starbucks mission statement

Starbucks Mission Statement: 5 Ways in Which They Visualize It

What is so interesting about the Starbucks mission statement, and what insights can we get from it? Continue reading to learn more!

What started as a single shop specializing in high-quality coffee and brewing products soon grew to be the largest roaster in Washington with multiple locations across the US in the early 80’s. Today, Starbucks has expanded further to become the leading company in producing premium coffee in the world. 

starbucks mission statement

“As of November 2021, the company had 33,833 stores in 80 countries, 15,444 of which were located in the United States,” according to Wikipedia.

This success can be attributed to Starbucks’ powerful purpose. The company’s commitment to delivering on and living out its mission, vision and core values made it what it is today – the world’s largest coffeehouse chain. 

How was Starbucks able to do that? 

In this study, we will be discussing how Starbucks’ mission statement played a major role in its success. Our focus will be on five significant areas: purpose (mission & vision), branding (name, logo & colors), marketing/strategy, socials, and culture & values. 

So, grab a cup of coffee and read along as we take you through the analysis of the Starbucks mission statement.

1. Purpose – mission and vision

Starbucks mission statement

Starbucks’ mission is “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.” 

The above statement shows what Starbucks does to keep the business running. It reveals a great deal to us about how the brand places a premium on its customers. 

starbucks mission statement

Starbucks mission statement: inspiring and nurturing the human spirit

Starbucks understands that to inspire and nurture the human spirit, it must start internally. To fulfill this element of its mission statement, the company promotes a small company culture, where warmth and rapport are vital qualities among employees and other company members.

This close-knit culture of warmth and solidity not only permeates all corners and ranks of the Starbucks company but also extends to its consumers and outside stakeholders.

A good reference would be the company’s employees and customers’ custom of addressing each other by first names inside Starbucks’ coffeehouses. These shops are also strategically decorated to lend warmth and coziness to the setting.

These are just some of the measures taken by Starbucks to inspire and nurture a warm and healthy relationship among customers and staff.

It’s also interesting to note how Starbucks’ mission statement reflects a gradual and personal approach. When it says “…one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time,” we can understand its objective of ensuring a valuable impact on all of its employees and customers.

This aspect highlights the company’s aim to continuously grow its chain – one neighborhood, one place at a time.   

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Social responsibility is also a cause Starbucks champions. It promotes this by ensuring ethical sourcing, availing opportunities for various social and ethnic groups, nurturing a green supply chain, and strengthening communities through civic activities.

The company believes not only in serving the best coffee to customers but also on impacting meaningfully and significantly on the community.  

Starbucks vision statement

“…to establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles while we grow.”

Now that we’ve taken a look at the Starbucks mission statement, let’s go for a minute to their vision statement as well. 

The aspect of aiming to be the leading purveyor highlights Starbucks’ desire of achieving leadership in making sure its coffee and other products are of the best qualities. To fulfill this goal, the company continues to expand and remains one of the largest coffeehouses and coffee chains on a global scale.

To fulfill its “uncompromising principles” component, Starbucks hopes to nurture its principles, including the warm culture and ethical conduct. This principle is a big part of the business, particularly during the leadership of past CEO Howard Schultz. 

Through continuous expansion of its chain by opening new coffeehouse at new locations, Starbucks promotes the “growth” aspect of its vision statement. This is evident in its more than 33,000 stores around the world. 

Focus on continuous expansion: zooming in on the Starbucks mission statement (and vision). Image:

Examining the Starbucks vision statement, it’s clear that the brand focuses on leadership on the SWOT analysis chart, as motivation to push the management and all other stakeholders within the company.

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2. Branding – name, logo, and colors

In this section, we will be focusing mainly on the visual side of things, such as brand elements like the company’s name, logo, and colors. How does Starbucks’ visual branding correlate to their brand success, and what does the Starbucks mission statement has to do with all of that?

Starbucks explains on its website that the company name Starbucks “…evokes the romance of the high seas and the seafaring tradition of the early coffee traders.” 

The brand’s logo relates closely with the name. What does it mean? 

Let’s go all the way back to 1971, when Starbucks first came into existence. In a search to capture the seafaring history of coffee and Seattle’s strong seaport heritage, so much poring over old marine books was going on. 

Then – there she was!

A 16th century Norse woodcut of a double-tailed mermaid, or Siren. There was an interesting air about her, a seductive mystery combined with a maritime theme, which was precisely what the founders wee looking for.

