governance issues and policy decisions for the fair trade movement. Journal of International Development, 21 (7) pp. 1004-1014.

Zimmerman, L., 2001. Business Strategies. Able pub, Auckland.

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