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Case Study #2
Starbucks: Forbidden in the Forbidden City
What are the reasons forced Starbucks which in Forbidden City been closured? Starbucks has been closured from Beijing\'s Forbidden City. Chenggang Rui who is a popular CCTV anchor says its cultural history and American coffee chains shouldn\'t mix. That is trampling over Chinese culture. The Forbidden City, one of the most recognized historic sites in Beijing, China, under the pressure of a Web-based activist campaign. It collected more than 500,000 signatures supporting the closure of Starbucks. The Starbucks had two choices . One was continuing to operate in the Forbidden City, only without the Starbucks name, another choice w as to shake hands and part ways . In the end, The Starbucks decid ed the choice would be to leave . There are the reasons forced Starbucks which in Forbidden City been closured.
How to solve Starbucks forbidden in the Forbidden City?
After research, we believe Starbucks could open near the Forbidden City . Because Starbucks opened in the Forbidden City is not illegal. Second ly, Starbucks can opened in the Forbidden City in line with market rules. Third ly, it\'s convenient to visit the Forbidden City of tourists at home and abroad. Fourth Starbucks opened outside the Forbidden City do not affect Chinese culture.
How can Starbucks change their product/services to better fit the Chinese culture?
In traditional Chinese culture, people prefer to drink a cup of tea rather than a cup of coffee, since tea has long history in china, is cheaper than coffee, and is believed to have health benefits. Also, coffee is a traditional western culture, western style place for younger professional and provides a place to meet, talk, see and be seen. Starbucks want their customers to experience the western style cafe, although Starbucks include a fireplace, a foreign concept in Chinese homes, also incorporates many familiar components such as bamboo, Chinese symbols etc. but they still provide an western experience as well as a cup of coffee.
Generally, coffee consumers in china are young, affluent professionals; returnees and foreign expatriates, there are more familiar with the western lifestyle. People that are not familiar with coffee culture are troubled with the drinking culture. For example, Starbucks need to better educate the consumers the coffee drinking culture. Give Chinese consumers more information about Starbucks Coffee, and the signal of how to drink a cup of coffee with sugar, stirrers or milk.
What did you learn from the experience of Starbucks in China?
From the first launched in China, Starbucks met some troubles, for example, customers\' awareness and understanding, trademark infringement, products modifying and culture difference etc. Firstly, local customers may feel confused when they go to Starbucks because of the unfamiliar with the coffee drinking culture, they don\'t know what they can use for drinks and the differences between varied types of coffee, thus we can learn that when doing business in the country we need to use the suitable promotion methods which are related to the country\'s culture, in order to increase the customer\'s awareness, for example, we could use some step tips of drinking coffee next to the sugar or milk, and we could use a blackboard to introduce difference coffee knowledge everyday. Secondly, it\'s very common that trademark infringement happens in China, therefore trademark protection is very important when enter in the China market. Thirdly, in order to meet customers\' needs and favorite taste , the products should be modified as Chinese style. Lastly, because of the culture difference, it\'s difficult to measure what to put it or give up, especially when the important element of headquarter culture couldn\'t be accepted in the enter market, therefore we have to consider different situation and environment when doing global business.
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Starbucks, Coffee, Drink, Stealth Starbucks, Pumpkin Spice Latte
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