A visual identity had to be designed around her and that’s how the Starbucks Siren logo was created. The rest is history. 

starbucks mission statement - logo inspiration

Starbucks’ iconic logo serves to show the connection between Seattle and the sea. In a bid to communicate this close relationship of Seattle to the sea, the siren is depicted as having hair that looks similar to the waves of the ocean.

The designers wanted to convey the mythical and mysterious appeal of the siren, as well as capture the allure, desire and obsession that come from a seductive encounter with these sea creatures. Starbucks coffee is equally as irresistible! 

The Starbucks mission statement is also associated with their brand colors. They use deep green and white, colors that represent nature and protection – “nurturing the human spirit” . In the logo, the green serves as the background color, while the white is used for the main siren icon.

Green is used in branding or marketing to represent healing, nature and protection – qualities that Starbucks values. The coffee brand also wanted the green color to represent the positive way the company treats its customers and its partners.

It’s a practice at Starbucks to ethically source coffees while also ensuring that partner farmers are treated with care. Again, nurturing the human spirit – just as in the Starbucks mission statement.

3. Marketing strategy

Cafes and restaurants are a high-risk business. In fact, “Around 60 percent of new restaurants fail within the first year. And nearly 80 percent shutter before their fifth anniversary,” according to CNBC

So what did Starbucks do differently? 

As is the same for all businesses, the credit goes to the business and Marketing strategy of Starbucks. The brand’s strategy includes:

Reward programs

Apart from following through on their corporate statements of purpose, which stress on nurturing a healthy mind and environment, as well as focus on industry leadership, Starbucks also has built a powerful brand loyalty by designing a rewards program.

starbucks rewards marketing

Starbucks Rewards to boost loyalty: supporting the Starbucks missions statement.

The company offers lots of benefits to customers who join its reward program. These include free drinks, free refills, birthday rewards, and so on.

These enticing offers endear customers to the brand, make them spread the good words about Starbucks, and entices them into buying other products as well once they walk into the store.

Fear of missing out (FOMO)

Fear can be a strong action trigger and Starbucks uses it brilliantly to it its advantage by making customers feel like they will be missing out on an interesting offer or experience.

The brand’s marketing strategy uses time-barred promotions and occasional menus to create a sense of urgency. Pounce on the offer today or it will be gone! Research shows that millennials especially will make impulsive buys triggered by fear of missing out. 

Great content

Another way in which the Starbucks mission statement is envisioned and enforced is through their content.

Starbucks uses killer content as a marketing strategy to attract and keep customers engaged. The brand relies on content with a certain quality, look and feel that conveys a high image of the company. In addition to striking photos and creative taglines, certain principles make Starbucks’ content outstanding.

For example, Starbucks uses creative challenges that reward customers who try a new menu item and links contents with events like Christmas, Halloween, first day of school, etc.

The company educates its customers about how the coffee beans are harvested and what the different types of roasts are, for example. 

content marketing

Multiple channel promotional strategy

Starbucks primarily uses its website, social media platforms, and in-store displays to promote the brand and its products. It all leverages sales promotions, events, direct marketing, print media, and PR collectively to boost the impact of its promotions.

It is also present on all relevant social media channels and maintains consistency in content marketing and brand experience across all mediums. 

Constant innovation

Like all top brands, Starbucks continuously innovates to keep its leadership position in the market. New products, recipes, restaurant décor ideas, deals, flavors, lands, locations…and counting.

A Harvard Business Review wrote that “Starbucks creativity has set off a chain reaction of innovation in the once sleepy industry.” They called it the Starbucks Effect.

Customer engagement by sharing their stories

Customer participation is a big part of Starbucks’ marketing strategy. The company keeps its customers engaged by encouraging them to share their stories and photos.

These stories are published on the company’s marketing channels, thus, allowing them to keep the customers engaged while sourcing user-generated contents. 

Employee training

You may have a great marketing strategy and mapped out an amazing customer experience, but does your staff know how to execute your strategy and deliver the expected experience? Starbucks has a comprehensive professional training program for all sectors and levels of its workforce.

Their employees are called “partners” and more than 200,000 partners provide the experience that drives the brand’s customers to pay any price for a cup of Starbucks coffee. 

Nurturing the customers start from employee training (Starbucks mission statement)

Brand extension

What started as a restaurant that sells coffee soon extended into bakery products and other items, as customers demanded more. Continuous brand extension has helped Starbucks upgrade from a bare bones coffee joint to a complete restaurant with a mouthwatering menu. 

