How Did Italy Fail To Qualify For World Cup A Comparative Marketing Strategy Analysis Between Starbucks and Caffe Nero

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A Comparative Marketing Strategy Analysis Between Starbucks and Caffe Nero

Starbucks portrays itself as high quality coffee for the upper class and its price is slightly higher than Caffe Nero coffee. It stays true to its American originality and emphasizes its wide range of coffee-only drinks with only a few snacks and desserts. Apart from that, Starbucks differentiates itself from other cafes by providing a very comfortable atmosphere with facilities like Wi-Fi so that their customers can enjoy surfing the web while drinking their coffee.

On the other hand Caffe Nero emphasizes its Italian fusion and portrays itself not only as a cafe but also a bar and restaurant. It has quite an extensive menu with a variety of popular Italian dishes. Because of this many people visit Caffe Nero for meals rather than just a cup of coffee. They have brought a pure European feel to their cafes staying true to their originality. For the convenience of their customers and to add to their attraction they have also launched loyalty cards.


Marketing strategies help businesses to promote their products and services in a particular way they want. By exchanging their most important points, they try to create an image of their brand in the minds of their target customers in order to achieve their target sales and favorable market share. Marketing strategies help businesses gain a competitive edge by catering to those specific niches that others don’t recognize. Marketing strategies devised by organizations vary in length from one-year plans to those that stretch well over many years. Many factors are considered when devising marketing plans and strategies defined by the environment in which the company operates. This is most often referred to as a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis which helps businesses identify the areas they can take advantage of and the areas they need to be careful of.

The most important factor any business must consider when creating its marketing strategies is its competitors. The actions of competitors have a huge impact on what an organization should do. In the coffee chain industry there are now plenty of independent coffee shops in the UK such as the most popular Starbucks, Monmouth Coffee, Coffee Aroma, The Apple Tree and Caffe Nero. In this assignment the marketing strategies of Starbucks and Caffe Nero will be reviewed followed by a critical analysis of both.


The first Starbucks store was opened in Seattle well over thirty years ago. Today Starbucks is proud of $4.1 billion with thousands of outlets not only in the United States but around the world. Many companies have studied the secrets and strategies adopted by Starbucks in an attempt to learn how Starbucks grew so quickly. The marketing strategies that are currently being adopted by Starbucks will be discussed in this assignment ( 2011).

A unique marketing strategy:

The marketing strategy adopted by Starbucks has remained unconventional. They did not adopt the common styles of advertising using billboards, newspaper ads or television commercials. Instead they relied on word of mouth to promote their brand name.

Product quality:

The most important thing that Starbucks has never lost control of is the quality of their coffee beans. They were the first to introduce the true Italian taste of “burnt espresso” to the Americans. They justify their high quality by charging a slightly higher price than most other cafes.

A comfortable environment:

Another focus of Starbucks outlets is the environment they provide in their cafes to their customers. Starbucks has always been promoted as the perfect place to relax when away from home and away from the office. They have started offering Wi-Fi connectivity at their points of sale so that their customers can also browse the internet while they enjoy their cup of coffee.

Customer satisfaction:

Customer satisfaction is Starbucks’ strongest selling point. Every customer who enters a Starbucks outlet receives such special treatment that they really feel like they are in a special place.

The Starbucks community:

Starbucks has really taken full advantage of the latest social media hype. They have adopted their latest marketing strategies around social media sites such as creating fan pages on Facebook and Twitter where they actually respond to each customer and keep in touch by posting pictures, videos and all the latest promotional information.


Starbucks has always kept its menu fresh by constantly thinking of new items and different blends and flavors in their coffee. Some of their latest popular drinks are Green Tea Latte for the health conscious consumer along with iced tea and Frappuccino for their outlets in warmer climates.

Brand Marketing:

Starbucks has always portrayed itself as a high quality product and therefore decided to rely on word of mouth promotion only. This was quite a useful marketing strategy compared to going for promotional ads in magazines, newspapers, billboards etc. Recently they have started using the social media sites in the most effective way ever. Their Facebook and Twitter pages have been quite useful in promoting the image of Starbucks while also enabling them to communicate directly with all their customers on one platform.

CAFE Nero:

According to Caffe Nero chairman Gerry Ford (2008), Caffe Nero Group Ltd is the ‘largest independent coffee retailer in the UK, with over 400 stores in the UK’. It was established in the year 1977 and today its stores are open abroad as well as in Turkey and the Middle East. They differentiate themselves from other cafes in the UK by emphasizing that they are an Italian Coffee Company. Their main aim, as in the words of Gerry Ford (2008), is to ‘provide a European style coffee house experience that offers premium espresso based gourmet coffee, authentic Italian food products and a relaxing atmosphere in every store’.

Caffe Nero has received many awards for its high quality coffee over the years and for the excellent experience they provide in their stores. Tatler has rated Caffe Nero as ‘The best espresso this side of Milan’ while Egon Ronay has labeled it “The Traditional Italian Café”. Caffe Nero has also been labeled by UK consumers as “The UK’s best Coffee House” for nine consecutive years (Allegra Report, the UK’s definitive guide to the coffee industry).


Caffe Nero’s marketing strategy mainly emphasizes its unique selling point which is a pure Italian theme. Caffe Nero portrays itself as more than just a cafe. Instead it has created a perfect combination of cafe cum bar and restaurant. So Caffe Nero is not limited to just providing a place for coffee and snacks, rather you can go there to enjoy a meal only. They have a wide variety of delicious desserts along with many Italian dishes such as the Italian wraps, soup, sandwiches, pasta and paninis.


Caffe Nero mainly targets UK tourists or Italians looking for their Italian taste in cooking. They target the middle income group of middle aged people, students or business people who prefer to go to a cafe during their lunch time. Furthermore, Caffe Nero has formed a partnership with the famous chain retail store, House of Fraser, due to which it opened around 145 cafes, many of which are located in House of Fraser stores (James, Situation Analysis of the Caffe Nero Group Ltd – Christmas City

A Critical Analysis Between the Two Companies

Now that a basic review has been given on the marketing strategies used by Starbucks and Caffe Nero, an analysis will be made on what differentiates them from each other.

  • Caffe Nero and Starbucks are direct competitors but Caffe Nero differentiates itself from Starbucks by selling cheaper coffee than Starbucks.
  • Caffe Nero offers a wider range of food items along with its coffee drinks which makes it stand apart from Starbucks which does not have such a wide range of varieties.
  • Caffe Nero adopts a strong brand position by emphasizing its European coffee shop compared to Starbucks which is of American origin. Caffe Nero has a unique selling point that emphasizes the style of continental cafes while Starbucks is American style.
  • Starbucks has managed to open thousands of points of sale abroad and in the international market while Caffe Nero still lacks international expertise and has just recently opened its stores in Turkey and the Middle East.
  • Starbucks has enough outlets across the UK but Caffe Nero doesn’t have enough stores in Central London.
  • Caffe Nero has a lot of potential to grow because it enjoys many unique selling points such as its pure European authenticity.



2. (March 29, 2011) Starbucks Success Is Word Of Mouth / Social Media / Viral Marketing Strategy

3. James, S, Situation Analysis of Grŵp Caffe Nero Ltd – Dinas yr Wyl

4. An Unconventionally Effective Starbucks Marketing Strategy

5. Kembell, B, Hawks, M, Kembell, S, Perry, L, Olsen, L 2002, ‘Catching the Starbucks Fever’, Missouri State University. Not published.

6. Rajul (2010), ‘Starbucks vs Caffe Nero vs Costa: who wins?’

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