People Innovation Excellence

[Case Study] Starbucks Indonesia: Back and Forth in Customer’s Perception

Year: 2007

Case number: 107-1036-002

Case Author: Robert AB

Course Major: Marketing

Related Topics: Services Marketing, Experiential Marketing

Teaching Note Availability: –


The opportunity for Starbucks at that time when they entered Indonesia market was still big for there were only several small players at Indonesia. Coffee store and café business never been taken seriously and people accepted coffee-drinking activities as side activity which did not have any added value for any other means. Indonesian even didn’t recognize coffee as one of their primary habits. However, the hype started around 1999, not so long after the crisis that hit several regions at Southeast Asia. Indonesia, by any means, considered as a very interesting place for Starbucks to expand. However not so long after the trend started, recently nowadays Starbucks isn’t the only player at Indonesia. Thanks for the hype and buzzwords, more and more competitors barged into the market, be it from foreign players (Gloria Jean’s Coffee, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf) or domestic players (Bakoel Koffie, Bengawan Solo Coffee) and all of them even offered similar beverages and “experience” as same as Starbucks. They create same ambience, same coffee and even, same packaging – only in different brand name and label.

This kind of situation forced Starbucks to think hard and long because even though Starbucks already got big name and big time at United States where it is originally came from, the market in Indonesia is totally different. They are playing at different culture, different consumer’s expectations and even different purchasing power and Starbucks realized it clearly that in order to survive in this volatile market of Indonesia they should take the right approach.


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