Think brand extension.

Enough food for thoughts to keep your marketing strategy up and running for month, even years? Following Starbucks’ marketing strategy will help and you don’t necessarily need a million dollars to do so. 

And just a little more on the brand’s marketing tactics: You should make sure to build a happy and healthy customer relationship, do seasonal and occasional based marketing, as well as create an awesome brand identity – things Starbucks does excellently well. 

4. Socials

Starbucks has built a social media presence and culture that every marketing team would be proud of. The brand leverages various social media platforms to create lots of contents which it then replicates across all channels and engages with its customers.

The language across all platforms is very distinct, pleasant and plain, in line with the Starbucks mission statement.

Starbucks social media marketing involves a lot of photo displays that capture fun moments with the brand’s products, as well as so much community engagements between customers and the brand.

Customers are encouraged to take pictures of their Starbucks coffee cups and coffee shops and share them on social media. This allows the community to share information on referrals, deals, and other events related to Starbucks. 

The company also engages in social media campaigns and competitions every day where it likes, shares and mentions. This social media marketing strategy contributes partially to how the general appeal of Starbucks travels beyond the social media storefront. Customer support service is also a priority at Starbucks. 

By doing all these, Starbucks is able to openly show its customers and fan base that it truly cares, thereby making them feel that they’re an integral part of the company.

The brand truly understands their audience and the importance of social media; this is why in 2010, Starbucks was awarded the World’s most popular Social Media Consumer Brand based on its Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and YouTube subscribers. 

When the spirit of a brand’s community is nurtured, customer loyalty and business success naturally follow! The company was spot-on with the Starbucks mission statement.

5. Culture and values

Another thing that’s in line with the Starbucks mission statement is the company’s culture and values.


Starbucks has an “employee first” culture, which is rooted on an important logic – competitors can reproduce the products, but they cannot copy the experience which partners can provide when serving the brand’s patrons.

Note that in Starbucks culture, “partners” is a term that employees of the brand address one another by. The company believes in employee well-being, as a well-treated staff persons will in turn take good care of customers. 

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Culture outlined in the Starbucks mission statement

To keep all employees of the company on the same page, Starbucks has an Employee Handbook that is regularly revised.

This handbook details guidelines that are vital to the business success of the company and talks about policies on employee motivation, pay structure, employment discrimination laws, staff performance review, employee protection, and more.

The thoroughness of manuals like this helps to ensure that partners are fully aware of and familiar with the company’s dynamics; this way, they will be able to blend and understand how the team behaves and how they are expected to work.

Core values

When talking about the Starbucks mission statement, we can’t help but look at the company’s core values.

Starbucks core values include: teamwork, integrity, respect for culture, and perseverance. These are the codes of conduct that aligns the company to its mission and vision promises. 

The first component of the core values stresses how Starbucks values coordination with its stakeholders and customers in achieving growth. The value of teamwork must permeate and reflect all corridors and ranks of the firm, from the leadership to the corporate minions.

After all, an establishment cannot function when there’s absence of a harmonious relationship. 

The second element is “integrity”. It emphasizes the need for all business processes to be conducted in the right and ethical way, thus promoting the expectations of the third value, which is “respect” for culture.

Since Starbucks has a global presence that caters to diverse cultures, it becomes necessary and proper that the firm recognizes the varying cultural perspectives in all of its locations around the world.

The last element is vital to fully realizing the previous three core values. Starbucks believes that perseverance is needed to maintain the company’s policies and remain stable in the highly competitive market.

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Starbucks mission statement and core values

Starbucks missions statement: summary

Now that we’ve taken a deeper look into the Starbucks mission statement, let’s summarize the key points.

The company’s progress from being a small restaurant chain in Seattle to being the leading and go-to destination for customers worldwide can be credited to its effective and smart mission statement and other similar corporate statements of purpose.

The general position and performance of the firm today mirrors its mission statement stressing on nurturing an image of being a coffee purveyor while being loyal to its growth philosophies. 

If you’re a startup restaurant brand or the owner of any new businesses at all, you can get inspiration from this global giant.

Starbucks’ corporate statements and values, as well as how they integrated this into their branding, marketing & strategy, socials, and other components of their overall branding strategy can guide you on your mission to creating your own brand with a good head-start. 

Did you like our article on the Starbucks missions statement? Did we miss anything? What ideas or inspiration are you getting from it? Let us know in the comments below!

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