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

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.

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 22 – 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[1] Mainstreamer





Starbucks segmentation, targeting and positioning

Starbucks Corporation Report contains a full 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 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 and addresses issues of corporate social responsibility.

Starbucks Corporation Report

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