Starbucks Branding Strategy and Marketing Case Study

Analysis and examples of Starbucks’ identity, positioning, key messages, tone of voice, brand archetypes, customer benefits, competitors, and marketing content.

Starbucks brand logo

Brand Overview


  • Food Service
  • Coffee

Business Type

Physical Products


Target Customer

Specialty Coffee Consumers

Primary Need (Job To Be Done)

Get a variation of a coffee drink that’s perfectly tailored to my taste

Brand Visual Identity & Content

Primary Brand Colors





Brand Typefaces

  • SoDo Sans

Hero Content

Starbucks hero image

Hero Content Type


Content Features People


Brand Messaging

Key Messages

Starbucks For Life
It’s the most festive game of the year, with chances to win free coffee and more.
Play Now

Benefit or Feature Focus


Tone of Voice

Casual, Friendly, Caring
Funny (+1) <> Serious
Casual (+2) <> Formal
Irreverent <> (+1) Respectful
Enthusiastic (+1) <> Matter of Fact


Affiliation & Belonging

Element of Value Affiliation & Belonging


Therapeutic Value

Element of Value Therapeutic Value



Element of Value Variety

Saves Time

Element of Value Saves Time

Sensory Appeal

Element of Value Sensory Appeal

Brand Benefits

Benefit #1

Fast access to specialty coffee drinks at any time of day

Benefit #2

The ability to customize coffee drinks at a super granular level to fit my exact taste and diet

Benefit #3

A way to treat myself with old favorites or seasonal beverages that provide comfort in my busy life


Key Competitors

The Coffee Bean, Dunkin’, McDonalds, Peet’s Coffee, Tim Hortons, Biggby Coffee, Caribou Coffee, Blue Bottle Coffee

Get Help Growing Your Brand

Free Brand & Marketing Workbook

Get immediate access to our 10 page workbook to help you define your Core Purpose, Vision, and Core Values, along with resources for Brand Archetypes, Tone of Voice, Messaging, and more!

Hands-on Brand Strategy Help

Transform your best business thinking into an actionable, shareable, growth-oriented guide. Click below to learn about the Brand Guidebook process.