From Devin Page of iNeedCoffee is an interesting opinion on Starbucks.

Devin takes a look at what it is exactly that makes Starbucks so popular – why do people line up outside the door for a Starbucks coffee? When it’s not even that good?

Starbucks offers a solution to a serious and growing need that is found throughout the world, and no, that need is not caffeine addiction, it is simply the need to relax.

All Starbucks locations are the same. They offer the same drinks, but more importantly there is always a calm, almost religious happiness that surrounds the industrial coffee makers and earthy-toned pictures that make up the interior decor. There is bound to be at least one couple talking and giggling and one or two men in business suits sitting by themselves with their eyes closed wishing they didn’t have to leave and return to their five by six cubicles. This escape is what makes Starbucks so popular…

A Starbucks is a place where people of all walks of life can come together on equal terms…. [Starbucks wants] to connect with their customers on an emotional (even quazi-spiritual) level.

Some may argue that they are devoted only to the great coffee, but that is not likely… a shot of espresso can have as little as half the amount of caffeine in it as a cheap $0.79 cup from Hardees . It’s not the coffee (nor the caffeine) that brings customers running back–– it’s the atmosphere.

Starbucks could very well operate without even selling coffee. They could charge an entrance fee and offer nothing else but a room and mellow Bob Marley music softly playing in the background and people would still come…

My anaology would be a classic one. Starbucks is McDonald’s. Neither are good. But are built upon standard blocks: consistency, branding, social gathering.

Amazing post Devin!!