One of the key strategy that Starbucks followed since its inception is that of product differentiation offering
differentiators such as premium product mix, locations, coffee beverages reputation and supreme customer service
that translated to building a premium valued brand which is costly to imitate for competitors. Starbucks has also
followed a shrewd strategy of strategic alliance and making smart acquisitions. Starbucks didn’t follow
franchising model and operated company oriented stores and joint ventures in international markets. Starbucks
has made some key acquisitions such as Teavana (Tea products), Bay Breads (premium bread products),
Evolution Fresh (fresh juice products) etc. to use the product diversification strategy. Appendix 7 gives a whole
list of joint ventures, strategic alliances and acquisitions of Starbucks. Starbucks acquisition strategy, as shown in
their acquisition history in Appendix, has been horizontal, product and market extensions acquisitions