Starbucks Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning – Targeting Premium Customers with Quality Products and Service

By John Dudovskiy
October 7, 2022

Starbucks Segmentation, Targeting and PositioningStarbucks segmentation, targeting and positioning comprise marketing decisions directed at identifying appropriate group of people among the general public as future customers for the business and targeting this segment via positioning products and services that resonates well with their needs and wants.  In simple terms, segmentation, targeting and positioning refers to deciding whom to sell to, and positioning products and services accordingly.

Starbucks Coffee uses the following types of positioning:

– Mono segment positioning. The coffee chain giant targets premium customer segment only i.e. individuals who are willing to pay extra for the quality of products and services.

– Adaptive positioning. Due to the tendency of increasing consumer health awareness, Starbucks Coffee developed coffee beverages with less calories such as Chai Tea Latte (103 calories) Caffe Misto (63 calories) and Iced Americano (11 calories).

– Standby positioning. Certain Starbucks beverages such as Frappuchino had to await changes in the market for certain period of time to find demand.

– Sustainability positioning. The world’s largest coffeehouse chain attempts to shift customer attention to sustainability aspect of its business. For example, by the end of FY21 there were 2779 Greener Store framework Starbucks branches[1]. This store format aims to achieve reductions in carbon emissions, water usage and landfill waste.

The following table illustrates Starbucks segmentation, targeting and positioning:

Type of segmentation Segmentation criteria Starbucks target customer segment




Region US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, China and Asia Pacific region
Density Urban


Age 18 – 60
Gender Males & Females
Life-cycle stage Bachelor Stage young, single people not living at home

Newly Married Couples young, no children

Full Nest I youngest child under six

Full Nest II youngest child six or over

Full Nest III older married couples with dependent children

Occupation Students, employees, professionals
Behavioral Degree of loyalty ‘Hard core loyals’
Benefits sought Enjoying quality coffee in a relaxing atmosphere

A place to chat with friends and relatives

A place to work

Personality Easygoing, determined and ambitious
User status Regular users
Psychographic Social class Middle and upper class
Lifestyle[2] Mainstreamer





Starbucks segmentation, targeting and positioning

Starbucks Corporation Report contains the above analysis of Starbucks segmentation, targeting and positioning and Starbucks marketing strategy in general. The report illustrates the application of the major analytical strategic frameworks in business studies such as SWOT, PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, Value Chain analysis, Ansoff Matrix and McKinsey 7S Model on Starbucks. Moreover, the report contains analyses of Starbucks leadership, organizational structure and organizational culture. The report also comprises discussions of Starbucks business strategy, ecosystem and addresses issues of corporate social responsibility.

Starbucks Corporation Report 2022..

[1] Global Environment and Social Impact Report 2021, Starbucks Corporation

[2]According to Cross Cultural Consumer Characterization by Young & Rubican

Category: Marketing